New Plans for Former Terrora Visitors Center Discussed in Tallulah Falls


The Tallulah Falls Downtown Development Authority Tuesday night got its first look at plans for the former Terrora Visitors Center building on Highway 441 at the bridge.

The building that most recently served as Georgia Heritage Center for the Arts will become the home of Tallulah Adventures.

Bill Turk and his family are currently working to renovate and revitalize the property for use as a hub for multiple business enterprises, including an adventure shop, retail business, and cafe.

0:26 {TURK: “I think that we’ll be open in April of 2022, and a lot of that depends on many of the struggles we’re having just getting the right contractor and getting it done with the weather – and also finding the right business partners. We’ve got to work and find out who’s the right fit as a retail partner and cafe partner. Then we’ve got to find our guides and put all that together, so that will take some time. Everything won’t happen at once. This will be a business-building timeline.”}

Turk says the facility will capitalize on the more than 600,000 people who visit Tallulah Gorge State Park each year, the 60,000 residents of Habersham and Rabun counties, and the more than 14,000 vehicles that pass the property daily.

Tallulah Adventures LLC is seeking qualified local partners to collaborate by operating the retail store, cafe, guide services, and event sales/coordination enterprises.

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Municipal elections will be held on Tuesday, November 2, and WCHM News will be bringing you ongoing coverage of those seeking to serve in Habersham County’s towns and cities.

Former two-term City Councilman Jerry Harkness is one of the candidates who has qualified to run for mayor of Demorest.

0:47 {HARKNESS: “It was a need to feel like I needed to serve my community. Some of the issues that I worked on when I was city council I would like to continue to work on. I would like to focus on the water and sewer infrastructure, making sure that we have sewer lines throughout the county, not just our municipality. As many people know, our water lines cover a vast majority of the county now. I’d like to focus on park restoration. I’d like to focus on the city streets that are deteriorating, our sidewalks that are in need of repair. I’d like to focus on our public safety, making sure any of our residents that need help they have help immediately. I’d like to focus on all of our meetings being open-door, all of our records being easily accessible, and making sure that if somebody in our community has an issue they’ll be heard quickly.”}

Former Demorest Fire Chief Ken Ranalli is the only qualified candidate for mayor. Incumbent Mayor Rick Austin chose not to seek re-election.

White County Sheriff’s Office is charging two New York men with a variation of the grandparent scam.

23-year-old Brandon Massey and 28-year-old Jamal Davis, both of Queens, New York, are facing charges of exploitation of the elderly and theft by deception in White County, both felonies.

Massey and Davis both are currently lodged in the Hall County Detention Center on similar charges there.

A scam targeting Habersham Electric Membership Corporation members has resurfaced.

Habersham EMC officials say some members have received calls threatening to turn off their power unless they pay immediately over the phone with the caller.

HEMC employees will never call members to take a payment by phone.

Any HEMC member who receives such a call should hang up and report the call to local law enforcement.

Habersham EMC members may monitor their accounts through the SmartHub mobile app, through the online portal, or by calling HEMC directly at (706) 754-2114.