KINGSPORT, Tennessee — In an effort to attract more tourism-related businesses, Kingsport officials want to designate the entire city as an Adventure Tourism District.
The Kingsport Times-News (http://bit.ly/1NJsIQX) reports city leaders approved the proposal last week during a meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The request now goes to the state, where it needs approval from the Tennessee Department of Revenue and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
"By having this status, it gives us an advantage to someone opening a business in Kingsport," City Manager Jeff Fleming said.
Kingsport Development Services Director Lynn Tully said if the designation is granted, it would allow businesses that create at least 25 jobs and invest $500,000 or more to be eligible for a tax credit.
"The way the state set it out in 2011 was for anything tourism related," Tully said. "If you're in one of these districts then you're eligible for job tax credit, franchise and excise tax credits you can get from the state."
Businesses that could qualify within an Adventure Tourism District range from mountain biking and kayaking to zip-lining and sporting goods stores.
"But we can't attract any of them without the district," Tully said.
If the designation is approved, Kingsport would keep it for three years and then would have to reapply.
Information from: Kingsport Times-News, http://www.timesnews.net