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Downtown Waynesville readies for spring

The Downtown Waynesville Association is gearing up for spring, with new businesses and events in the works for the coming tourist season.

Buffy Phillips, the association’s executive director, told Waynesville town officials that she’s positive about the year’s outlook for downtown.

Though the recession has hurt some businesses in the area – Phillips lamented the increasing winter closures along Main Street this year – downtown vendors are still making it. New ones are even springing up, including the newly debuted Tipping Point Tavern and a Thai restaurant moving in to the space vacated by Ceviche’s On Main.

Downtown’s popularity as a festival venue has prompted

DWA to draft an events policy to fairly handle burgeoning requests from organizations wanting to hold street fairs, while simultaneously adding to their own events calendar.

This year, another street dance will be added to the calendar, hopefully bringing back the popular Hispanic-themed soiree put on several years ago.

Phillips said she’s also preparing proposals for grants from the Tourism Development Authority, which sets aside a special pot of money for Waynesville tourism initiatives and been a real boon to downtown since the fund was set up.

“We’re able now with this to do some phenomenal advertising for the town of Waynesville,” said Phillips. “In the past few years we’ve gotten $30,000 to $40,000 per year.”

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