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Running Rock Eco Resort Breaks Ground: A Net Zero Resort is Coming to the Smoky Mountains


GATLINBURG, TENN.—Running Rock Eco Resort, now under construction, will soon be a groundbreaking net-zero, eco-friendly, and nature-focused resort nestled in the Smoky Mountains. From its own mountaintop on a 260 acre property overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the resort offers more than a mile of mountaintop views, a mile long meandering stream, and a stunning 40-foot cascade. Opening in 2025, it promises an unmatched and sustainable experience of nature’s beauty tucked away among the best of the southern Appalachians.

Running Rock Eco Resort is intentionally devoted to sustainability and reverence for its pristine tapestry of untouched nature. The owners, Jake and Amanda Comstock, are persistent in upholding their commitment so that 85 percent or more of the property will remain in green space. Like very few places left on the planet, the project will conserve the land’s unique biodiversity, both flora and fauna.

Jake and Amanda, inspired by their cherished local roots, aim to establish a sanctuary away from the mainstream tourism nearby. The cottages and amenities will echo local charm, reminiscent of historic communities like Elkmont and nearby Emert’s Cove. By design, there will be fewer cottages than has become standard in one of the most popular destinations in the world. Hiking trails, forest management, and intentional habitat restoration along with unparalleled views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park skyline will offer a natural escape.

Driven by their passion for nature, the Comstocks are devoted to offering a unique experience and conservation, sustainability, and education. Their vision extends beyond the resort to promoting mindfulness and appreciation for God’s creation. “We hope travelers leave with more than simply a great trip to the Smokies, taking home a renewed understanding of the world around us and our place in it,” shares Jake Comstock.

This project’s net-zero commitment will pioneer environmental responsibility, hospitality, and sustainable travel, like only a few others. Cutting-edge green technologies, the use of renewable energy, and local sourcing minimize their ecological footprint. A new standard is being set. Even though it seems like quite a challenge, the Comstocks are trying to blend a pledge to a greener future with all the luxuries and conveniences we’ve grown to enjoy. Amanda Comstock says, “We are excited to introduce Running Rock Eco Resort and to offer a retreat where guests can enjoy world-class comfort, guilt-free amidst the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains.”