Back to the future: Preppers learn old-time skills to ready themselves for times ahead

coverFire, smoke, and efforts to make more of both fill the event pavilion at Haywood County Fair Grounds on a chilly May morning that feels more like early March. The Dutch oven class gathers around a fire in the right corner of the open-walled building, the blacksmiths get ready for their afternoon class in the far end and a cotton ball flames placidly atop the green metal case that Doug Knight is using to hold flint rocks for his fire-starting class. Class is in full swing, but nobody is paying the burning cotton any mind. They’re all too busy trying to ignite nests of frayed rope and char cloth with hard-won sparks from flint and steel.

It’s harder than it looks. 

Jackson still ‘economically distressed’

Jackson County retained its status as one of the economically distressed counties in North Carolina according to just-released rankings, but county manager Chuck Wooten thinks some of the factors in that ranking are improving and others are “distorted.”

Businesses with ties to national parks suffering during shutdown

out frFrom wedding planners to elk tour guides to non-profit organizations, the closing of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hasn’t only disrupted the livelihood of federal workers.

The park is home to a wide variety of outside enterprises working independently yet inextricably tied to it. In many ways, the federal impasse that caused the ongoing shutdown has hurt these operations more than the federal workers who have been furloughed.

Smokies and Parkway open to windshield tourists only

fr emptylotThe impasse at the federal level will touch all areas of operation at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway, closing picnic areas, campgrounds, bathrooms, visitor centers and historic sites.

Shutdown irks tourism industry on the eve of leaf season

The tourism industry in Western North Carolina is not letting the shut down of visitor facilities on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or national forests in the region darken their spirits as the mountains head into the busiest tourism time of the year.

Turned Away: Visitors, residents barred from national park

coverWhen Joe and Dolly Parker approached the entrance of the Deep Creek campground Tuesday morning, the sign read “Office Closed.”

“We can’t believe this,” Dolly said.

A retired couple from Key Largo, Fla., the Parkers spend upwards of five months each year traveling and camping around the country. Joe rides his motorcycle, with Dolly following behind in their campervan. Amid of all their stops, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of their favorites. 

A mixed bag of home building signals hope for 2013

fr jackson constructionIt may still be too soon to declare an economic rebound, but recent construction data may point toward a housing sector comeback led by high-end, new home building in Jackson County.

Haywood tourism holding its own, gradually coming back

Tourism numbers are looking good for Haywood County so far this year, and tourism leaders are keeping their fingers crossed that a cold winter will drive visitors to Cataloochee’s slopes.

College kids gum up Jackson County’s economic stats

The economic situation seemed to be looking up in Jackson County: unemployment was on a steady decline; the real estate market was rebounding; and tourists were finding more expendable income to travel.

Haywood County economy outpaces its peers

Joey Del Bosque scrolled through his appointment book for the week; time slot after time slot was filled, with just enough room to breathe.

Belle On Main, a salon and massage parlor along South Main Street in Waynesville, opened in May and quickly started picking up business.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.