Breathing new life into historic Blount County property

New owners are revitalizing RT Lodge but preserving history.
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 11:37 AM EDT
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BLOUNT CO., Tenn. (WVLT) - RT Lodge has sat on Maryville College’s campus in Blount County since the 1930s. Now, new owners are revitalizing it but holding true to the property’s roots.

“When you step on our property, we want you to feel at home,” said Beth McCabe Holman, President of RT Lodge. “Originally Mrs. Susan Wiley Walker owned the private home here in Maryville. Ruby Tuesday bought the property and turned it into a corporate training facility for their restaurants... In April of 2020, I acquired the property with my partners,” she said.

The property has 58 guest rooms, a restaurant, a venue space and a new bar called the Morningside Room, named after Mrs. Walker’s original name for the property. “We wanted to create an environment that guests can completely belly up and have a great cocktail. So, this is our first venture into any sort of improvement on the property.” McCabe Holman said. They also plan on adding a pool.

You don’t need to stay overnight to enjoy the property. The bar and restaurant are open to the public. Executive Chef Trevor Stockton and his culinary team craft their menu based on the season. They make their own bread, pickles, mayonnaise, pimento cheese, and scores of other hand-crafted ingredients and dishes.

The property also has walking trails that take visitors around the college and several fire pits for the colder months.

“We’re slowly adding some events. So, we’re going to be doing a fly fishing retreat in September. We’re going to be adding a pool with a cabana that will be for hotel-registered guests only,” said McCabe Holman. “I think the messaging has been a little bit mixed over the years if we’re open to the public, how many rooms do we have and so forth. So, we are open.”

The new owners said they hope to continue the warm hospitality Mrs. Walker provided decades ago.