Polk County business owner says community still “open” despite Whitewater fire

POLK COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — One area business owner near the Whitewater Center says that neighbors are feeling a profound sense of loss.

Fortunately, he says that he’s spoken with local authorities and state representatives who say the area is safe to continue outdoor activities, like rafting.

While he says the building will be missed, he wants the community to know that its demise hasn’t stopped the river from running.

“We’re eager for a great 2022 rafting season,” said Ryan Cooke of Ocoee Inn Rafting. “We hate that the Whitewater Center burned. We can raft without the Whitewater Center. We hate that it’s gone, it was an icon, but we’re all open and we’re ready to raft.”

Cooke doesn’t believe the building needs to be fully rebuilt, but it would be nice to have a welcome center built in its place with memorabilia from the ’96 Olympics.

Categories: Featured, Local News, Polk County