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Haywood County tourism strong, growing

Haywood County tourism strong, growing

Encouraging signs from Haywood County’s Tourism Development Authority suggest the lingering effects of the Great Recession of 2008 may finally be subsiding, and the county’s tourism attractions are drawing more of a year-round crowd. 

The most recent data available, for March 2018, show four of five jurisdictions — Canton, Clyde, Maggie Valley and Waynesville — all up substantially in room occupancy tax collections from March 2017. 

Lake Junaluska saw a 29 percent drop, likely due to the closing of the Lambuth Inn for renovations (see Lambuth, page 8). The Lambuth closed in January 2018, and didn’t reopen until last week, producing a 14 percent decline in room occupancy for the first quarter of 2018 over the first quarter of 2017. 

In the past, the first quarter of any year in Haywood County was likely to be slow, as far as tourism spending is concerned. But for every jurisdiction besides Lake Junaluska, the first quarter of 2018 was a totally different story. 

“I think it’s a matter of having more countywide inventory,” said Lynn Collins, executive director of the Haywood County Tourism Authority. 

Canton posted its best March since at least 2015, when collections were $959. This past March, collections were $2,152. Canton’s 2018 first quarter also showed a 24.9 percent increase over the first quarter of 2017. 

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The Town of Clyde posted the biggest gains, quarter over quarter, with 27.5 percent growth in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017. Clyde also saw its best March since at least 2015, when collections were just $74. In March 2018, that number was $787. 

Maggie Valley saw only a slight increase in the first quarter of 2018, about 3.9 percent as compared to the first quarter of 2017. But like the others, Maggie Valley has likely seen its best March ever, as collections of $8,342 are nearly double those of March 2015. 

The same goes for Waynesville, where this past March’s collections totaled $5,948, well above March 2015’s $3,315. The first quarter of 2018 saw growth of 13 percent over the first quarter of 2017. 

“They just have such a vibrant downtown, and I think that contributes primarily to them being so strong, as well as having Frog Level and Hazelwood and the special events that they do,” Collins said. 

Many of those special events in Waynesville — and everywhere else — receive funding from the TDA from the revenue collected each year; on May 23, the TDA adopted funding levels for dozens of proposals throughout Haywood County.

 

TDA funding, 2018-19 fiscal year

3 percent fund

 

• Haywood County Greenway planning study — hold

• The Art of Music Festival 2018 — $5,000

• The Art of Music Festival 2019 — $10,000

• Find Your Adventure! Buy Haywood Agritourism Guide — $4,900

• Haywood Quilt Trail — $0

• Folkmoot Tent Rental & marketing 2018/2019 — hold

• Haywood County Fairgrounds dust control & sprinkler system — tabled

Canton

• Lake Logan Multisport Festival — $1,520

• Western Carolina Dog Fanciers Association show — $895

• Canton Labor Day celebration — $25,000

• Mountaineer Publishing — $0

• Haywood County Fairgrounds strategic planning study — $0

• Haywood County Fairgrounds promotions — $0

• Cold Mountain Music Festival at Lake Logan — $7,500

• Cold Mountain corn maize — $500

Clyde

• Buffalo Creek Vacations marketing and events  — $800

• Town of Clyde downtown upgrade — $2,211

• Fines Creek Methodist Church quilt square— $550

• Western Carolina Dog Fanciers Association show — $0

• Haywood County Fairgrounds strategic planning study — $0

• Haywood County Fairgrounds promotions — $0

Lake Junaluska

• Mountaineer Publishing — $0

• Lake Junaluska 2018 Independence Day celebration — $10,500

• Lake Junaluska 2019 Independence Day celebration — $5,000

• Haywood County Fairgrounds strategic planning study — $0

• Haywood County Fairgrounds promotions — $0

• Lake Junaluska Promotional Photos 2017/2018 — $3,500

• Western Carolina Dog Fanciers Association show — $480

• Online Advertising Campaign — $18,000

• Fall Specials & Packages Publication — $7,310

• Spring Specials & Packages Publication — $7,310

• Appalachian Christmas postcard — $663

Maggie Valley

• Haywood County Fairgrounds strategic planning study — $0

• Haywood County Fairgrounds promotions — $0

• Elevated Mountain winter concert series — $1,800

• Elevated Mountain fall/summer concert series — $2,400

• Mary Rathbone Rich Pavilion & Park — $20,000

• Maggie Valley Fall Days — $3,000

• Lake Logan Multisport Festival — $320

• Miss Maggie — $1,200

• Winter Kickoff Event-Maggie Gets Lit — $6,730

• Winter Days campaign — $7,358

• Haywood County hotel & motel advertising initiative — $0

• Haunted candy trail — $0

• Western Carolina Dog Fanciers Association show — $1,025

• Mountaineer Publishing — $0

• Maggie Valley winter attraction (ice rink)— $35,000

• Co-op advertising for Maggie Valley — $83,000

• Thunder in the Smokies spring motorcycle rally — $2,048

• Thunder in the Smokies summer motorcycle rally — $2,048

• Thunder in the Smokies fall motorcycle rally — $1,883

• Enriching the Cataloochee Valley elk viewing experience — $1,626

Waynesville

• Lake Logan Multisport Festival — $2,160

• HART 2018/19 season advertising — $3,500

• Dance ARIS - new event — hold

• Western Carolina Dog Fanciers Association show — hold

• Smoky Mountain 9-Ball shoot out — hold

• 2018 Independence Day celebration — $6,500

• Whole Bloomin' Thing — hold

• Art After Dark & Winter Art Smokies Style— $3,850

• 2019 Independence Day celebration — hold

• Apple Harvest Festival — $1,750

• Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon 2019— hold

• Haywood Historic Farmers Market promotion— $2,500

• Haywood County Fairgrounds promotions— hold

• Co-op Advertising for the 28785/86 zip code— $50,000

• Haywood County Fairgrounds strategic planning study — hold

• DWA Christmas Tree lighting ceremony— $3,000

• DWA website maintenance — hold

• DWA A Night Before Christmas & Night Bazaar — $2,000

• DWA Vintage Market (formerly Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration) — hold

• DWA social media marketing — $0

• DWA photography and videography promo video — hold

• DWA flag poles — $400

• DWA Where did you travel from? — $0

• DWA fall décor — $1,500

• DWA mountain street dances July/Aug. 2018— $2,625

• DWA mountain street dance June 2019 — hold

• DWA Winter Smokies Style — $3,000

• DWA ART in the Alley & public art project — $2,000

• Mountaineer Publishing — $0

• Sunday at the Opry — $1,000

• Waynesville Soda Jerks promotion — $3,000

• Base Camp on the Go — hold

• Webcam for downtown Waynesville — $5,695

• Enriching the Cataloochee Valley elk viewing experience — $1,626

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