By Bob Keith

Mayor of Lake Lure, NC

Spring has sprung with the trees on the hillsides displaying contrasting shades and hues of new green growth. Dogwoods grace the forests with their stunning white beauty. Azaleas surround homes with colorful blooms. Cardinals, chickadees, titmice, sparrows and finches fill the air with melodious music as they build their nests in anticipation of a new family.

But as I write this, I am reminded that this is the first paper of the summer season. With that in mind and with so much activity going on in the Gorge, I thought that I would, with some help from some friends, come up with some “suggestions for summer”. Here they come in no particular order or priority.

The lake is back up to full pond. Hooray! But with the rising water comes floating debris of all shapes and sizes. Be watchful and cautious when boating until the flow of the lake can naturally carry the debris to the dam where it can be cleaned up and extracted. Get your boat permits early and make sure you observe our safety rules. Make sure that you have all the necessary safety equipment on board and control your speed in the no-wake zones. Boats have been seen recently, this season, without current registration stickers and with young children wearing no life jackets. These rules are for your protection and can be obtained at Town Hall or by going to the Town website, townoflakelure.com.

“Suggestions for Summer” came from this happy group who were on a two night mini vacation at Bright’s Creek having won a Chamber auction item at last year’s Christmas event. Shown are Sandra and Dick Rummell, Al and Val Griswold, Patti and Jim Stewart, Kay and Ed Dittmer, Pam, CoCo and Bob Keith, John Shaw (Ruth took the picture), Linda and Woody Turner and Judy Arnold

Speaking of the website, all kinds of valuable information can be reviewed and retrieved. Want to know when and where meetings are being held, visit the website. Want to watch a Town meeting, current or past, visit the website. Want to know the current lake level, (the most frequently asked question over the last several months), visit the website. For easy use, the most recent additions to the site are posted on the left hand side of the Homepage. For example, just added was the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), a comprehensive document produced by our Town Manager Ron Nalley and staff that depicts current and future year spending plans. One can not only review plans and priorities but also and easily submit comments, concerns or ideas as input to the Town budget process. Check it out!

Any time you have a question or concern regarding Town issues, practices or policies, first visit the website. If your search can’t satisfy your need, certainly call us at Town Hall and we’ll do our best to help you out. The website is an outstanding tool and resource to maintain the highest level of communications and transparency in our community. If you have any thoughts about improvements to the website, please let us know.

We encourage everyone in the Gorge to support your favorite local businesses and activities. Please continue this practice. But over the winter we have had some new entrants and changes to the HNG scene. The Victory Restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch has opened on Buffalo Creek Road. The Gardenwoods Café has opened on 64/74A in Green Hill also serves breakfast and lunch. Hickory Nut Gorge Brewing Company has opened in Chimney Rock and features its own craft beer, pub games and great outdoors fun on the Rocky Broad River. Two shops across from the beach consolidated into Lake Lure Coffee and Scoops Ice Cream Parlor. Stop by for your favorite flavor of coffee or ice cream. Two major renovations have taken place at the Lake Lure Inn and Legends on the Lake at Rumbling Bald Resort. Check out the expanded Moose and Goose Lounge at the LLI. Try out at “Legends” the exciting new Sports Bar motif plus boat park and dine: everyone, not just RBR residents, is welcome. Attend “First Thursday” at the LLI for a “Cheers” like experience “where everybody knows your name”. Support these new entrants but continue to support all of the business establishments in the Gorge. More variety, choices and competition give us all more to do and substantiates the old economic aphorism, “A rising tide lifts all boats”.

In anticipation of the 2018 World Equestrian Games, the Chamber has embarked on a new initiative to ensure a unique guest experience for all who visit the Gorge next year. Committees are being formed to focus on Special Events, Transportation/Circulation, Safety, Security, Community Appearance, Real Estate and Market/Branding. We strongly suggest and encourage each reader to participate in some way. Call Karen at the Chamber office at 625-2725 to volunteer. It’s all about community spirit!

I’d love to hear from you with your thoughts on “suggestions for summer” at mayor@townoflakelure.com. Maybe we can cover your unique ideas in the next Breeze.

Have a happy, safe and fun-filled summer!