Rocky Top motel torn down after temporarily closing for coding violations

Blue Haven Motel closed in March due to not having running water and smoke detectors in some rooms.
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 10:26 PM EDT
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ROCKY TOP, Tenn. (WVLT) - The historic Blue Haven Motel in Rocky Top was torn down after the owners didn’t want to pay to have the building brought up to code. The motel temporarily closed in March after not having running water and smoke detectors in some rooms. Officials also found feces and other unsanitary living conditions in rooms.

Rocky Top City Manager Michael Foster said it’s sad to see the historic building get torn down.

“I mean that building was probably one of the first on the north end,” Foster said.

Rockie Bunch grew up in Rocky Top and said she used to swim in the pool at the motel when it had one. She said the building being torn down will offer a fresh start for the city and facility.

“It would be nice if they put in another motel back in here for everybody,” Bunch said.

According to the city manager, that is an option on the table. The previous owners defaulted on the building, thus giving it back to the old owner. Foster said he hoped whatever is built there will help bring more people to Rocky Top.

“I think it is a good location for commercial development because it is on the north part of town right near the interstate exit,” Foster said.

The land was close to the highway and Norris Dam where Bunch said motorcyclists like to visit. Foster said he hoped the future of this site brings more revenue.

“Anything that’s retail-related, commercial even another hotel that would be something the city would look at,” Foster said.

Bunch hoped it is another motel so it can continue housing people living in Rocky Top and visitors. She also said she had friends who were staying at the Blue Haven Motel who had since found a new place to live.

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