Tryon Town Council, department heads visit TIEC

Published 10:45 pm Thursday, January 29, 2015


by Leah Justice

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox


Tryon Town Council members and department heads joined Polk County and Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) employees on Wednesday, Jan. 28 to tour the facility.

Polk County Planner Cathy Ruth led the tour, updating Tryon officials of the center’s progress and construction plans in the near future.

From Tryon, commissioners George Baker, Bill Ingham, Happy McLeod and Roy Miller attended, along with Tryon Mayor Jim Wright, Tryon Town Manager Joey Davis, Tryon Police Chief Jeff Arrowood and Tryon Town Clerk Susan Bell.

With the county were Ruth, Polk County Manager Marche Pittman and administrative assistant Angé High.

Ruth explained TIEC’s plans for shows beginning this April with two hotels planned; one large resort and another to house employees. The resort will include a 150-room luxury hotel.

Officials toured several areas of the equestrian center, located off Pea Ridge Road, including a covered riding arena, RV park, barns, arenas and cabins.

The RV park currently has 72 sites and will add another 61 by April.

The facility plans a resort and hotel in 2016 as well as another smaller hotel to house employees. Ruth spoke of construction that has been completed so far and plans for the near future as well as economic opportunities the equestrian center has created for the Polk County area.

She said the county has adjusted its regulations to allow for vacation rentals to house the expected visitors to the area and the towns may want to consider making similar provisions for the growth as well.

Ruth said for every horse, there are four people who will come to the center.

When the spring shows begin, the area expects 4,000 visitors to TIEC and to the Polk County area.

Tryon Equestrian Partners managing partner Mark Bellisimo announced last June plans for Tryon Resort and announced that Sheila C. Johnson’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts will manage the resort, hotel and golf operations.

TIEC consists of 1,400 acres and began construction in January 2014. Equestrian events at TIEC began last summer.

Once complete, TIEC will include up to 10 riding arenas, including one with a stadium that will seat 6,000 people, stalls to house 1,000 horses, viewing decks and a large covered riding facility. TIEC also has a log cabin village, with new 2,600 square foot, three bedroom vacation rental cabins. The RV park has motorhome hooks ups with water, sewer, electric and cable TV services.

The Tryon Complex, once complete, will include a health club, game room, kid’s camp, sports bar, children’s playground, tennis courts, mountain bike park, climbing walls, basketball court and a large pool.

A carousel for children was completed last year near the arenas.