Miracle Mile in Pulaski County
A developer whose name is familiar in the Lake Cumberland area is planning a $100 million tourist attraction, a self-described “Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge” creation along Ky. 80 near the Rockcastle River in eastern Pulaski County.
Anthony (Tony) Del Spina, president of Lake Cumberland Resort near Burnside, said Tuesday from his Palm Beach, Fla. residence that his Del Spina Enterprises wants to develop a “Miracle Mile Complex” on a 428 tract he owns nine tenths of a mile west of Rockcastle River.
The proposed development will be divided into two parcels: Phase One, 300 acres on the north side of Ky. 80, and Phase two, 125 acres on the south side, (intended for future expansion). Each tract contains 2,000 feet of Ky. 80 frontage. Both parcels are centrally located, 19 miles from the heart of Somerset and 13 miles to London’s I-75 interchange, Del Spina pointed out.
A mile of roadways will circle though 1 million square feet of commercial-retail buildings, Del Spina said. The remaining 200-acres behind the center will house a multitude of amenities planned to entice the public to visit what is intended to provide an altogether different shopping experience. Educational guided tours of attractions within the Daniel Boone National Forest will be incorporated in the master plan.
An outdoor, 25-acre amphitheater area will offer special entertainment events throughout four seasons, Del Spina said. Heavy emphasis on Somernites Cruise, festivals, arts and craft shows, Christmas Wonderland, New Year’s extravaganzas, Easter hunts, traditional Thanksgiving events and laser light Fourth of July shows will surely attract and overbook onsite hotel/motel and restaurant accommodations, Del Spina suggested.
Objectives of Miracle Mile Complex are to design and construct the 300-acre parcel into a major regional complex to attract the 4.75 million people who annually visit and play on Lake Cumberland, as well as potential tourists coming into the area, Del Spina said. He projects a three-year development period for Miracle Mile Complex.
A project of this caliber is not new to developers Anthony and Fran Del Spina. They have recently completed Lake Cumberland Resort, a 10-mile gated lake community in Pulaski County with a taxable value of $50 million and have generated tax revenues of $17 million since its inception, Del Spina said.
The Del Spinas funded an Economic Impact Study, prepared by independent engineering firm QK4 and Colson Consultants, on feasibility of Miracle Mile Complex. The completed study includes projections of population growth, income per capita, employment opportunities, tourism statistics, employee pay scales, traffic counts in the 13-mile distance to the complex from I-75 and the 19-mile distant from Somerset. The conclusion was a ready market, in all seasons that would attract retailers and lodging companies to join the project, Del Spina contends.
Del Spina said development of I-66 or improving Ky. 80 to interstate standards would be a boost but are not keys to Miracle Mile Complex. If the Transportation Cabinet commits to providing proper access to eliminate traffic congestion, Del Spina said he immediately will put $5 million in escrow to assure development of the northern side of the project.
“We have attended a meeting with members of Congressman Hal Rogers staff, the State Tourism Division, and recently with the Governor’s chief of staff. If state funding can be appropriated, this project would become a reality and 428-acres of farmland could become one of Kentucky’s premiere landmark projects,” said Del Spina.
“An attraction of this caliber will enhance huge tax revenues, thousands of job opportunities to justify state and county expenses to provide water, sewer lines to the project, off ramps from Ky. 80 into the project to eliminate traffic congestion and an overpass to provide access in both directions.
“No stone has been left unturned. Starting date begins with state formal agreement,” Del Spina promised. Announcement of the proposed development will be made statewide later this week, Del Spina said.