Haywood’s tourism growth comes in unexpected places, times

Strong growth in winter and Haywood County’s smaller municipalities has local tourism numbers up over last year, in some cases, substantially. 

Visitor spending in Macon on the rise

Outdoor recreation continues to be a major factor in Macon County’s steady increase in visitor spending year after year. 

Aquarium project slowed, but end is in sight

By Michael Glover • Guest Columnist

This is in response to the letter “Disappointed in New Aquarium” from Chuck Harrell of Whitter, which appeared in the July 3 edition of The Smoky Mountain News.

The Appalachian Rivers Aquarium has already proven to be a great asset to Swain County Tourism and to the local community. Our soft opening is going on during the months of June and July (Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) with free admission. Our visitor count numbers have far exceeded our expectations and is a hit with all ages. We are very truthful with each visitor that we are still working on this project and all have been understanding. We will begin charging a small admission fee once the remaining tanks are filled with fish; however, the donations we have received from visitors has been exceptional. We appreciate the community and visitor support!

Bryson City builds on fishing tourism with new aquarium

With fly-fishing tourism on the rise in Western North Carolina, a new attraction in Bryson City will bring visitors up-close and personal with up to 50 species of freshwater fish. 

Crafting together community: How craft beer impacted WNC

According to recent numbers, there are around 75 breweries within Asheville and greater Western North Carolina. And 19 of those breweries are located west of Asheville. 

But, back in 1999, when The Smoky Mountain News launched, this was the number of breweries in our jurisdiction — zero. None. Not a single one. The idea of craft beer, let alone something concocted in your backyard, was not only somewhat unheard of, it never was thought to be something of an economic driver. 

1999: Smokies works to overcome hurdles

It’s no coincidence that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the subject of The Smoky Mountain News’ first-ever front-page story in the paper’s inaugural issue June 2, 1999.

2009: Ghost Town comes crashing down

Decades after it first opened in 1962, Ghost Town in the Sky still commands a wistful loyalty from thousands of people who remember it during its heyday and are eager to return. 

On the upswing: Golf industry changes with the times

Golf is more than a game in Western North Carolina — the wellbeing of the popular past time can be a major indicator of how the regional economy is doing as far as real estate and tourism growth. 

The golf industry — like many others — took a major hit following the recession in 2008. Many courses went bankrupt and closed down, people couldn’t afford to play the game as often, and home building within the country clubs came to a standstill. Even in 2017, more than 200 golf courses across the nation closed as the supply and demand pendulum continues to swing its way back toward the center following 20 years of unsustainable growth. 

Gov. Cooper touts tourism at Nantahala Outdoor Center

It’s no secret that Western North Carolina has long been a haven for outdoor recreational enthusiasts, but as that particular segment of North Carolina’s economy continues to expand, Gov. Roy Cooper is doing all he can to foster further growth. 

Maggie at 45: looking forward, looking back

Steadfast she stands in a yellow bonnet, wearing the mountain range behind her like a shawl draped upon her blouse of green, one arm clutching the yellow apron atop her red dress and the other outstretched as though waving or beckoning to someone or something unseen off in the distance.

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