The name change for Black Creek Mountain is very smart for marketing purposes. The only confusing part is explaining to someone I live in the valley of a neighborhood called Black Creek Mountain. The glorious part is that Mount Aetna stands tall and apparent waiting to be scaled. (That is another story or two that is still being written). Back to my story.
In 1999, Sue Shaw and Greg Shaw introduced my parents to Cummings Cove. Jim Chapin, the developer, was looking for marketing and sales support. Support in the way of commitment. My parents, Ben and Karen Kelly, asked me to go to a meeting off Cummings Road to meet with Jim Chapin. Jim explained his vision and I saw the potential success of the project immediately because of the the age old axiom of real estate, Location, Location, Location. Development in Hamilton County, TN was primarily North towards Soddy Daisy, and East, towards East Brainerd and Ooltewah. Commute times to these corners of Hamilton County, TN were approaching 30-55 minutes in rush hour. This neighborhood was less than 10 minutes from downtown and had an interstate (I-24) and U.S. Highway 41 to get you there. The challenge was to educate folks about the driving time and that Lookout Valley was not only a fun place to play, but a wonderful place to call home.
Jim Chapin, Cummings Cove developer, is a gifted man. He has a great vision for what a neighborhood space will become, a razor sharp numbers brain and he wisely listened to other developers who had pulled off other successful projects. I had cut my teeth on retail home sales, but had to quickly learn how to focus only on new construction. I traveled to Raleigh, NC, and Orlando, FL, with others to meet with New Home Marketing and Sales organizations. I joined the Builder Marketing Society and read the bible for new home sales “New Home Marketing” by Dave Stone. Building a team that could market and sell this golf course community was truly intense and fun.
I truly think that one aspect of the neighborhood’s success was Jim Chapin’s core understanding of marketing. He grew up in the family that built and stewarded Rock City Gardens. Rock City is an icon of the community that had a history along side Judge Will Cummings and the building of Highway 41 (If you are a child of the 70s and know Rambling Man lyrics) or Cumming’s Highway (as locals know it). Judge Will Cummings was a colorful man that literally helped pave the way for traveller’s to visit Famous Rock City. I met Jim on the porch where (it is speculated that the concept of TVA was born on the same porch) Franklin Roosevelt visited with Will Cummings.
This was the start of my journey selling Cummings Cove, “Chattanooga’s Premier Golf Course Community”. The first sales office was the old Will Cummings home place. My family got involved as Mary Dee, my wife, helped decorate the Cummings home place for Christmas, and cooked for the builder team.
1999, the year of Y2K and the dawn of a new century. A dawn of a new neighborhood that did change Lookout Valley and provided a home for my family for the last 12 years.
Cummings Cove fountain becomes Black Creek Mountain, and for the story to continue, I am glad it did. For a brief view of what the neighborhood is like, check out this short 2 minute video.