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Brasstown Valley Resort

LOCATION Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia

TYPE OF OWNERSHIP Owned by State Authority

OPENED April 1995

As Chief Financial Officer, JMS coordinated the financial and legal requirements of the development and management of the 134 room resort hotel. In addition, JMS led the team in establishing all accounting systems, processes, and procedures for a successful opening.


  • 102-room lodge, plus eight four-bedroom cottages
  • 12,800 square-foot conference center
  • Three-meal restaurant
  • Golf grill and Lobby Lounge
  • Indoor/outdoor pool & health club tennis courts
  • 18-hole championship quality golf course Golf and tennis pro shop and Country Store
  • Outdoor pavilion

Situated on 504 acres at the southern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the site for Brasstown Valley was originally purchased by the state of Georgia in the late '80s for an economic development project for job-starved residents of the North Georgia mountains. Recognizing the potential of the scenic mountain area as a tourist destination, the state concluded that tourism was the obvious solution to the valley's economic problems.

After years of unsuccessful attempts to bring the project to fruition, first as a fully private development and then as a public investment with a private lease, the state chose us to contract for development and management of Brasstown Valley Resort. A shared objective was to make the project an environmental model for future developments, both public and private.

The state funded all of the cost of the project with bonds and Federal and State grants, and retained ownership through the North Georgia Mountains Authority, a political subdivision. This $24-million, 134-room lodge and cottage resort, featuring the only conference center in the Georgia mountains, was the first public/private venture in the hospitality industry for the state of Georgia.

Midway into construction, we met an unusual challenge. During the golf course excavation, the valley was found to contain native American artifacts dating back to the tenth century buried in the soil. Fortunately, a budget had been established for archeological mitigation. Collaboration with a host of cultural and natural resource organizations ensured the proper preservation of these relics by enforcing the highest levels of archeological sensitivity.

Through our leadership, Brasstown Valley today is heralded as a model for future public/private development in the state. Hundreds of jobs have been created, and there has been a notable spur in economic development throughout the area.