Coastal Storm & Independence Day Tourism
With dry and mild weather expected for the Fourth of July, tourism officials hope people considering a beach vacation will choose to spend their time and money in the mountains, instead.
Inside the busy Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Michael and Kelly Good gather ideas on how to spend their mountain vacation. "We have the Flatrock Playhouse, the wellness tours, sounds like they're salt caves, so we are open to endless possibilities," says Kelly.
The Virginia Beach couple traveled to Asheville for the first time because it was a convenient location to spend the holiday weekend with family, also coming in from out of state. The Fourth also happens to be Michael's birthday. This year, he's glad he's not spending it at home. "Being from Virginia Beach having storms come up the coast, it's much better to be here in the mountains," says Michael.
Tourism workers hope folks who were considering a beach vacation on the Fourth come to or stay in the mountains instead. "A lot of people are looking, even if they're not on a long vacation, for a short getaway during the Fourth of July, and the mountains generally reap the benefits of that," says Marla Tambellini with Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
A couple of Asheville residents who plan on spending the Fourth at home, say it's one of the best places to be. "I'll just be here watching fireworks, maybe going down to Lake James and enjoying it," says Asheville resident, Britt Lippard. "The thing about the beach is there's just one row of sand and water, and that's where everyone will be, but in the mountains, we'll be able to find some quiet places and then come downtown and get with the crowd when we want to," says Heath Morlok, of Asheville.
Meanwhile, the Goods are looking forward to a nice, dry vacation, and a happy birthday. "July is one of the busiest months of the year, and it certainly impacts the economy in a significant way. Tourism in general has a $200 billion economic impact," says Tambellini. "That's really great for our economy because those are dollars that stay here right in our own community," she adds.
News 13's Karen Wynne spoke with a couple of the big hotels in downtown Asheville earlier on Tuesday. Both Haywood Park and the Renaissance say they are almost booked, and expect to be fully booked within the next couple of days.