Fontana Village Unveils First Phase of Property-Wide Restoration Campaign

Published April 3, 2024

Historic Resort Debuts Reimagined Main Lodge, Lodge Guestrooms and Cabins on April 1, Announces Plans for Additional Enhancements Throughout Property Under New Managing Partners

FONTANA DAM, NC / ACCESSWIRE / April 3, 2024 / Fontana Village Resort & Marina is thrilled to reveal the first phase of a property-wide restoration plan that includes floor-to-ceiling transformations of The Main Lodge, lodge guestrooms and cabins, operational enhancements to the Fontana Village Marina and the Fontana General Store, improved digital infrastructure, modernized recreational amenities, and a refurbished riverside campground. The renovation, led by managing partners Robin and DeAnn Turner, who acquired the property in early 2023, emphasizes the area's rich history while thoughtfully and purposefully modernizing the property, drawing inspiration from the bespoke beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and the iconic Appalachian region of where it resides.

"We are delighted to embark on a multi-year campaign of improvement at Fontana Village, with the ultimate goal of exceeding guest expectations and anticipating the needs of today's adventure traveler," said Robin Turner, Managing Partner. "With our team's determination to enhance the resort coupled with the abundance of history found in this area, we truly believe there is endless opportunity to expand the widely-cherished Fontana Village experience."

The Main Lodge and its accompanying guestrooms were the first areas to see activity during this multi-year restoration campaign. The lodge's lobby, formerly used for guest check-in, has been intentionally restored to highlight the original architecture and design elements, such as wooden vaulted ceiling beams, natural stone floors, and stacked stone walls. Dedicated seating areas outfitted with custom-made furnishings by Stickley Furniture and Artistica Home complement the Pendleton Fabrics and one-of-kind area rugs produced by Shaw Floors. Business travelers will enjoy improved workspaces and the addition of an executive conference room surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass and a stunning twelve-foot live edge slab handmade by a local craftsman. The conversation pit remains at the center of the room, now adorned with blue leather upholstery and a handsome handcrafted table.

All 42 lodge guestrooms and 14 cabins were substantially upgraded and redesigned. Drawing inspiration from Fontana's history and founding during the American Industrial Era, designers opted for textures and materials unique to that period. Through this vision, a palette of rich, rustic hues that mimic the Appalachian terrain and its native flora was chosen, supplemented by Pendleton fabrics in shades of twilight. Guestroom walls have been embellished with original photos from the Fontana Photo Archive dating back to the 1940s as an ode to the property's past. Guests can expect in-room amenity upgrades like Moen® and Kohler® fixtures and Mincey Marble in the bathroom, Beautyrest® Felicity™ Plush mattresses, Keurig® Coffee Makers, and exclusively curated toiletries.

More recently, the resort's Wildwood Grill dining concept has rebranded to Quill's Canteen, a fast-casual, counter-service style restaurant set to open in early to mid-April. Inspired by authentic Appalachia with a modern twist, guests can anticipate a menu brimming with regional fare and North Carolina favorites, like fresh Carolina Trout Bites, an Appalachian Smash Burger, classic southern-style snacks like Fried Pickle Spears and a wide variety of "Dam Good Pizzas". To view the full menu, please click here. Further, the resort's beloved Mountview Bistro will be evolving into Hazel's, an elevated experience for Fontana Village guests and community locals.

Prior to this phase of restoration, several smaller yet integral enhancement projects were addressed throughout the grounds, including at the General Store which now operates 24-7 and serves as Guest Check-in, exciting new marina, golf cart and UTV rentals, property-wide wi-fi access including the campgrounds, a large arcade room with more than a dozen modern gaming systems, and countless investments into infrastructure to elevate the overall guest experience. In June 2023, MMI Hospitality Group was selected to lead day-to-day operations, which included the appointment of a new general manager to oversee this multi-year restoration campaign.

"The entire Fontana Village team shares a strong sense of enthusiasm as we look forward to unveiling a revamped space that pays homage to the town's storied past while modernizing and elevating the experience for future guests," said Jason Caughron, General Manager. "It's been a wonderful experience working alongside new management partners, like Robin and DeAnn Turner, to bring this property back to life."

The Turners boast several decades of experience in the entertainment and hospitality industries, successfully leading multiple major renovation projects throughout the Southeast. The duo's most notable efforts include The Historic Tapoco Lodge, Huffman Creek Retreat, WonderWorks, as well as partnerships with notable brands such as Crayola® and Nerf. Design and construction teams, based out of Orlando, Florida, were tapped to execute restoration plans at Fontana Village and possess more than thirty years of experience, most of which was with Disney Resorts.

Phase Two restoration efforts are currently underway, which will feature the modification of event spaces like the Carolina Room and enhancements to the remaining guest rooms, suites, and cabins throughout the property. Managing partners have invested approximately $10 million in the restoration campaign of Fontana Village and estimate the full scope of the project to be completed by 2028.

Nestled in the heart of the Nantahala National Forest of the Appalachian region, Fontana Village Resort & Marina provides a unique getaway along the Great Smoky Mountains. Founded in 1942, Fontana was originally built as a settlement town for the workers commissioned by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the federal government to construct the Fontana Dam during World War II. The tallest dam east of the Rockies, Fontana Dam, paired with its proximity to the mountains, became a popular tourist destination, and the settlement, once housing workers, naturally became the resort village. The dam continues to produce hydroelectric power for the country and is a part of the Appalachian Trail. An incorporated town since 2011, the Town of Fontana Dam and the village resort and marina host thousands of guests each year.


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For more information about Fontana Village Resort & Marina or to make a reservation, please visit or call 800.849.2258.

For the latest updates, follow @FontanaVillage on Facebook and Instagram.


Fontana Village Resort & Marina is a year-round destination set amidst the pristine beauty of the Nantahala Forest of western North Carolina, the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in Fontana Dam, NC. Located in the heart of the Appalachian Trail and mere miles from the iconic Tail of the Dragon, the resort boasts a wide range of accommodations, including rooms and suites within The Lodge, on-site cabins, a campground fit for RV and tent camping on beautiful Cheoah Lake, and two restaurants alongside a full-service marina equipped with watercraft rentals and docking and mooring capabilities. Recreational activities for guests include Stone Creek Pool and Lazy River; basketball, sand volleyball and tennis courts; 18-hole disc golf and mini golf; a softball diamond; miles of on-site trails suitable for hiking and biking; and fun, family activities like a newly-renovated arcade, billiards, cornhole boards and more. Guests can rent golf carts and utility task vehicles to explore the property and beyond, or visit the Marina for guided, scenic tours of Fontana Lake as well as pontoon, paddleboard and kayak rentals. Fontana Village Resort is an award-winning event destination offering picturesque views and professional planning services for weddings, corporate retreats and more. For more information and bookings visit or call (800) 849-2258. Follow along via Facebook and Instagram for the latest news.


SOURCE: Fontana Village Resort & Marina

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