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July 22, 2014

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Originally published: 2012-10-04 10:11:24
Last modified: 2012-10-04 10:11:24

Town continues implementing achievement plan

From the town of Blowing Rock

Four years after it was delivered to Blowing Rock leaders, recommendations in the HyettPalma Downtown Retail Strategy Study are still being implemented for the betterment of the town, its residents, visitors and businesses.

Meanwhile, praise and accolades for the town, its year-round ambiance and its tourism mainstays continue to arrive.

Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence is chairman of the Retail Strategy Steering Committee, which works on projects to improve the downtown and enhance the business and tourism environment of the town.
The committee is made up of representatives from the Blowing Rock Town Council, town management and its planning board, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Development Authority and nonprofit stakeholders.

“HyettPalma gave us the blueprint for a sustainable, attractive, walkable, tourist- and business-friendly downtown, and we’re committed to attaining the study goals at a reasonable pace and in an orderly and systematic way,” Lawrence said.

He praised the work of the steering committee and the cooperation of all involved, while citing some of the accomplishments of the past 12 months.

These include:
• Completing phase three of the Downtown Streetscape Plan.
• Opening the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum and its parking facility.
• Outside dining at Six Pence Pub on Main Street and aesthetic improvements to Subway on the U.S. 321 Bypass.
• A new picnic shelter at the Blowing Rock pool.
• Approval of a new brewery and tasting room at Maple Lodge.
• Opening of Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort.
• Dining additions along the U.S. 321 Bypass, including Mi Carreta and Subway.

During the same time period, several accolades and awards came the town’s way, Lawrence said. Now seemingly a favorite of Travel & Leisure Magazine, the town was mentioned twice in the past few months: Blowing Rock was one of 12 nationwide locations on its list of “America’s Prettiest Winter Towns” and Westglow Resort & Spa was named the world’s No. 2 destination spa by the magazine’s staff.
The readers of Metro Magazine in Raleigh voted  for Blowing Rock twice in the magazine’s recent MetroBravo awards: Chetola Resort won a MetroBravo award in the category of North Carolina Mountain Resort and Blowing Rock received an honorable mention as a Place to Own a Second Home.

During the past year, the TDA continued its marketing, public relations and promotional efforts, while the chamber produced and hosted several successful events, including Winterfest, the Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival, Art in the Park and a new festival called Music Moves Mountains. In addition to Chetola’s new Timberlake’s Restaurant, the Green Park Inn continued its successful renaissance by becoming a member of Historic Hotels of America.

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