New contract set for Grand Rod Run

Organizers to use Grand Resort Convention Center; hotel will be closed
Feb. 09, 2013 @ 12:09 AM

The promoters of the Grand Rod Run inked a contract this week with the new owners of the Grand Resort Hotel, guaranteeing this spring’s event will still take place and still be based at the convention center and hotel grounds, although they expect the hotel itself to be closed at the time.

Ronnie Cooper confirmed his organization has signed the new contract and is letting Rod Run participants know they can make plans for the spring event, set for April 19-21. The runs are among the largest of the classic cars shows that come to Pigeon Forge, regularly attracting thousands of visitors.

“It’ll be the same old thing except they’ll need a different place to stay,” Cooper said.

The new owners, Kiwishe-Stoller Acquisitions, LLP, are planning to renovate the hotel and hope to start on that process at the time of the Spring Rod Run and have it reopened by the time of the fall event, Cooper said.

For the spring run, Cooper has leased the parking lot and the convention center, which will still be open. While the rod run is based there, classic car enthusiasts generally display cars along the Parkway as well and visitors drive along the road to view them.

Cooper said they were happy to be working with the new ownership.

“Everybody’s really enthused,” he said.

Peter Medlyn, a spokesperson for Kiwishe-Stoller, said they aren’t ready yet to comment on their plans for the new hotel, but confirmed they’ve entered a new contract with the Coopers.

“Were delighted to continue the relationship with the Rod Run,” he said.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com