Small Tenn. city cashes in by disorder in fishermen

On a cold Thursday morning, before sunrise, scarcely 200 drum fishing boats launched from a tiny wharf in Dayton, Tennessee.

While a anglers contest to offshoot a biggest drum in Chickamauga Lake, a city is cashing in. So says Dennis Tumlin, a conduct of a Rhea County Economic Tourism Council.

“Our statistics uncover us that about $14 million came into city final year,” Tumlin told CBS News’ Dana Jacobson.


In 2015 Gabe Keen damaged a Tennessee state record when he held a drum weighing 15 pounds, 3 ounces, in Chickamauga Lake.

That’s $14 million in things like food, lodging, and new taxation revenue. That’s a large understanding for this tiny city of 7,200 in southeastern Tennessee.

Mayor Gary Louallen was lifted in Dayton. It was, he said, “just a tiny nation town, had tiny nation stores” when he was flourishing up.

It’s also a city that’s been struggling given a recession.

Dayton is in a heart of Rhea County, one of a some-more vexed areas of Tennessee, formed on statistics that embody misery rate, domicile income and unemployment. But when Mayor Louallen was inaugurated 4 years ago, he had a devise to spin around Dayton’s economy.

A fisherman, Louallen went to a legislature and said, “Guys, if you’ll usually trust me and run with me on this, fishing could unequivocally make it good for us.”

Turns out Dayton was sitting on a secret: Chickamauga Lake is some-more than 50 miles long, and boasts some of a best drum fishing in a South.


Tourism from anglers brought in $14 million to a Tennessee city of Dayton in usually one year. 

In 2014, a city began pity their internal treasure, regulating it to tilt in big-time fishing competitions.

“We began to consider of this lake as an opportunity,” pronounced Tumlin.

Tumlin was lured behind home from his pursuit during Coca-Cola by a eventuality to assistance his boyhood town.

“We went after tourism,” he said. “Tourism comes in many shapes, forms and fashions. For us, it happens to be fishing. For other communities, it might be something else. It might be horseback riding, though for us it was fishing.”

According to Tumlin, a normal angler spends $1,100 in a week. One new contest brought in 400 anglers. “It’s impactful,” he said. “One eventuality by itself is powerful, though we’ve been averaging 30 events per year for a final 3 years.”

With fishermen, their families and fans entrance into Dayton, a internal use attention has been booming.

“Yeah, fishing was apparently awesome,” pronounced Nathaniel Eastwood, a ubiquitous manager of a Sleep Inn, one of dual new camp comforts that have non-stop recently.

“Three or 4 years ago, nothing of this things would have been as assertive in a growth,” he told Jacobson. “It’s a vital matter for what we’ve been means to accomplish.”

And there are 5 new restaurants as well.

Dayton isn’t a usually city in a game. Mary Helen Sprecher is handling editor of Sports Destination Management, a repository dedicated to sports tourism. “You do not need to horde a Olympics to turn a sports destination,” she said.

She points to events like a Fat Tire Bike Race in Cable, Wisconsin; a American Birkebeiner Ski Race in circuitously Hayward, Wis.; and generally a Pickleball Tournament in Naples, Florida as success stories.

One eventuality could have a $1.5-million mercantile impact, Sprecher said.

For all a income that sports can move in, Tumlin says a tournaments are usually a initial step towards a incomparable goal.

“We’re chasing attention as tough as we’re chasing tourism,” he said. “If you’re an attention CEO, you’re looking for peculiarity of life. So, when we come here, we wish we to feel energy, and feel a good community. And we trust it will produce good results.”

Just days after Jacobson visited, Tumlin announced Dayton had reeled in a REALLY large fish: A Finnish company, Nokian Tyres, announced a $360 million investment in a new plant in a town, along with a guarantee of 400 new jobs.

For a tiny town, that is a good catch.

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Posted by on Jun 19 2017. Filed under U.S.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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