Kingsport has a legacy of business and commerce that dates to the early 19th century when the location was a key shipping port for traders navigating the Holston River. Fast forward 100 years to 1917, and the city is re-chartered using a “Garden City” urban design – soon to become headquarters for a future FORTUNE 500 company, then called Tennessee Eastman Corporation.
Today, Kingsport is recognized as the economic and geographic center of the Tri-Cities (which includes Sullivan County, TN, Johnson City, TN, and Bristol, TN/VA.), and Eastman is one of the largest private employers in the state.
Kingsport is also known for its cultural and recreational events. Named a Top-20 July Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, the city’s nine-day Fun Fest is a signature occasion, featuring more than 100 activities and events with an annual attendance of 180,000.
Kingsport also harbors many historical hot spots, including Exchange Place, a living history farm of the early 1800s, and The Netherland Inn, the only registered historical site in the nation that was once both a stage stop and a boatyard.
A twin city located on the Tennessee/Virginia border, Bristol is proudly known as “Home of the World's Fastest Half-Mile” and the “Birthplace of Country Music.”
Bristol’s message, “A Good Place to Live," is showcased on Bristol’s famous sign spanning State Street, which serves as the city’s dividing line between Tennessee and Virginia. Bristol is home to hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. A majority of those visitors are race fans. Twice a year, more than 160,000 people descend on Bristol to watch NASCAR action on the sport's most popular track, Bristol Motor Speedway.
The annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, a three-day music festival held in the city’s historic downtown, pays homage to the Twin City’s role in the popularity of country and bluegrass music. The event attracts more than 30,000 people from across the globe each year.
Downtown Bristol continues to experience a renaissance, with expansion and renovation projects to existing buildings for additional retail, office space and loft living. These developments, coupled with a cutting-edge infrastructure that attracts new companies and allows existing companies to grow, will keep Bristol moving forward.
A rural community known for its scenic surroundings, Bluff City experienced several name changes before incorporating under its current name on July 1, 1887. This charming small town is centrally located to the Tri-Cities (which includes Sullivan County, TN, Johnson City, TN, Kingsport, TN, and Bristol, TN/VA), making it an ideal location for development.
The beauty of the town’s countryside is surpassed only by the potential it offers to new business and industry.
Established in 1780, Sullivan County was one of the earliest settled areas in Tennessee. Sullivan County developed as a rich agricultural area with an economy augmented with industries such as iron works, powder mills, tanneries, gristmills, and sawmills in the early nineteenth century. Sullivan County is home to Kingsport and Bristol, two of the three “Tri-Cities” of Upper East Tennessee.
One of the oldest Tennessee counties, Hawkins County was first established on January 6, 1787. The principal sources of agriculture income are beef cattle and burley tobacco. There are over twelve thousand industrial jobs in the county. The Hawkins County school system supports twelve elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, and an enrichment center. Twelve colleges and universities lie within a seventy-five-mile radius of the county.
Low Natural Disaster Risk
- According to usa.com, Sullivan County has a 34.60 Tornado Index which is much lower than the US average of 136.45 and Tennessee’s average of 175.35
- According to usa.com, Sullivan County has a 0.16 Earthquake Index compared to a US average of 1.81.