Counting cars: Smokies updates decades-old visitation estimator

Anybody who’s been to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the last few years has seen it — overflowing parking lots, mobbed trails and narrow mountain roads lined with cars. They’re visual symptoms of a national park bursting at the seams with unprecedented levels of visitation,  hitting a highwater mark in 2021 at 14.1 million visits.

Canton braces for development with comprehensive plan

In an effort to strike a balance between development pressures and a need for growth, the Town of Canton adopted its first major comprehensive plan June 23, and will soon vote to update its subdivision and land development ordinance.

Overbooked: How Highlands is attempting to regulate its short-term rental industry

Short term rentals have existed in resort towns for decades, but as Airbnb and similar services have made them more popular around the country, Highlands has moved to ban most new STRs, leaving the community divided on what’s become a critical issue. 

Collins to retire from TDA

After nearly 13 years at the helm of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, Executive Director Lynn Collins has decided to call it a career.

Together once again: WNC festivals, events slowly return to normalcy

It’s been just about three years since the Cold Mountain Music Festival took place in a large field within earshot of the picturesque Lake Logan. And, for Jeff Whitworth, although the long road back to the stage has been arduous, he’s starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Haywood tourism boom continues

When Haywood TDA Executive Director Lynn Collins showed up to the Haywood County Board of Commissioners meeting to deliver her mid-year report on May 2, her opening statement didn’t exactly take anyone by surprise.

Swain commissioners oppose Smokies parking fee

A parking fee  proposed for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has earned support from organizations ranging from the National Parks Conservation Association to the North Shore Cemetery Association — but also opposition from a growing list of governments and elected officials.

At a crossroads: Parking fee would signal a new era in Smokies history

Since its official opening in 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been free  to enter, to park, to hike, to explore. The intervening years have made free access a core principle of the park’s identity, cherished by residents of gateway communities like Bryson City and Gatlinburg — many of whom are descendants of the families forced from their homes to make way for the park’s creation.

Waynesville begins research on social districts

After Alderman Anthony Sutton floated the idea near the end of a Jan. 11 meeting, the Town of Waynesville will now take a methodical, deliberate approach to the question of whether or not – and where – social districts could end up being established .

Lake Logan addresses challenges, looks toward future

Lake Logan has come a long way since the Episcopal Church purchased the property in 2000.

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