by Laura Doster, Executive Director

and John Anderson, Treasurer

We are very excited to provide an update with regard to our Outdoor Initiative.  We have entered into a Scope of Work (SOW) with NCGrowth, a division of Kenan Institute at UNC Chapel Hill.  The scope of work includes an interactive asset map to serve as a leading edge, comprehensive digital tool we (the Chamber and our members – both local and outside the Gorge) can utilize on their websites, social media, and print, to provide support to our locals, visitors and tourists.   Since the primary purpose of the map is to give easy access to our outdoor assets and related businesses (including restaurants, lodging, motels/inns, shopping, etc.), it geographically includes Lake Lure, Bill’s Creek, Chimney Rock, Gerton & Bat Cave.  Even more exciting, the NCGrowth Report will provide research and recommendations on how to better leverage our outdoor assets, identify gaps, and provide strategies on how to connect visitors with local businesses, something many of our outdoor stakeholders mentioned in our initial meeting back in March.  We are thrilled the Rutherford County Economic Development and Tourism Development Authority are partnering with the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge in this endeavor.  If any of you are interested in partnering with us, please feel free to reach out.  Your support, financial or volunteering your time, is always welcome and appreciated.  Projected completion date is October 2021.   

More outdoor news, The Growing Outdoors Partnership and its members,  including the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina, Mountain BizWorks, and the NC Outdoor Recreation Industry Office have announced the release of a new regional outdoor brand – WNC Made By Mountains (MADE X MTNS). Go to their website https://www.madexmtns.com  or Facebook page https://facebook.com/madexmtns   to read all about it.    Lastly, get connected to farms across North Carolina by downloading their app “Visit NC Farms”.   Support our local farmers! 

Chamber Signature Events –The Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure Tours presents fireworks for the 4th of July, 2021.  Sunday the 4th in Lake Lure at Morse Park, approximately 9:30 pm.  (Rumbling Bald Resort’s is Saturday, July 3rd )      The Olympiad is August 13 – 15th. Go to their website for details https://www.lakelureolympiad.org.     Lastly, we are putting the final touches on our Time of Your Life Experiences at Mountain Brook Vineyards September 24 & 25th.  Stayed tuned to our Facebook page (“like” our page) https://www.facebook.com/TheChamberOfHickoryNutGorge or our website https://www.hickorynutchamber.org – final details will be coming very soon.

Economic Development News – Many new businesses are coming to our area with pending contracts in place.  Sacred Living Wellness had a very successful Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on May 18th.  Other new businesses are: Lake Lure Jeep Rental, Lake Lure Food & Beverage, Lake Lure Flooring, Japan House, & Boon Life Adventures.  Both Bearwallow Provision Company & Lured Market & Grill have received their ABC serving licenses.  Please remember to give them your support as we continue to strive toward healthy and sustainable growth.