Overhaul of grant program includes greater eligibility, broader support and two funding cycles JACKSON COUNTY, N.C. (January 1, 2019) – The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority is now accepting grant applications for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. This year the TDA reworked the grant program and those who applied in past years should study the changes, Jackson County TDA Director Nick Breedlove said. TDA grants are used to assist with promoting and supporting events and initiatives that generate overnight visits and increase tourism, along with enhancing visitors’ experiences to Jackson County. Funding comes from occupancy tax collected in Jackson County that is reinvested in the local communities through the grant program. “We took a wholistic look at the grant program from ease of application to how we could support more tourism-related initiatives in addition to advertising,” Breedlove said, noting he is pleased with the streamlined program the grant program review committee and full board adopted. Several key changes were made to the grant program: 1. For profit entities are now eligible to apply for grant funding, with a one-to-one cash match eligibility 2. A pre-application workshop is now included as part of the process, helping applicants determine how to best generate a successful funding request 3. The application is now easier to fill out and is provided online only, allowing those completing the application to submit documents, budgets and copy/paste information easily into the new form. 4. There are now two grant windows, allowing applicants greater flexibility: July 1 – Dec. […]
Cashiers Selected to Represent the Entire State of North Carolina Cashiers, N.C., located in Jackson County, has been named to Architectural Digest’s “The 50 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America.” Cashiers is the only town in North Carolina named on the list. Situated on a high plateau and in the southern section of Jackson County, Cashiers is home to some of the oldest mountains in the world and offers gorgeous scenery among its waterfalls, lakes, hiking trails, and picnic spots—making it the perfect place for a day trip, family vacation or weekend getaway. “We’re so happy that Cashiers was recognized by Architectural Digest for its beauty, culture and charm,” said Nick Breedlove, Director of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority. “With a distinct character and appeal that visitors can only find in Cashiers, it is exciting that this smaller mountain town is getting the national recognition it deserves!” According to Architectural Digest, “when developing this list, [they] looked at easy access to nature, the presence of historic or design districts, and topography that’s appealing in its own right…” Architectural Digest is a national monthly magazine with a circulation of 816,139. The publication regularly features international design talents, innovative homes and products, inspiring decorating ideas, new shops and products, travel destinations, art and cultural events, celebrity style, and high-end real estate.
As chillier weather moves in, the crowds move out and lodging prices decrease with the temperatures in the Western North Carolina mountain towns of Jackson County. Many might think that winter is for hibernation, but in the towns of Sylva, Dillsboro, Cherokee and Cashiers, it is an undiscovered season with limitless offerings perfect for a seasonal getaway. Jackson County’s countless indoor and outdoor activities, scenic winter hikes and overlooks, cozy accommodation options and the chance of a mountain snow day make it an unforgettable escape for an off-season getaway. Jackson County is best known for its wealth of natural wonders and unrivaled beauty. Avid hikers or those looking for a leisurely stroll will find the perfect fit on one of Jackson County’s many trails. Nestled amongst the Nantahala National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the county’s unique location provides visitors with endless views of the surrounding areas natural beauty. When the trees become bare, those views extend as far as the eye can see, providing scenes of snow-capped mountains and sweeping winterscapes. As the temperatures drop, the area’s waterfalls start to ice over and don large, sparkling icicles transforming the scene into a picture-perfect winter wonderland. Hikers should be sure to check out nearby waterfalls including the popular Bridal Veil Falls, Looking Glass Falls, and Moore Cove Falls. Tom Branch Falls is best seen during the winter months when foliage isn’t blocking the falls. Snowy adventures await at Sapphire Valley where guests can ski, board or snowtube. […]
Southeast Tourism Society has named Sapphire Valley Outhouse Races as one of the STS Top 20 Events in the Southeast for February 2019. This year’s Outhouse Races are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on February 16, 2019. The STS Top 20 Festival and Event Awards have highlighted programs around the Southeast since 1985. Travel industry experts select 10 events per month, and STS publicizes them throughout the United States. The complete list is published on two websites: Southeast Tourism Society and Travel Media Press Room. Crazy? Maybe. Dangerous? Perhaps. Fun? Without a doubt! You won’t find Outhouse Races on snow anywhere else in North Carolina! Dozens of outhouses race to compete for the throne. Spectators come from throughout the Southeast to line the course and cheer on those brave enough to see if the outhouse crashes and burns or sails across the finish line. Homemade outhouses can be made of wood, cardboard, plastic, or any other homemade items. There are three people to a team and outhouses are secured on a set of skis, which can be provided to you by the Sapphire Valley Ski Area. These skis are pushed by two team members, while one team member ‘sits’ inside. “The Top 20 Festival and Event Program is celebrating 34 years of spotlighting the best festivals and events in the Southeast. Our goal is to provide well-deserved accolades for the dedicated event organizers and additional media exposure for their events,” said Monica Smith, president and CEO of the Southeast […]
