Maggie cheered when Ghost Town in the Sky reopened this summer, but with only a small portion of the rides and attractions up and running, the real potential of the amusement park to lure hordes of tourists back to the struggling town hasn’t been realized overnight.
After rescuing the shuttered park from foreclosure earlier this year, Ghost Town’s new owner Alaska Presley has been slowly whittling away at a laundry list of projects she hopes to complete before it closes down for the winter and reopens next spring.
It’s noon on a Wednesday and Scott Peterson already has beer on the mind.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is planning a $92-million adventure park, which is expected to attract families to Cherokee and open up a new source of revenue for the tribe.
Tribal council last week approved the idea in a 9-to-2 vote.
A task force charged with creating guidelines for a joint Jackson County Tourism Development Authority is still struggling to figure out exactly how everything will work — and the deadline for making recommendations to the county leadership is drawing nearer.
Jackson County has two tourism agencies — one for the county as a whole and one for Cashiers — that oversee room tax money collected from overnight visitors by the lodging industry. Whether to merge the two entities has been a point of contention since last year.
Many counties are seeing an increase in tourism-related spending this year, but most have still not bounced back to their pre-recession numbers.
The only real way for counties to measure how many tourists are stopping in their towns is through its occupancy tax revenues — that is the amount of tax revenue it receives from visitors who stay overnight in a hotel. Though even that can be slightly misleading, since people may take a daytrip somewhere and then return home at night.
From Staff Reports
Patrick Willis is a history buff of the first order, so when he landed a part-time job staffing the front desk at the Canton Area Historical Museum while working on his masters in history from Western Carolina University, it was a perfect fit.
Maggie Valley town leaders plan to relax the town’s strict limits on video sweepstakes machines despite the town planning board’s recommendation to maintain the status quo.
Business in Dillsboro has continued to slow during the past few years, to the point that even the cash cow of video sweepstakes parlors pulled out after a brief run.
A couple of businesses have closed this year, including the Dillsboro Smokehouse Bar-B-Que — continuing a slow but steady exodus of shops in the three years since the tourist railroad once based in Dillsboro moved its operations to Bryson City.
Ghost Town in the Sky opened last Wednesday — sort of.
The once-popular amusement park in Maggie Valley opened its chairlift and a new zipline just in time for the July 4 holiday and is offering rides on both attractions.
A Haywood County Tourism Development Authority board member has resigned from her seat after disagreeing with the rest of the board’s decision to close a couple of its visitors centers.