Since late spring, this Smoky Mountain News series on economic development has attempted to define the landscape in which Haywood County’s economy operates.
Like bubbles bobbing atop bathwater, the sectors of Haywood County’s economy are separate but often attached to each other in ways not always readily seen. Although all the bubbles ebb and swell independently of each other, they also rise and fall with the level of bathwater in the tub.
Since late April, The Smoky Mountain News series on economic development has focused on the financial health of Haywood County, the mechanisms by which state, local and national governments encourage economic development and the various sectors that make up the county’s economy.
Inside a nondescript miniature warehouse off Carolina Boulevard, Drew Singleton hovers about an imposing, intimidating metalworking machine; adjusting a knob here, spinning a wheel there, tweaking an armature and then stopping to assess the situation, he pauses and looks up to re-check his settings.
The climate and topography of Haywood County make it a place that people want to live.
Among the various organizations involved in economic development, one often finds a Chamber of Commerce and some development organization.
If all goes well, Maggie Valley will soon be known as a place where some of the finest spirits in the world are crafted.
CeCe Hipps is one of the very few people in North Carolina who can say that she was at the epicenter of the two most significant postwar economic expansions in the state.
A new business or a new family moving to town isn’t solely due to the luck of the draw.
Likewise, a shuttered mill or dilapidated neighborhood isn’t solely due to being dealt a bad hand.
A plan to turn Waynesville’s old town hall into a visitor center and the headquarters for a suite of tourism, commerce and business development agencies appears to be dead.