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Vicki Gardner

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, VA – The Smith Mountain Lake Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing a multi-purpose venue to the region for education, events and entertainment, announced today it will not be located in the former Grand Home Furnishings Building at Westlake Corner.

“Just a week after releasing interior renderings of how we would have renovated and used the space, we were informed the building has been sold,” said Vicki Gardner, president of the SML Center’s Board of Directors.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed but we always knew this was a possibility because the building was being actively marketed,” she said. “We had made great strides but just weren’t able to raise the funds quickly enough to purchase it.”

Gardner said she spoke earlier this week to the new owner of the 40,000-square-foot building, who confirmed it will become the third location for Rock Outdoors. The North Carolina-based sporting goods retailer sells apparel and gear for fishing, camping, hiking, paddle sports, water sports and other outdoor recreation.

“Our board is pleased that it’s a great fit for the Smith Mountain Lake community,” said Gardner, the former executive director of the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We’re all committed to enhancing the quality of life for our residents and visitors here.”

Gardner said the 12-member board will meet in the upcoming months to regroup and explore different ways the project can move forward. She reiterated that those who made contributions for the express purpose of purchasing the Grand building can opt to have their donation refunded.