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Spirits were high in Dillsboro last week as Steam Engine No. 1702 chugged noisily to a stop on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.

The presence of breathtaking topography, ancient native lore, and centuries of American history makes the Great Smoky Mountains a mystical, mysterious place as ominous and foreboding as it is inviting and encouraging. 

SEE ALSO:
• Filming in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
• Haywood County to filmmakers: We’re ready to rollWe’re ready to roll

These conflicting spirits also make the region a haven for filmmakers, including the cast and crew of the recently released, locally shot feature film “Beacon Point.”

Miles and miles of film have been shot in Haywood County, but it’s not just about national recognition or local prestige — it’s big business, and Haywood County wants a piece of the action.

haywoodAt least one local property owner plans to take advantage of a new law allowing for withdrawal from Waynesville’s Municipal Service District.

fr generalstoreThe pungent aroma of morning dew was still in the air and Kelly Sutton had just opened the Big Creek Country Store for the day when the cowbell mounted on the outside of the screen door issued an assertive and punctual clank.

coverIf a rising tide lifts all boats, it only makes sense for organizations with common goals to work together, but cooperation hasn’t always come so easy for the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.  

SEE ALSO:
• Three seats open on Maggie Chamber board
• The value of a Maggie chamber membership

Though both entities work toward the ultimate goal of promoting local tourism, arguments have surfaced throughout the years over funding and duplicating services. 

fr chamber officeAs three members of the Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors rotate off the board next month, the business community has another opportunity to vote in new leadership.

fr chamber membershipBusinesses in the valley have varying views on whether being a member of the Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is worth the annual dues, but Chamber Chairman Joe Moody said it’s a great value for the many benefits provided to the chamber’s 180 members.

haywoodOn July 11, Dave Angel’s plan to operate a 10,000 square-foot whiskey distillery on 1.7 acres at 3732 Soco Road in the heart of Maggie Valley got a boost from the Town Board and the Maggie Valley Sanitary District.

fr venueNearly five years ago, Taylor and Preston Gregg stood on top of Chestnut Ridge and recited their wedding vows.

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