"You just don't think of it as nightlife. It's almost like they are putting at the exit a city within a city," said David Edwards, a Kodak resident.
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. — Development for an entertainment district in Sevier County has kicked off. The district is called "Smoky Gap." It's part of the 407: Gateway to Adventure complex, just off I-40.
Developers say the Smoky Gap will have major entertainment options like international attractions, restaurants and stores. But some neighbors of the area are not welcoming of the change.
David Edwards, a Kodak resident, moved to Sevier County about 20 years ago. The easy access to the interstate and the county's open fields led him and his wife to call Sevier County home.
But now with more development on the way, those open fields have turned to busy highways and construction.
"Absolutely more traffic and now it's going to be traffic even later with the nightlife," Edwards said.
Smokey Gap will soon be Edwards' neighbor. He said the ambitious project does not fit the area.
"I don't believe so," Edwards said. "And I'm not against nightlife or any of that, but I absolutely don't believe so."
The construction of Smoky Gap marks phase one of this multi-million dollar project. This project will also bring in a Buc-ee's Family Travel Center to the area, which is set to open in two months,
Each day more than 20,000 drivers pass through this side of the intersection. The Tennessee Department of Transportation estimates the opening of Buc-ee's will add 15,000 more cars.
Edwards said even in Sevier County's slow season, the area will be packed.
"We've just digested that the Buc-ee's is coming with the traffic and we were just getting used to all of that, and it just seems like too much in one time," he said.
For Edwards, Kodak is a town for the community, people and East Tennessee's open fields.
"It's very family oriented, it's rural and it's a small little town within Sevier County that's more country-like," he said. "You just don't think of it as nightlife. It's almost like they are putting at the exit a city within a city," he said.
The entertainment district is set to open by 2025.