County Spending by Domestic Visitors Increases by 3.85 Percent to $195.44 Million JACKSON COUNTY, N.C. (August 23, 2018) — Visit North Carolina announced today that domestic visitors to and within Jackson County spent $195.44 million in 2017, an increase of 3.85 percent from 2016. “The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority and its partners are thrilled with the significant increases we saw across the board in Visit North Carolina’s 2017 tourism impact numbers,” said Nick Breedlove, Executive Director of the Jackson County TDA. “To increase visitor spending $20 million – from $175 million in 2015 to $195 million – in just two years is something that we’re extremely pleased with. This noteworthy growth reflects the hard work and dedication of our wonderful accommodations, restaurants, visitor centers, local shops and artists, and outdoor attractions. The great experience people have is also due in large part to the gracious hospitality of everyone who works at these establishments. At the end of the day what this increase translates to is sustaining existing jobs, putting people to work, and supporting small, local businesses,” Breedlove said. Tourism impact highlights for 2017: The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 1,850 in Jackson County. Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Jackson County was $48.52 million. State tax revenue generated in Jackson County totaled $10.86 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $9.08 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated […]
The 26th Annual Tour de Cashiers Mountain Cycling Experience, with the support of Premier Sponsor Highlands Cashiers Hospital, will be held on Saturday September 15, 2018 across the sky-high, scenic mountain byways of western North Carolina. This year, runners can participate in the fun with an added 5K race in Cashiers Village. The 3.1-mile route begins at the Cashiers Glenville Recreation Center, where cyclists also will depart earlier, and follows Frank Allen, Valley and Cashiers School Roads and Mitten Lane to a turnaround at Summit Charter School and return to the recreation center. This popular athletic event shifted its traditional spring schedule to the fall to accommodate an expanded activities schedule and take advantage of autumn weather conditions. Added activities include a pre-event registration and social at Whiteside Brewing Co., the 5K run and an after-party for all participants and their families at the Baldaroo Music Festival. Under the direction of Tony Hammett, USAT Certified Race Director of Peak Racing Events, Atlanta, Georgia, the event is expected to attract participants from across the southeast, many returning every year to one of the state’s prime tourist destinations. “This is a beautiful area and we are thrilled to help grow the events for both the participants and Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to this exciting partnership,” said Hammett. Tour de Cashiers cyclists will follow one of three traditional routes – 25, 62 and 100 miles — across Jackson, Macon and Transylvania Counties. They will ride steep climbs and fast […]
The Jackson County Ale Trail is expanding to include three new breweries. Whiteside Brewing Co., Dillsboro’s Innovation Station and Nantahala Brewing Company will join the already existing breweries on the trail – Sylva’s Innovation Brewing and Balsam Falls Brewing Co.
The 14th Annual WNC Pottery Festival returns to the Western North Carolina town of Dillsboro on November 3, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Selected as one of the Southeast’s Top 20 Events and regarded annually as one of the most popular arts events in the mountains, the festival attracts several thousand pottery aficionados each year. This year’s event promises attendees top-tier craftsmanship from 44 master potters.
The 14th Annual WNC Pottery Festival returns to the Western North Carolina town of Dillsboro on November 3, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Selected as one of the Southeast’s Top 20 Events and regarded annually as one of the most popular arts events in the mountains, the festival attracts several thousand pottery aficionados each year. Registration for artist participation in this year’s event filled quickly, promising attendees top-tier craftsmanship from 44 master potters. “This is always an outstanding event and the talent this year is out of this world,” said Joe Frank McKee, of Dillsboro’s Tree House Pottery, who co-founded the event. “The festival has grown immensely in recent years, showcasing the best applicants we’ve ever seen and earning respect from potters and art lovers nationwide.” All potters compete for slots prior to the start of the festival, and this year’s event welcomes seven new potters for a total of 44 exhibitors. Dillsboro’s Front Street will be lined with tents featuring some of the country’s best handmade pieces. A large variety of styles and techniques will be showcased, ranging from glazed sculptural tree forms to mixed media pottery. “The WNC Pottery Festival brings together some of the most experienced and talented potters from across the country to feature their work,” says McKee. “With artists from 17 different states representing a mixture of talents and skills, this is a must-see event for pottery fans everywhere.” During the festival and visitors can watch throwing and firing demonstrations by some of […]
National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) will be celebrated this year from May 6-12. This annual tradition celebrates the positive impact travel has for local economies, businesses, and personal well-being. 2018 marks the 35th anniversary of the original congressional resolution that established NTTW in 1983. This year’s theme, “Then and Now,” is a challenge to industry leaders to reflect on travel successes of years past while advocating for policies that promote growth for the future.