Matthew Cross: Founding Partner and CEO, OE Experiences
Matthew Cross, founding partner and CEO of OE Experiences, a consulting and development company, is a visionary leader.
“OE stands for the Overview Effect, which is an experience astronauts report when they see earth from space,” says Cross. “Astronauts see our small and beautiful planet—and they are overcome by the fragility of planet Earth. What if we at OE Experiences could fund and support attractions that help people appreciate the majesty of space and nature and Earth?”
OE Experiences’ first project is developing 200 acres at I-40’s Exit 407 in Sevierville in partnership with Kituwah, the business development arm of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. “Sevier County is a tourism market that hosts twelve million people every year,” says Cross.
“The property is perfectly positioned between the interstate and the tourism corridor. We started with two hundred raw acres with over a million cubic yards that we needed to move.”
“We are going to create high-quality best-in-class themed entertainment,” says Cross.
“Within ten years I can see Sevier County having twenty million annual visitors.
Sixty thousand cars drive by the property every day! First, we are looking at an unrivaled travel and convenience center that lets people prepare for the rest of their trip: They can get gas, purchase what they need for camping or their cabin, buy fun things for children, and so on. We will then add unique food areas, and visually stimulating attractions and entertainment concepts. Eventually we will add a hotel. We want to offer innovative, fun, premium experiences.”
Cross has recent experience in helping to create extraordinary projects.
“I met Tom Boyd in the winter of 2018.He showed me his vision, and as a huge fantasy fan the concept resonated with me as the perfect family retreat.
After a few more meetings, I joined Tom’s team.” Cross spent a year as CEO of Ancient Lore Village at Boyd Hollow, the fantasy-themed event venue now in South Knoxville. “We brought in a creative team and technology partners, and we started talking to institutional investors, including the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.
With Ancient Lore Village’s vision set and the project moving forward, I left in January 2020 to pursue my own vision, and founded OE Experiences two months later.
What of the future for OE Experiences?
“There’s a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit in Sevier County,” says Cross. “We are managing a very large project. Sevier County will always be very important to our company—but we are really bullish on other regional markets too—and even international markets. China is developing huge immersive projects. Japan is opening innovative attractions. The Overview Effect is a way of viewing the world, and OE will embrace opportunity everywhere.”
Rick Laney, President & CEO of Rick Laney Marketing,
has worked with Cross for years at both Ancient Lore Village and OE Experiences. Rick Laney Marketing has developed logos and all branding, websites, public relations campaigns, digital and traditional advertising campaigns, and full-scale marketing strategies for the companies Cross has managed. Laney says Cross never ceases to amaze with his enthusiastic vision.
“Matthew Cross sees things when he looks at a project or opportunity that other people simply do not see,” Laney said. “He always evaluates things from both a financial standpoint and a creative standpoint – it’s not a common combination. He is a visionary businessman people will be reading about for many years to come.”
For more information about OE Experiences, clink the link below.
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