Every few years, elected officials at the local and county levels of government dribble the ball down the court, passing it back and forth while advancing toward the hoop with the kind of unselfish teamwork that usually results in an easy layup.
Unseasonably warm weather and the drought have combined to temporarily close Cataloochee Ski Area.
Supporters of a proposed hike in Haywood County’s room occupancy tax were silenced in the state legislature in 2013, but much noise was again made over the issue during the recent election. Now, with new players in place and old adversaries entrenched, is there a chance a room tax hike could pass?
Western North Carolina is ablaze with 22 wildfires currently burning through more than 50 square miles in the seven most western counties. Smoke from the fires is posing health hazards while continued severe drought conditions are leaving many communities with a limited water supply.
Our backyard is on fire.
From Knoxville to Asheville, a large cloud of smoke is currently hovering over this corner of Southern Appalachia. In a seemingly “whack-a-mole” scenario, wildfires keep popping up or are combining at an alarming rate. And though officials are saying these blazes will soon be under control, one question lingers — when will they be extinguished?
After months of talking, planning and producing, Jackson County is set to unleash a new ad campaign and website showcasing the county’s best to a deep bench of potential visitors, and tourism director Nick Breedlove is enthusiastic about the results.
This November, voters will have another choice to make at the polls — whether to allow beer and or wine sales in areas of Haywood County that currently don’t offer such conveniences.
Allen Alsbrooks serves on the Maggie Valley Zoning Board, and used to serve on the town’s planning board; he’s also been the owner of the Hearth and Home Inn on Soco Road in Maggie Valley since 2007, so it’s safe to say he’s got his finger pretty close to the pulse of Haywood County’s tourism-based economy.
“It’s the best year I’ve ever had,” Alsbrooks said.
If all goes according to plan, by this time next year Jackson County will have been declared the trout capital of North Carolina, and county commissioners are already starting to talk about how to plan for the resulting increase they anticipate in angling tourism.
As outdoor recreation tourism continues to climb upward in Macon County, community stakeholders are trying to do a better job of tracking their visitor feedback and providing better services.