tourism

NPR.org

As this year’s total solar eclipse draws near, it is expected to close out a record summer for tourism in the mountains. BPR’s Davin Eldridge has more…

House Bill 2 apparently did not dampen tourism in 2016.

North Carolina recorded a record $22.9 billion in visitor spending last year, according to figures recently put out by the Department of Commerce.

That’s an increase of 4.3 percent from 2015 and supported more than 218,000 tourism jobs, according to commerce.

Pexels

The hotel boom in Asheville thanks to ever rising number of tourists visiting the city has been well documented  (though maybe the boom is coming to an end or at the very least slowing down).  But another surge in hotel construction has been happening right to the south of Asheville.

WCQS

Mountain views, hiking trails an exploding food scene and more breweries per capita than anywhere else in U.S.   It’s easy to see why the Asheville area is spilling over with tourists and newcomers.   The boom is a boost for the economy but often makes for a busier and sometimes more challenging day for police and other first responders whose job it is to care for both tourists and the people who live  here.  WCQS’s Helen Chickering reports.

Davin Eldridge

NPR will be in Asheville on Tuesday February 7th for the latest 'Going There' event.  Weekend All Things Considered host Michel Martin will lead a night of performances and discussion on the topic 'What Happens When Your Hometown Gets Hot?' at the Diana Wortham Theater.  Tickets for the event have sold out but there will be a live stream that night to watch.  You can also join the conversation on Twitter by following @NPRMichel and @WCQS using the hashtag #HotHometown.

Parks Hospitality Group

Tuesday night the Asheville city council rejected a major hotel project in downtown along Haywood Street.  An 8-story Embassy Suites hotel would have occupied the former spot of the Buncombe County Sheriff's office.  By a unanimous vote the council voted down the plan, one of the few times a hotel project has been stopped in Asheville during the boom of the area's tourism industry.

Davin Eldridge

Despite some of the thickest smoke yet from Western North Carolina’s wildfires, the town of Franklin’s annual Christmas Parade went off as planned, bringing hundreds of onlookers to the downtown area. The parade proved to be a defiant show of solidarity among locals in the face of the wildfires, as well as a show of support for the hundreds of firefighters who took part in the event—proving that the spirit of the community would not be so easily broken as the holiday season kicks into high gear. “It’s a real testament to the community that, despite the environmental disasters, it can come f

ncparks.gov

    

For a few short weeks, every year, the mountains of Western North Carolina are renowned for their bright autumn leaves. The generations have brought to the region countless so-called “leaf-lookers” enthralled by their fiery shades of yellow and red come mid-October. Even this year, when area biologists are expecting fall leaves to be duller, and less-vibrant, all local economists can see on the horizon is the color of money for the mountains.

The red lines depict the path's border--areas that will experience roughly one minute of eclipse--whereas the blue middle line depicts the center, with a duration of about two-and-a-half minutes. The path will stretch across 43.6 miles of the region.
eclipse2017.org.

Next summer, the earth will cross the shadow of the moon, creating a total solar eclipse. For the first time in nearly 40 years, its path will pass through the continental United States. The event will occur on August 21, of 2017, and promises to attract a massive audience from around the world, as the eclipse sweeps across the sky from Oregon in the Pacific Northwest, makes its way Southeast, passes through Western North Carolina, and eventually beyond the coast of South Carolina.

Davin Eldridge

 

On the tailgate of an old rusted red pickup truck, a bumper sticker reads, “Why is it called tourist season if we can’t shoot em’?”.  

 

The vehicle is parked alongside dozens of others in the fields of Darnell Farms, just outside of Bryson City, for its seventeenth annual Strawberry Jam farm-raising event. In the air an aroma of boiled peanuts and kettle-cooked corn mixes with the sounds of bluegrass and children playing, along the banks of the nearby Tuckasegee River.