If you have lived or worked in Lake Lure or Chimney Rock Village for any length of time, you likely recognize just how much our two communities are linked by our mutual dependence upon tourism.

As residents and business owners we celebrate the unique attributes apparent in each community. On the other hand, we know that our visitors see one connected and vibrant destination. Whether enjoying the lake or shopping in the village, it is the overall experience that they come to enjoy.

Two jointly commissioned studies, one focused on marketing our two communities and the other on our long-range transportation needs, point to the importance of focusing our collective energies on strengthening the connection between Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village.

To that end, creating a commercial corridor walkway between our two communities has long been identified as a key economic initiative that will further shape these connections.

The objective is to create a continuous walkable corridor to facilitate economic growth from the highly popular Lake Lure Flowering Bridge to the bustling downtown of Chimney Rock Village.  Additionally, we want to serve our residents better by providing safe pedestrian access to these same areas.

The walkway connector will strengthen the local tourism economies; encourage healthy lifestyles; create more opportunities for outdoor recreation and give better access to residents by providing an alternative mode of transportation.

Such a project warrants coordination and good communication between property owners along the conceptual route, our two municipalities and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. As it develops, we will incorporate your thoughts, identify the best route, and secure all necessary approvals.

The project is estimated to cost roughly $500,000. Our two communities are applying for grant funding to help pay for it.  However, for the applications to be considered, we must submit land surveys and some preliminary design work. Thus, we are writing to let you know that this initial work will take place next week on both sides of Memorial Highway. Following completion of that, we will be closer to identifying a final route.

Reprinted by permission from the Town Newsletter – Valerie Hoffman, Editor