By Tommy Hartzog

Exec. Dir., HNG Chamber of Commerce

Greetings to all and THANK YOU for your faith in us and your continued support of the Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber.

Here is an update on some of the things we are working on. If you want more details on any initiatives or wish to share your thoughts, please stop in, email or call anytime.

Carolina Trust Bank-Your hometown bank continues to grow and exceed expectations. Loan production is way outpacing goals set by the home office. Deposit accounts are growing very fast as this branch celebrated its two year anniversary in our Community. They opened seven new accounts in one day last week!

Meridian Senior Living-Construction should begin soon on this vitally important addition to our community. The new facility will be located on Buffalo Creek Road and will begin with 60 beds and employ 30-35 people.

Oral Health Care-Dental services for our citizens is very high on the possibility list for 2017.  If things go as discussed with our health care partner, it will happen!

Dirty Dancing Festival- after purchasing the event in May of 2016, The Chamber managed a very successful event last August. We now have much needed experience and a growing relationship with Lionsgate Films and we look forward to this becoming a signature event for the region. This year People Magazine, the New York Times and other organizations are covering the event.

Marketing and Communications-Your Chamber has entered into an agreement with Lake Lure Classical Academy to develop an intern program that will serve our community with Facebook, Community Calendar, Press Releases, and Website enhancement. Two upper-class students will be selected by the LLCA to work for the Chamber on a part time basis. Chamber staff and the owners of two local businesses have volunteered to guide and mentor these outstanding young people.

Branded Hotel-The Chamber is in ongoing discussions with a credible WNC hotel developer who has come to our area to evaluate the feasibility of a lodge style hotel.

Community Covenant-2016 saw the development of meeting guidelines regarding productive civil discourse. The Hickory Nut Gorge Community Covenant has been adopted and implemented by numerous organizations.

Performing Arts Center-live music, theater, education and conventions will become part of our culture when this vision becomes reality. Much progress is being made toward a facility that will host larger gatherings of citizens and visitors.


Events-In addition to the Dirty Dancing Festival, the Chamber is involved with Polar Plunge, Sale on the Trail, the Beach Lurau, Fireworks, Christmas GALA and monthly Chamber Re-Charges. Upcoming Re-Charges are;

May 4th- Bubba’s in CR Village (new date!)

Jun 6th– The Grafton Lodge

Please join us at any or all of these Community Gatherings for fellowship, teamwork, building relationships and good old fashion fun.

Not a Member! Log on to and join today!