Will lights go on at holiday park?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Steve Huffman
Rowan County commissioners will hear back Tuesday about a proposed drive-through holiday light park.
Last month, commissioners voted unanimously to support the concept of such a park but said they needed more information before they’d throw their full backing to the project.
Members of the Rowan County Tourism Development Board and the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission have each voted unanimously to support the Christmas-season event.
Commissioners said they also like the idea, but after extensive questioning of Mike Miller at last month’s meeting, they said they needed more specifics. Miller represents Miller Davis Studios, the marketing and design firm on North Main Street that will act as the event promoter and coordinator.
Commissioners meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Rowan County Administration Building at 130 W. Innes St.
The drive-through holiday light park is proposed for Summit Corporate Center. It would feature more than 120 animated light displays and an ice skating rink.
Miller said the park would attract visitors to the county and have the potential to generate $1.3 million in revenue. The park’s name would be Glittering Nites of Salisbury-Rowan and run from Nov. 25 through Jan. 3.
“This is an event that will draw people to our community who will eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores,” reads a news release from Glittering Nites.
Commissioner Tina Hall had a number of questions about the proposed park, including who would be responsible for fielding phone calls about the event and who would be hosting carriage rides.
Miller said the county won’t be responsible for any of the financial burden of the park. He said Midwest Display, a Kansas City company, will provide $350,000 worth of light displays and also foot the bill for electricity and security.
Midwest Display will charge $15 per car to enter the park. The county will receive $1 for each car.
Commission Chairman Carl Ford said he’d like to see the price of admission lowered to $10 per car.
In other matters scheduled for Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners will:
– Hold a public hearing concerning installment financing for construction of the Town Creek sewer line.
– Hold a public hearing concerning installment financing for vehicles and equipment.
– Consider an offer to purchase property located at 6205 Mooresville Hwy.
– Receive from County Manager Gary Page an update on Veterans Services.
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Staff writer Meghan Cooke contributed to this story.