The Oasis Shriners of North Carolina have once again contracted to hold its spring ceremonial and parade in Blowing Rock. The group will return in June. File photo by JEFF EASON
Thursday, February 07, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-02-07 08:51:04)

Source: The Blowing Rocket

From Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority reports

Following a year of flat revenues, Blowing Rock tourism rebounded nicely in 2012, according to the Tourism Development Authority’s annual report.

TDA board Chairman Kent Tarbutton reported that 2012 occupancy tax collections were up by 6 percent from the previous year, and other statistical data also showed a significant improving trend.

“We were hopeful that 2012 would be a good year for tourism, we worked hard toward that end, and we were successful,” Tarbutton said. “It was a year of new beginnings, with the resurrection of the Green Park Inn, the reinvention of Chetola’s restaurant and the reinvigoration of downtown with a full year of BRAHM (Blowing Rock Art and History Museum) in operation. While we still face challenges, including the ongoing widening of highway 321 and the disruptions that brings, we are confident that we will continue to be successful promoting Blowing Rock as a year-round travel destination.”

In addition to the increase in occupancy tax collections, Tarbutton reported the following significant achievements in 2012:

• Visitation to the visitor center was up 27 percent with 22,527 walk-ins; website visits were up 6.24 percent.

• Regional media named Blowing Rock one of the best places to own a second home and best place for a weekend getaway. Travel & Leisure magazine included Blowing Rock in its list of “America’s Prettiest Winter Towns.”

• The Oasis Shriners contracted to bring its spring ceremonial (and 1,500 room nights) back to Blowing Rock in June 2013.

• The TDA supported Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce events through advertising and public relations efforts and supplemented the salary of the chamber’s events director.

“Additionally and significantly, the TDA board unanimously agreed to extend Tracy Brown’s contract as Executive Director for three years.  We are fortunate to have Tracy on board to lead us forward in this ever-competitive industry,” Tarbutton said.

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 2012 TDA annual report, contact Brown at (828) 295-4636 or (

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