Tourism gathering draws officials to Charlotte
By Tim Bullard
For the Salisbury Post
As Visit Lake Norman marketing manager Courtney Wolfrom talked to journalists at the annual N.C. Tourism Showcase in Charlotte on Tuesday, TV cameras were rolling, covering the Visit N.C. event that attracted tourism directors from across the state.
The event was held at The Lodge at Ballantyne Corporate Place. Attending were representatives from the Lexington Tourism Authority, the N.C. Tourism Civil War 150th Anniversary, Visit Charlotte and others.
Journalists learned about the Carolina Renaissance Festival, the Amazing Maize Maze, the Lake Norman Wine & Food Festival, the Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games, the Asian & Cragon Boat Festival and Christmas in Davidson.
The sponsor was The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge. Margo Metzger of the N.C. Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development said she was pleased with the turnout.
Derek Allman of Visit Greensboro said, ìGreensboro has a lot of history. There is a huge historic district. There is a tour. The tour guide dresses up in a top hat.î
He said the U.S. Figure Championships were just held in January, and more events are coming up.
Charlotte Motor Speedwayís representatives were on hand, talking to journalists about the Coca-Cola 600, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Bank of America 500. There is a new HD video board, the worldís largest, to be completed the first week of May.
With the Civil Warís 150th anniversary coming up, the Civil War Trail had a kiosk. Did you know baseballís first curve ball was thrown on Roanoke Island in 1862 by a Union soldier in baggy pants?
The Civil War Trails project is national, and it includes map sites in 30 state with this state pitching in $1.3 million by the state and federal matching funds.
The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 75th Anniversary is coming July 30 in Graham County.
The Chapel Hill area is excited about the stateís first vodka microdistillery coming in July. There will also be gin, bourbon and rum. The city has three regional James Beard Top Chef semi-finalists.
Connie Nelson of the Wilmington/Cape Fear CVB said there is an emerging dining scene with restaurants and walking tours. ìWe are also celebrating the fact that the Battleship North Carolina is celebrating 50 years as an attraction,î she said. ìAll year long there will be events.î Admission will be rolled back at original prices in October.
Justin Furr of the N.C. Grape and Wine Festival reported on the stateís 100 wineries.