Newsletter: PAM Studios already bringing spotlight to Rome. New event venues: Country or city? Peaks & Valleys: Remembering a community friend; don’t mess with Summerville Park.

Newsletter: PAM Studios already bringing spotlight to Rome. New event venues: Country or city? Peaks & Valleys: Remembering a community friend; don’t mess with Summerville Park.


Playa Azul Media Studios on Broad Street already is making a substanial buzz. 11 Alive did an update on what Maria Guerra-Stoll has built (above video) and so did the Atlanta Business Chronicle .. also check this weekend’s Rome News-Tribune Business section. Add to the list the Georgia Film Industry Resource.

In a state, and community, where film is thriving, PAM Studios picked the right time to open — and the perfect market to target.

Perhaps most impactful is what the Chronicle had to say about the operation.

” As an architect for Tyler Perry StudiosMaria Guerra-Stoll saw how that studio amplified Black voices. She wants to do the same for the Hispanic community. Guerra-Stoll, CEO of Playa Azul Media (PAM) Studios, plans to bring hundreds of jobs to Rome, located in North Georgia among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The studio will also provide opportunities to tell stories focusing in Hispanic culture and lifestyle by Hispanic directors and writers, Guerra-Stoll said.”

The Rome Floyd Chamber hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 21 at the 9,020-square-foot facility at 510 Broad St.; look for satellite studios to follow. Said Thomas Kislat, the chamber’s Membership and Entrepreneurial Development director, in one of the interviews: “Rome PAM Studios and its CEO Maria Guerra-Stoll will be instrumental for the continued growth of film productions in our county and state.”

That’s a profound statement, especially when you look at the impact of “visiting” studios and production crews of late: “Stranger Things,” “Marvel’s Black Widow,” “The Mule” with Clint Eastwood, the “Spirit Halloween” shot at the former Toys R Us in Armuchee and the independents, including the political thriller  “Full Ride” recently filmed at Charles Craton’s Horseleg Creek home.

The difference is that PAM will be anchoring its efforts from studios in downtown Rome. There’s a definitive economic impact on the way, on top of more than $450,000 in early renovations to the Broad Street studio.


NEW VENUES X TWO: Country and city.

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We’re all getting so many “save the dates” of late, especially as the pandemic eases. That pent-up demand is being met by several new event venues now open for spring and summer bookings. The two newest ones include:

Willow Springs Farm has opened off Ga. 140 in the Shannon area, operated by Kim and Chyanne Russell as well as business partner Wendall Bradley. The Russell family reports that are operating at “full capacity” with spring and summer openings. The farm is off Hiram Road and Ga. 140 west of Ga. 53. It offers a venue with “a woodsy, rustic, bohemian vibe with a scenic view of Rutledge Lake. The arbor and 30 wooden pews are located directly in front of the lake. The reception area is a rustic pole barn with 33 wooden spool tables and 200 white chairs available for your guest. The barn is also equipped with handmade unique accents such as a wooden mirror, party table and a butcher block bar. For more.

Downtown Rome adds Six-O-Eight, accommodating up to 100 people: Now open at 608 Broad St. behind the revamped Canoe House, Six-O-Eight already is getting use already as a prom dinner setting, baby showers and other events. It features room for up to 100 people, tables and chairs, prep area and an outdoor deck with a gas firepit.


PEAKS & VALLEYS: The highs and lows of Northwest Georgia:

Peak to the life and career of Dr. Larry Atwell: Many others are saying it better than we ever could in Facebook posts and other notes. Larry was widely respected and a force for his school system, family and church. Our special memory was Easter 2003, when our 6:30 a.m. wake-up call was from Larry, upset by the subject of our newspaper column that day. Ever the educator, we learned from him just how passionate he was about the school system. Neither gave ground in this case and we told him to expect a call to him the following Christmas. We’d go on to make amends, and become friends, before that next next holiday. He was dedicated in supporting what he believed in and our community grew because of his determination.

Valley to the legislative forum no shows: With all the issues before our community today, we’re grateful for any opportunity to hear local candidates talk about make us a better place to live. And to see such a chance — the forum set for two legislative seats — vanish because of a trumped up charge out of the Coosa High racial tensions was a mistake.The congressional forum — featuring three Democrats, five of six Republicans and a Libertarian sans incumbent — was among the best we’ve seen in 20 years of local politics. The legislative forum was the next night, the same place, the same organizers. That’s a bad look not only for the Floyd County Republican Party but the six candidates who buckled under to it.

Penny Evans-Plants of Summerville Park at Monday’s City Commission meeting

.Peak to the residents of Summerville Park: As many celebrate progress after more than a decade at the former regional hospital site, one group raised concerns about a proposed zoning change to allow heavy industrial there. Among that group were members of the Summerville Park community. You may recall their storied fight to prevent a hotel planned near the intersection of Charlton Street and Martha Berry. Some fast work by then-Mayor Bill Collins and Eric McDowell found a plan B we know today at the Bill Collins Village senior housing community. Now they’re concerned about the hospital site and the City Commission has taken notice. A vote was called and seconded to approve the rezoning — but agani, Collins — a park resident — spoke up as did other commissioners. It was pulled from consideration at that point. Here’s hoping there’s another Plan B that both benefits West Rome and preserves the qualify of life for Summerville Park residents.

Valley to the political “survey” calls: We’re continually amazed the crackdown on spam calls somehow left out political ploys (OK, no we’re not). But we still ask that amid all this election and voter reform conjured up after the results of the November 2020 and January 2021 elections, why did junk calls from “Georgians for Jobs” and other fake groups escape any mention? Perhaps it is easier to block would-be voters than it is unsolicited calls.

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