TDA board impressed with progress

First Posted: 10/13/2009

Just as the streets are freshly cleaned after this years Autumn Leaves Festival, the Tourism Development Authority board members heard some promising things about the growth of tourism in Mount Airy at their fourth quarter meeting Tuesday.
Jessica Icenhour, tourism director of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has been getting good feedback on the newly finished remodel of the chamber and visitors center. She said the granite countertop was donated by N.C. Granite Corp.
We are working on getting a flat-screen TV put in with a DVD player that will show tourism videos in the lobby. We are still waiting for some rugs with our logo on them and some benches for the lobby. Most people are shocked by the difference and how big it feels. The bathrooms worked out well during the Autumn Leaves Festival, Icenhour said.
She said someone recently donated large glass works of art that say, Mountains, Music and Mayberry, that were made by Andrew Pearson Design. She hopes to get at least one of those hung in the lobby of the visitors center in the near future.
Icenhour also informed the board that the new Holiday Inn Express has hired a new general manager from Mount Airy and plans are to open in December. Icenhour said the decor will be modern and boutiquish.
How lucky can you be to have this many classy hotels within our reach, said board Treasurer David Beal.
Vice Chair Robin Hester suggested that the board look into developing a Saturday downtown farmers market. She said in her research developing the Downtown Business Associations Web site, she found that having a farmers market in the downtown area was a big draw.
People are getting really conscious about eating good things to be healthy, Hester said.
She said many of the visitors at her bed and breakfast, the Sobotta Manor, who have come to the area recently, have asked about apple picking at Levering Orchard.
On Jan. 15, 2010, Beal will step down from the board as a new member will be appointed by the new mayor.
Ive been on the board two years. Ive spent 31 years in office, serving on the election office and on the city school board. Im really pleased to call Mount Airy home and Im glad to have had the opportunity to serve with you on this board, Beal said.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.

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