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July 13th, 2009
The awful economy worldwide and nationwide has done no big favors for the North Carolina tourism industry this year, but things aren’t as bad at mid-summer as they could have been. The swine flu has delivered a bit of a blow to some of the western mountain region’s summer camps, but those camps that have not been hit by sick campers are doing fine. Visitors on the Blue Ridge Parkway look to be as numerous as in most other years, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting its fill of hikers and campers as well.
Tourism in North Carolina accounts for over 190,000 jobs across the state, from the Outer Banks through the midlands and into the mountains, making it one of the most vital industries year after year in the state. Visitors spend more than $18 billion (yes, that’s a “b” on that number) in the state, contributing greatly to our tax revenues, to the tune of over a billion dollars a year.
So… tourism is still doing okay, but how’s the general NC economy doing? This question is significant for those from out of state who may be contemplating purchase of vacation property or would dearly love to relocate here – many from states with economies worse off than ours, who would like to get jobs or start new businesses. Columnist Michael L. Walden of the Raleigh area News and Observer wrote about the state of the state’s economy on the 9th of July.Development, Furniture Making, NC Land, NC Living, North Carolina, Tourism, Vacation Homes | Comment (1)
June 23rd, 2009
People young and old who have lived much of their lives in other places but have enjoyed North Carolina’s vacation offerings for many years, are among the many who choose either to build their own vacation home in our state, or find a way to live here full time. Even if that means moving their business to North Carolina, starting all over again with a new business, or just retiring to one of our spectacular communities specializing in making golden years golden.
Yet by now almost all of us old enough to know it takes money to live are keenly aware of the housing crisis that began a couple of years ago, became steadily worse throughout the country as the bubble burst entirely, and is now affecting more and more people who got fine prime rate mortgages. So this is a pretty good time to check real estate trends in some of North Carolina’s most popular and/or populated areas, see how our state is holding against current and developing economic trends. If you’re planning or just dreaming about a North Carolina home, here are some constantly updated sources you may want to check regularly…
Forbes voted Raleigh as the #1 city in America for careers, and the U.S. Census Bureau projects that more than Three of the top five housing markets in America that have maintained their home values are in North Carolina.NC Land, NC Living, North Carolina, Vacation Homes | Comment (0)
February 6th, 2008
There was a nice article in the Asheville Citizen-Times and Mountain Express newspaper’s GreenScene this past month highlighting a planned New Urbanist development in Fletcher that will boast 1,600 solar panels on a 400-unit apartment complex called Rivercane Village. Rivercane represents the largest residential application of solar-thermal energy in the nation, something we here in WNC are quite excited about.
Developer Tom Ryan received approval for the 38-acre complex from the Fletcher Town Council in mid-January. It’s modeled after similar developments in Europe. There will be solar hot water, solar space heating (a design attribute), and even solar air conditioning using solar absorption chillers. Not that one needs much AC here in the highlands, but it’s handy for a few days every year.
Better yet, it’s not a private rich-people gated community. The project is for work force housing according to federal guidelines. 18 acres of the property will be designated a conservation easement with the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, with walking trails that will be given to the town of Fletcher as part of its greenway system.
With encouragement coming from both federal subsidies and state initiatives applying to individual homeowners, home builders and community developers through the Smart Communities Network and the North Carolina Solar Network, plans are being developed for more and more sustainable communities in our state. When it comes time for my new roof, I’m joining the Million Solar Roofs Initiative partnership in my area.
Surf some of the great links below for more information related to green initiatives in North Carolina, and see how this can translate into even more tourism dollars in our state coffers to provide even more support for our storied independent attitudes and strong valuation of our wonderful natural resources!
LinksDevelopment, Green Living, NC Land, NC Living, North Carolina | Comment (0)
January 22nd, 2008
North Carolina visitors who harbor dreams of living ‘green’ have a host of great opportunities to indulge their interests while enjoying North Carolina’s stunning rural scenery, from mountains to sea. There is much to see, do, learn and enjoy on our active organic farms, many of which offer learning programs, hands-on work programs, pick-your-own fruit and produce opportunities, recreational facilities, lodging and home-grown, home-cooked meals your family will love!
North Carolina’s history as a tobacco growing state could have spelled disaster to farmers and farming communities as that crop has become untenable in the modern marketplace. Yet instead of giving up, the necessary change has engendered a strong commitment to innovative alternatives. Family farmers have invented new ways to keep their farmland productive while at the same time leading the movement toward sustainable practices, new income-producing crops, and clever private-business-government partnerships that add to NC’s important tourism industry.Agriculture, Education, Family Activities, Green Living, Nature, NC Land, North Carolina | Comments (5)
October 15th, 2007
Log and Timber Frame Homes
October 15 has been designated “Blog Action Day”, when bloggers are encouraged to write about our environment and things regular people can do to reduce their environmental footprint on the planet and help steward the environment we depend upon to sustain our lives.
Here in beautiful North Carolina we are blessed with environments so spectacular and desirable that much of our drawn income over the year comes from visitors and tourists who just can’t get enough of us! This of course can cause some environmental stress, yet we’ve done a pretty good job so far of not urbanizing ourselves into depression and not so polluting our air and water that it’s struggle just to stay alive.
Out in the rural piedmont and mountainous west there is somewhat of a ‘housing boom’ going on. Despite overpriced land and housing in many areas of the country and a ‘bubble’ that is bursting as we speak, North Carolina still offers reasonably priced land and eco-friendly houses for young families, out-of-staters seeking vacation homes, and retirees seeking peace and a connection to the earth. A key to that housing boom isn’t just the relatively low price of land, it’s the popularity of log and timber frame homes and a sizable number of eco-conscious builders operating in our state.Log Homes, NC Land, NC Living, North Carolina, Timber Frame, Vacation Homes | Comments (5)