Doin’ the TDA shuffle: Haywood, Maggie Valley tourism entities ponder merger

A tug-of-war over the $600,000 in tourism tax money in Haywood County and how it is used to lure travelers reached a new level last week.

At the prodding of Maggie Valley motel owners, the Maggie Valley Town Board is calling for a joint meeting with the leaders from other towns as well as the county to strategize on a potential overhaul of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, which oversees tourism tax dollars.

Momentum builds to challenge TDA

Dissatisfaction among the Haywood County tourism industry with the way tourism tax dollars are spent has long been a constant in the divided tourism community.

But critics from Maggie Valley appear to have reached a new momentum in a push to overhaul the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. Last week they called for a meeting of the Council of Governments — the elected town leaders from Maggie, Waynesville, Canton and Clyde and the county commissioners — to discuss complaints over the tourism authority.

Celebrating 10 years as an A+ school

By Michael Beadle

Central Elementary School capped its 10-year anniversary as an A+ school Friday, May 19, with students, parents, county leaders, school officials and school alumni joining in the celebration.

Breaking the code: Merchants hope study provides reliable data about customers

For two and a half years, David Erikson at Twigs and Leaves has offered a monthly drawing for a gift certificate as a surreptitious means to compel customers to share their hometown address.

Political factions help define Haywood race

Two well-defined political factions emerged early in the Haywood County commissioners primary and have only grown stronger in the countdown to election day on May 2.

On one side is the county commissioner chairman Mark Swanger, who is running for re-election, and Bill Upton, former school superintendent. One the other side is Commissioner Kirk Kirkpatrick, also running for re-election, Bill Noland, a former commissioner who lost re-election two years ago, and Skeeter Curtis, a state insurance department worker from Canton.

Who goes first? Haywood candidates debate county’s role in future growth discussions

Grasping the extent of development sweeping across the Haywood County landscape is not always easy. So Marc Pruett, the county’s erosion control officer, came up with a little anecdote to put things in perspective. He tallied up all the private roads currently permitted for construction across the county — 73 miles worth in all.

Local PAC exerts influence

For the first time in Haywood County, a group of residents has formed a political action committee with the goal of influencing the county commissioners race.

The political action committee, called the Good Governance Legion, is less concerned with the candidates they are supporting than they are the candidates they hope to defeat, namely County Commissioner Chairman Mark Swanger.

Gus the gruffy grouse gets territorial

Jerry Smathers is public enemy number one for a ruffed grouse named Gus that lives on the forest bordering Smathers’ pasture in Dutch Cove of Haywood County.

Whenever Smathers boards his all-terrain vehicle to ride from his house to his pasture, he keeps one eye on the edge of the forest for wayward attacks from Gus the Grouse. Gus confuses the idle of Smathers’ ATV with a show of dominance by another male grouse, namely a thumping sound made by beating wings.

Supporters confident Wingate will be exonerated

When Danny Wingate agreed five years ago to set up a credit line for the Haywood County Schools maintenance department, he thought he was just doing the school system a favor.

‘Spend or lose’ law leads to unspoken credo to use money

The investigation into an off-the-books account kept by the former Haywood County Schools maintenance director at Haywood Builders Supply has shed light on an unspoken creed practiced among many government workers: use it or lose it.

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