Outdoor Chattanooga renames building after former director

Philip Grymes remembered as good friend, called integral in Chattanooga's outdoor economy

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Philip Grymes, the former Director of Outdoor Chattanooga, was honored today by his friends, family and colleagues.

The organization renamed its River Street building after him today.

With numerous family members, former co-workers and three past and present Scenic City mayors in attendance, the community gathered to remember the impact Grymes left behind.

“He reached and touched so many different organizations and groups within this community,” said Tim Morgan, chief sports officer of Chattanooga Sports. “And he truly helped us really define who we are as an outdoor destination, as well as a special events community.”

Outdoor Chattanooga says Grymes was “instrumental” in bringing major outdoor events to the city, including IRONMAN, Head of The Hooch, and more.

Mayor Tim Kelly and then-Mayor, now-Sen. Bob Corker both agreed that the city’s outdoor impact can be attributed to his efforts.

“Philip was more than an outdoor enthusiast, he was a force of nature,” Kelly said. “He exemplified the profound difference that a civil servant can make in their community and we were lucky that it was this community.”

“He poured himself, his whole life, at least his adult life, into making Outdoor Chattanooga what it is today,” Sen. Corker said. “Forever his name will be on Outdoor Chattanooga — I just think that is really special.”

While many remembered Grymes for his legacy of shaping Chattanooga as an “outdoor destination,” he was also remembered for being a good friend.

“He’d give you the shirt off his back,” Morgan said. “At any turn, Philip would say, ‘What do you need? Let’s do it, let’s get it done, doesn’t matter. What does it take? Let’s do it.’ He truly helped me become a stronger person.”

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