STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — The Stone Mountain Memorial Association met Monday afternoon to discuss potential changes as they try to make Stone Mountain Park more "palatable" to financial investors.
They decided to adopt four new resolutions in an effort to tell a more complete story of its history. The park, which is known for its large rock carvings of Confederate leaders, has faced continuous scrutiny over the years due to the history of the park - and the loss has been financially noticeable for the organization.
According to the park's CEO Bill Stephen, Stone Mountain Park lost $27 million between 2019 and 2020. This created a 56% drop in revenue that "is not sustainable." Stephen's report also announced that Marriot is leaving the park in 2022. The Marriott is the park's only hotel.
“All interested potential vendor/partner replacements indicate they will NOT bid on the RFP without the State of Georgia dealing with issues revolving around the Confederacy,” the report also stated.
One of the resolutions adopted Monday would create a museum exhibit inside Memorial Hall at the front of the mountain to tell the history of the Stone Mountain carving, "warts and all," and the land's history of hosting Ku Klux Klan rallies while privately owned until 1958.
The park's association will also adopt a new logo; the current one uses the controversial stone carving image.
Confederate flags currently stand near the bottom of the walk-up trail. The association said while the Confederate flag plaza can't be removed because of the state law protecting monuments, it will be relocated to where there is less foot traffic.
The association also plans to have a bridge at the park that was built by Washington W. King, a prominent African American bridge builder, designated as a federal historic place.
Among the calls for drastic changes to Stone Mountain Park on Monday were also calls for it to stay the same. Some also don't want to see monuments, like the Confederate flag plaza, moved.
There is no timeline for any further changes. The streets and buildings currently named for Confederate leaders could also be changed in the future.
Stone Mountain Park is home to the largest monument to America's Civil War Confederacy, according to Reuters. The rock depicts three Confederate leaders: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson.