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ATLANTA-Stone Mountain Park will undergo major development to the tune of $20 million in 2001. The park is best known for the oversized three-figure carving, honoring the Confederacy, on the face of the granite mountain. The first step in the development plan was taken today in a ground-breaking for a $6 million expansion of the Marriott Evergreen Hotel and Conference Resort.

The project will add 87 guest rooms with business-traveler amenities and the latest high-speed Internet access and dataports. Expected to be completed by the end of 2001, the expansion will bring the total number of rooms to 336. The center has 35 meeting rooms and two golf courses.

Marriott has managed the conference hotel and center since 1998 in a partnership with Silver Dollar City of Branson, MO. Silver Dollar has managed the park for the last three years.

The popular 3,200-acre Stone Mountain Park is 16 miles from Atlanta and has a number of attractions, including a cable car to the top of the mountain, restored plantation buildings, nature trails and a train around the monadnock. Silver Dollar City’s plans to develop theme park attractions in the park is a controversial local issue.

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