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Tennessee State Parks

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Two years after a 2017 fatal flash flood at Cummins Falls State Park, officials still have not implemented an early warning system that they announced at the time measuring water levels in nearby rivers.

Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

Gov. Bill Haslam's administration is pulling the plug on one of its most high-profile outsourcing efforts.

After years of study and false starts, officials say they'll no longer try to turn the popular Inn at Fall Creek Falls over to a private operator. Instead, the Haslam administration plans to rebuild the hotel — part of a $100 million overhaul of state park facilities — and leave the Inn at Fall Creek Fall's fate to the next administration.

"It just felt like the appropriate thing to say, 'Let's get this built. Let's get it built the right way,' " Haslam told reporters Thursday. "And then we'll figure out who the right person to run it is."

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Just up the road from the entrance to Fall Creek Falls State Park sits a motel.

"You know, this is not a kind of place that you come (to) if you want a spa treatment," owner Melissa Harmon says deprecatingly.

She and her husband have owned the Way Inn for a decade. It's your 1950s-style motor lodge: A long row of ground-level, drive-up rooms situated behind a diner and convenience store.

TN Photo Services

Gov. Bill Haslam's administration is considering a plan to outsource maintenance of more public buildings, including perhaps state parks, rest areas and university buildings.

The move would go much further than Tennessee's controversial contract with a private firm to manage public office buildings.