Lake Norman tourism gaining strength in Summer 2012

By
Real Estate Agent with Southern Homes of the Carolinas

Tourism in Lake Norman brought $23 million to the local economy during the year ended June 30, a 21 percent increase from the prior year, according to Sally Ashworth, executive director of Visit Lake Norman.

Visit Lake Norman speaks at the Lake Norman Chamber’s "Power Luncheon" at River Run Country Club.

Speaking at the Lake Norman Chamber’s "Power Luncheon" Thursday at River Run Country Club, Ashworth said the recent Democratic National Convention will pay dividends for Lake Norman. New events such as gymnastics, football and wheelchair basketball competitions also brought exposure to the region, she said.

She said money invested in tourism is well spent. For each dollar in VLN funding, visitors spend $52.17.

The CEOs of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Norman Region Economic Development Corp. also updated their work during the luncheon which was sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas as well as BusinessToday and Cornelius Today.

Jerry Broadway, executive director of the Lake Norman Region EDC, reported that over the last three years, 918 new jobs and $140 million in new capital investments have been added to the Lake Norman Region. Lake Norman Real Estate Charlotte Real Estate Lake Norman Homes for Sale Lake Norman Real Estate Charlotte Homes for Sale

New companies like ABB, Positec, Lime Energy, and MSC account for most of the new jobs and capital investment dollars. ABB in Huntersville officially opens Sept. 19.

 

Even though bringing new businesses is important, the Lake Norman EDC recognizes that business retention and expansion is critical for the economic vitality of the region.

“Companies go where they’re wanted and stay where they’re appreciated,” said Broadway. “The foundation of any regional economy is its existing businesses.”

However, Broadway noted that the “Achilles heel” in terms of economic development is the lack of available buildings and shovel ready sites for businesses to move to. Broadway says that the Lake Norman EDC has a similar amount of active projects now as they did last year, but feels like a lot of companies are putting the brakes on expanding until after the election in November. He commented that he believes the Lake Norman EDC will see a spike in active projects in January, though, no matter who is elected President of the United States in November.

The Lake Norman Chamber has invested a great deal of time and resources into the development of a new website which chamber president Bill Russell says is much more user-friendly. The website already dramatically improved the chamber’s ability to promote its members and bring awareness to chamber events and programming. Lake Norman Real Estate Charlotte Real Estate Lake Norman Homes for Sale Lake Norman Real Estate Charlotte Homes for Sale

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