Local News

Gossip Spreads In Roanoke Rapids As Entertainment District Groundbreaking Approaches

Posted October 13, 2005 5:37 a.m. EDT

— A truck stop on I-95 is fueling some of the hottest gossip in Roanoke Rapids.

Rumor has it that country music star Dolly Parton bought the property and plans to turn it into a hotel.

"We hear that Dolly Parton was in town eating dinner at a restaurant, or other country music stars doing this and that," said Mike Scott, who owns the truck stop.

But Scott said the rumor was just that -- a rumor.

"Oh, we hear everything," he said.

In an exercise gym Thursday, the buzz was about singer Alan Jackson. Word has it he bought a house at Lake Gaston.

Residents said that was just another rumor.

"When I went to the Alan Jackson concert this summer, he didn't mention it there," Lake Gaston resident Pat Carroll said.

Scott said all the talk proves that excitement is building for the Roanoke Rapids entertainment district, which will be built off of I-95. The project will bring the country music world to the small town.

Construction on the project will begin in less than a month. Parton will headline the entertainment for the district's groundbreaking on Nov. 11. Her brother, Randy, will anchor the district with a theatre.

"I'm 99.99 percent sure it'll happen," Brenda Blackburn, of the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce, said. "That is not a rumor. Lots of other rumors, but we are going have a great entertainment district."