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July 23, 2014

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The Oasis Shriners will return to Blowing Rock in late May for the organization’s spring ceremonial. File photo by Jeff Eason

Originally published: 2014-02-20 08:58:37
Last modified: 2014-02-20 08:59:22

Town records tourism uptick

Tourism tax revenues in Blowing Rock increased by 4.23 percent in 2013 from the previous year in spite of major travel disruptions caused by the U.S. 321 road improvement project and record rainfalls in target markets along the Eastern Seaboard, according to officials with the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority.

 The increase in tourism tax revenues in 2013 marked the fourth consecutive year of gains after revenues fell from their peak in 2007, according to the annual report submitted by the TDA to the Blowing Rock Town Council.

In his report, TDA board chairman Kent Tarbutton said that the goals set out for the TDA in 2013 were achieved, and he praised those who contributed to the effort.

“We thank the Blowing Rock Town Council and their staff for their support, and further offer thanks to the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce for its collaborative efforts and the notable events and business stimulators they provide our community,” Tarbutton said.

Tarbutton highlighted the “unprecedented amount of earned media for our wonderful town. That kind of coverage, where writers tell their unsolicited stories of Blowing Rock, is still the most potent media we can get.”

 TDA goals for 2014 include expanding the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, along with blogging; working on improved communication among hoteliers to improve coordination and participation in the development of programs to increase occupancy; and continued collaboration with attractions and events, including the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Ski Mountain, WinterFest, Blue Ridge Wine Festival, Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, music events, Mayview Madness and the Trout Derby, among others.

Tarbutton announced that the Oasis Shriners will return to Blowing Rock in May, booking more than 1,500 room nights for their spring ceremonial.

This will be the fifth year in the past six that the Shriners have come to Blowing Rock.

The Blowing Rock TDA is a quasi-local government agency funded through occupancy taxes paid by visitors staying in local lodging establishments.

The TDA operates the official Blowing Rock Visitor Center in the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum and promotes the town through marketing, advertising, public and media relations efforts.

For more information on the 2013 TDA Annual Report, contact Tracy Brown at (828) 295-4636.

For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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