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Starship Farragut blasts off?


To boldly go where no ... committee has gone before?

That’s the question Economic Development Committee members asked themselves when they approved a final draft of an economic development strategic plan Wednesday, Jan. 5.

In a discussion on tourism possibilities for Farragut, EDC member Bill Johns made mention of the fact that Capt. James Tiberius Kirk, of “Star Trek” fame, pictured with Science Officer Spock, made his initial foray into deep space on the U.S.S. Farragut.

The starship shares history (in the future, depending on how you look at it) with the Town, both of which were named for Adm. James David Glasgow Farragut, the first admiral in the U.S. Navy, famous for his proclamation, “Damn the torpedoes, go ahead!”

Johns said, “I’m not a Trekkie, but talking to some of my friends who are, Farragut is actually well known in all of the books — that’s where Capt. Kirk’s first assignment was, on the Farragut.


“Crazy enough, there is actually an economic development [aspect]: there are a lot of people who dress up like Klingons, I guess,” Johns said.

He mentioned the “Star Trek” franchise has 30 million television viewers every week, and those viewers and other fans hold conventions around the world. The 50th anniversary of the “Star Trek” franchise will be celebrated in 2016.

Johns said other towns across America have capitalized on their own “future” claims to fame in the “Star Trek” universe.

Riverside, Iowa, declared itself the future birthplace of Capt. Kirk after Kirk claimed he was born in Iowa in a “Star Trek” episode that aired in the late 1960s. Kirk will be born in Riverside March 22, 2228, according to Riverside’s website, www.cityofriversideiowa.com/

On the economic development front, Riverside holds an annual “Star Trek” event each year to commemorate Kirk’s future birth.

“Surprisingly, in this community, it’s their major event each year. People from all over the world come to see it,” Johns said.

“It’s amazing how many people travel for icons, and it’s something to consider here,” he added.

The strategic plan also mentioned other economic development initiatives, ranging from creating low-budget YouTube tourism videos to enacting a business license to identifying business districts within Town limits.

Also on the punch list were creating a “Doing Business in Farragut” guide for prospective business owners, annexing within the Town’s urban growth boundary — which includes Old Concord and areas along Kingston Pike near Lovell Road, inventorying and preserving historic buildings and creating a master calendar of major Farragut events.

The strategic plan was unanimously approved by the EDC for recommendation to Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The Board will have to approve the plan before it can be implemented.

“This encompasses everything we’ve talked about for a year,” Pamela Treacy, Campbell Station Wine & Spirits, said.

Johns also announced his resignation from the EDC, effective at the adjournment of the Jan. 5 meeting.

The committee has plans to reduce its membership to nine people through attrition; it is unlikely Johns will be replaced.

 

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