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Weekend edition September 22, 2023 | Shannon Smith

News Roundup | New jobs, new thrift store, and lots of pumpkins

Here’s your weekly roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region.

New joint venture with DeRoyal establishes headquarters in Powell

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter, and DePre LLC officials announced on September 22 that a joint venture comprised of DeRoyal Industries Inc., Premier Inc., and 34 Premier member health systems will establish a healthcare products manufacturing facility in Powell.

Named DePre, the joint venture will invest $10.3 million and create 26 new jobs at the company’s headquarters and manufacturing plant on West Beaver Creek Road. At the facility, the company will manufacture medical isolation gowns, bringing the production of this product from overseas to the U.S. to support more than 4,350 hospitals in Premier’s customer portfolio, as well as other healthcare providers nationwide.

To support the venture long term, health system co-investors signed multi-year commitments to purchase a portion of the isolation gowns used each year from DePre. Upon completion, DePre’s facility will also utilize state-of-the-art automation to produce two gowns per second.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival now underway

A longstanding tradition for many, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana greets guests with an amazing autumn atmosphere, thanks to stunning park décor and the surrounding beauty of the mountainsides draped in vibrant fall colors.

During the day, guests can experience immersive live music, rich harvest-themed culinary creations, and picture-perfect photo ops with more than 12,000 pumpkins throughout the park. By night, the pumpkins come to life thanks to Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health. A family favorite since its inception, the event grows again this year with a “bee-utiful” new display located in Craftsman’s Valley.

Also new this year, guests will find thousands of vibrant, shimmering leaves swaying in the breeze along Showstreet. Harvest Sky serves as a striking photo backdrop as soon as people step into the park. The Harvest Festival runs through October 30.

KARM Christmas Store opens for the season

It’s barely fall, but in one Knoxville store, it’s always Christmas.

KARM’s Christmas Store is now open at 5425 Clinton Highway. This seasonal store was located in the Bearden area for the last two years, but that location is now a permanent KARM store.

The Christmas-only store features all thrifted Christmas items including decor, clothing, ornaments, Christmas trees, wrapping supplies, gifts, and more. It’s open Monday through Saturday next to the Knoxville Expo Center on Clinton Highway in North Knoxville. Proceeds benefit Knox Area Rescue Mission.

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