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Johnny Morris to build lodge overlooking sinkhole

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When a massive sinkhole emerged at Top of the Rock in 2015, Johnny Morris immediately set out to explore it. Now, he’s unveiled plans to capitalize on the discovery of a cave system he’s dubbed, “The Cathedral of Nature.”

Adjacent to the sinkhole that opens to the cave system, Morris is developing Top of the Rock Lodge. Construction is slated to start this summer for the more than 100-room resort as part of Morris’ Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, according to a news release.

“Our guests consistently tell us visiting Top of the Rock is one the best parts of their Big Cedar Lodge experience,” Morris said in the release. “Whether you want to play world-class golf, discover the rich history of the Ozarks or just enjoy bonding time with beloved friends and family in a beautiful setting, Top of the Rock Lodge will be the ultimate destination for anyone looking to escape life’s pressures and slow down to absorb nature’s true wonders.”

Guests will have access to The Cathedral of Nature, which resort officials say has 200-foot canyons and limestone formations. Top of the Rock Lodge will feature a 30-foot window that opens onto a cantilevered perch, allowing guests to view the cave system from above. Plans also call for an infinity pool overlooking the system.

Spokesman Jack Wlezien said the cave system is not currently open to the public, but it could become available for that purpose in the future.

“Johnny continues to excavate it in the hopes of finding a cave connection,” Wlezien said via email.

He declined to disclose further details, though the release indicated grand opening dates and additional details will be announced in the coming months. The estimated cost of the lodge was not provided. 

In addition to the lodge, crews plan to build a bridge connecting the resort to Big Cedar’s other attractions, including golf courses.

Since the discovery of the cave system, excavators have removed 70,000 truckloads of material to reveal formations 200 feet below the surface, according to the release

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Connie Gourley

Very Interesting and another example of the enterprise talents of Johnny Morris and his visionary skills/business mind to take which many people would have seen as devastating development to an golden opportunity to enhance the business and increase the value of the golf course and TOP OF THE ROCK......THANK YOU JOHNNY MORRIS AND YOUR TEAM!!! The visiting people will appreciate and enjoy. Connie Gourley

Thursday, April 19
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