Article Title Issue

Tall order

Western North Carolina boosters say the region’s quality of life will
help it achieve its economic-development goals.

Regional Report Western June 2008

Since 2005, you could have had the Land of the Sky “Any Way You Like It.” Now there’s “Appalachia Comin’ Atcha.” It’s branding season in the Blue Ridge, and the latest slogan-setter is a $20,000 video target- ing visitors with a familial interest in western North Carolina.

Regional Report Western April 2008

Gambling, proponents predicted, would be the biggest boon to western North Carolina since the other one — Daniel — crossed the Blue Ridge. Sin, critics cried, calling it the road to perdition when Harrah’s Cherokee Casino opened in 1998. However, the smart money now calls it the path to prosperity: A new report by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians shows the casino has grossed $1.6 billion in 10 years. The Cherokees own the casino and, except for a management fee to the Las Vegas-based operator, pocket the profit, but the economic impact reaches beyond the Qualla Boundary, as the 56,000-acre Indian reservation is officially known.

Regional Report Western March 2008

Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. That also goes for value. Covering the landscape along a mountain road, trees are lovely to behold and create vistas that draw visitors — and their money — to western North Carolina. Thinned out, they provide prime habitat for many species of wildlife and a valuable source of timber. So the U.S. Forest Service plans to begin logging 212 acres south of Blowing Rock next year, despite the ill will the plan has reaped.

Old & in the sway

Even in the South, where the mythological is never very far from the real, the memory of the feudal county boss is but a scant echo of an earlier time. Ours is a modern society now, with all the trappings of democracy, economic equality and self-determination. We are the lords of our own lives, in a way that our forebears never were. What to make, then, of the influence and power two elderly men have wielded over a single suburban county in North Carolina?

Business finds fits for the pit

While growing up in Statesboro, Ga., Tom DeLoach Jr. never saw a NASCAR race. He didn’t go to his first until 1986 as vice president of marketing for oil giant Mobil. “I said, ‘Wow, this is neat!’ Boom! The light came on: ‘I like this!’”

Business finds fits for the pit_copy

While growing up in Statesboro, Ga., Tom DeLoach Jr. never saw a NASCAR race. He didn’t go to his first until 1986 as vice president of marketing for oil giant Mobil. “I said, ‘Wow, this is neat!’ Boom! The light came on: ‘I like this!’”

House brand

It began as a rich man's folly — a French Renaissance chateau in North Carolina’s hillbilly highlands. George Vanderbilt, grandson of steamship and railroad magnate Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, nearly exhausted his share of the family fortune by buying 125,000 acres and building the 250-room mansion.

Heroes worship

“Superman, thank you! You saved my life! How can I ever thank you enough?”

”Well, Lois, there are a million comics for sale in endless rows of boxes at the 25th anniversary Heroes Convention!"

Twice-told tale

Maury Faggart drove some 1,300 miles, from Charlotte to Carteret County’s Down East extremity, then up and down the length of the Outer Banks twice, to take the photos that accompany this month’s cover story. Part of his trek was retracing Ed Martin’s trail reporting the piece, but when conditions weren’t right or the people Ed had talked to weren’t available, Maury had to double back to be there when they were.

Town might take another's course

To hear Leonard Cottom talk, Seven Devils is going to hell in a handbasket. The mountain town, which had a population of just 129 in the 2000 census but swells to many times that during the summer, might use eminent domain to take his golf course.

Current assets

It’s easy to forget chronic concerns while fighting froth and fury at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, which opened last fall outside Charlotte. That’s because they’re drowned out by more-immediate worries — such as how to stay in the raft and avoid plunging into the soggy swirl.

All aboard

During the Depression, conductors on the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina — wags called it the “eat taters and wear no clothes” — sometimes let locals ride free if they couldn’t pay the fare between Boone and Johnson City, Tenn.

Grandson’s career reaches its peak

Now that Crae Morton is running the show at Grandfather Mountain, he doesn’t feel compelled to do things the way his grandfather did.

Slips shape image of museum group

Any publicity, they say, is good publicity. Backers of the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort might not be so sure after their experience with Pepsi Americas’ Sail 2006.

He'll do more than just peddle paddling

At 27, Sutton Bacon has been a consultant for Coca-Cola and Holiday Inn. Now he’s CEO and president of Nantahala Outdoor Center Inc. He took over the Bryson City business’ top job Jan. 1 from Payson Kennedy, one of its founders 35 years ago.

Like many in the state, this 1,200-acre Sandhills farm raised tobacco as a money crop. Now it’s for the birds.

Some call quail a gentleman’s bird. There’s no need to be in the field at break of day, so a hunt at The Webb Farm usually doesn’t begin until about 9, after a hearty breakfast for overnight guests. Then it’s back to the lodge at noon for lunch, the kind that, if this place didn’t draw such serious hunters, would have them thinking about naps rather than the afternoon’s shooting, which runs to around 5. That is, unless the dogs keep pointing up birds.

What's up - docks - when slips show

If you want to stash your boat at Creekside Yacht Club in Wrightsville Beach, you’d better act fast and bring some serious green. Prices for a slip run from $90,000 to $159,000, General Manager Tommy Vann says.

Coming attractions boost industry's going concerns

Good weather meant good times for Tar Heel tourist attractions last year. From the coast to the mountains, a winter that was cold but not too cold, a summer that was hot but not too hot and a hurricane season that brought little wind or rain allowed crowds to flock to beaches, golf courses and other spots.

Cigarette maker takes up the Penns'

Calvin Phelps sees a bit of himself in Jeff Penn. Like that fellow, whose family started Penn Tobacco in Reidsville in the 1870s, Phelps is a tobacco executive. His Mocksville-based Renegade Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries make cigarettes and filters as well as refurbish and sell cigarette-manufacturing and -packing machinery.