Tourism Speaks: Interview with Amy Boswell


This week’s guest is Amy Boswell, the Event Coordinator with the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority. During this interview, she shares information about the special Block Party on Main concert happening on July 31st. The free event features husband-and-wife Nashville recording artists Joe Lasher and Kaitlyn Baker and is part of The Down Home Series presented by Ingles.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Debi Smith


This week’s guest is Debi Smith, Board Chair of the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority. During this interview, she shares information on how the TDA is funded, the Henderson County occupancy tax, the makeup of the board of directors, and how the tourism industry contributes to the local economy.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Michelle Owens

On this week’s show, we are joined by Michelle Owens, Executive Director of the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority. During this interview, Michelle introduces herself to the community, explains the workings of a TDA, and shares her plans for tourism in Henderson County.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Leslie Hartley


On this week’s show, we are joined by Leslie Hartley from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area who discusses the traditional and contemporary handmade crafts that can be found in Henderson County. July is Blue Ridge Craft Trails Month in Henderson County, which is a celebration of these artists and crafters.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Amy Boswell


On this week’s show, we are joined by Amy Boswell from the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority who discusses the Summer Concert Series, Music on Main, Street Dances and Monday Night Live, all of which take place at the Visitor Center stage.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Amy Allison

On this week’s episode, we are joined by Amy Allison from Outdoor NC. Visit NC, along with the NC Outdoor Recreation Industry Association and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, partnered to create an initiative to ensure our treasured outdoor resources continue to thrive


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Dale Bartlett


On this week’s show, we are joined by Dale Bartlett from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, who discusses the Blue Ridge Music Trails, and the comeback of live bluegrass and traditional mountain music throughout the region this summer and into the fall.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Amy Boswell


On this week’s show, we are joined by Amy Boswell, the Events Coordinator at the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) / the Hendersonville Visitor Center to discuss this year’s Garden Jubilee Nurseries & Orchards Tour, the region’s largest garden and flower show, which takes place over Memorial Day Weekend. This year’s event has a new format that combines the success of last year’s countryside tour to nurseries and orchards with a return to Main Street, scaled back for social distancing purposes. Listen to hear what sort of items will be available, where some of the stops along the tour are, and why this annual event is so popular.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Susan Fay


On this week’s show, we are joined by Susan Fay from Holmes State Educational Forest. Susan explains what an Educational Forest is, discusses Holmes’ different trails and some of their interesting features, goes over some of the flora and fauna you may see this time of year, and goes over some of the changes that have recently taken place, including the Forest’s hours of operation and which amenities still remain closed due to Covid.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Chris Burns


On this week’s show, we are joined by Chris Burns, one of the founding members of the Friends of the Ecusta Trail, who discusses the plans for the Ecusta Trail, a rail-trail project that is in the final stages of being purchased, and in anticipated to begin construction within the next year. Chris discusses the challenges of a large project like this as well as the benefits this sort of greenway project brings to the community.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Leah Hughes

On this week’s show, we are joined by Leah Hughes from Distil PR, the agency that works with the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority to help promote Hendersonville as a destination. Leah discusses how Hendersonville works to get into big-name publications, and draws travel writers from around the country who visit and then share their experience in major publications, websites, TV & radio.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Matt Willey & Kim Bailey


On this week’s show, we are joined by Matt Willey, the artist behind Hendersonville’s newest public work of art, the Bee Mural, who discusses the project, which is slated to be completed in early May 2021. Matt is on a mission to paint 50,00 bees on murals across the globe to spread the word about the importance of pollinators. We are also joined by Kim Bailey from Hendersonville Bee City USA, who discusses the impact of the mural project on our community, how we work to make Hendersonville more hospitable for pollinators, and some of the other pollinator projects taking place this spring and summer, such as the installation of a pollinator garden at the base of the Bee Mural.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Amy Boswell


On this week’s show, we are joined by Amy Boswell from the Hendersonville Visitor Center/Henderson County Tourism Development Authority who talks about the Cider, Wine & Dine Weekend, and annual event that brings together all of Hendersonville’s wineries and cideries in a fun-filled, event-packed long weekend, and who gives an update on this year’s plans for the biggest garden show in the Southeast, the annual Garden Jubilee celebration.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Meredith Friedheim


On this week’s show, we are joined by Meredith Friedheim, the Downtown Events Coordinator from Downtown Hendersonville’s Community Development Department. Meredith discusses the special events that will take place in spring and summer of 2021, including the Hendersonville Farmer’s Market, LoveHendo Saturdays and the reveal and display of the 2021 class of bear statues with the Bearfootin’ Public Art Walk, all of which are annual events that help to keep the city vibrant.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Chris Cavanaugh


On this week’s show, we are joined by Chris Cavanaugh of Magellan Strategies. Chris recently completed a yearlong survey of tourism in Henderson County where he spoke to businesses, past visitors and people who had an interest in visiting in the near future to learn about what brings travelers to Western NC and what they want to do while visiting, as well as their impacts on the tourism industry. The research is a valuable tool for businesses to use in planning the marketing tactics in the future.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Millie Davis


On this week’s show, we are joined by Millie Davis from the Southern Highlands Craft Guild and the Asheville Folk Art Center, which is located at milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, making it one of the few manmade destinations along this iconic road. Millie tells us about the history of the organization, why it is important in the region and what sort of items and special events you may find there.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Beth Carden


On this week’s show, we are joined by Beth Carden, the Executive Director for the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority (HCTDA). Beth is set to retire at the end of the month, and in this, her final address to the community, she talks about her accomplishments, how far HCTDA has come during her tenure and what she hopes for its future after she has gone.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Simon Thompson


On this week’s show, we are joined by Simon Thompson from Ventures Birding Tours to discuss birding in the region, how it has grown in popularity in recent years, especially during the pandemic, how it drives tourism, and popular birds as well as great birding destinations found in the region during different times of the year. According to Simon, birding is for everyone and anyone can love it.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Lynn Minges


On this week’s show, we are joined by Lynn Minges from the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Lynn discusses the state of the industry prior to covid-related shut-downs, how each region of the state was affected uniquely, and the many hardships restaurants and accommodations have faced in the last year and continue to face as we move through the pandemic. Overall, Western NC’s industry has weathered the storm well but will have to continue to be flexible and diligent in order to grow beyond this.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Jeff Chandler


On this week’s show, we are joined by Jeff Chandler from the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, who talks about how their work impacts tourism and agritourism in the region. Jeff gets into some of the interesting crops, varieties and techniques that have been tested in the area, how new things are decided upon, and why the area in general is so wonderful for growing crops like apples and wine grapes.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Nick Stauber


On this week’s show, we are joined by Nick Stauber from Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Nick talks about what makes Chimney Rock unique from other area parks and forests, how they were able to manage the influx of visitors brought on by the pandemic, changes that have occurred around the park, upcoming special events and what it is like to visit in the wintertime.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Jason Boyer


On this week’s show, we are joined by Jason Boyer, the chief meteorologist at WLOS ABC News 13. Jason talks about how and why weather in the region has changed over the last few decades, what sort of changes are normal, cyclical changes and what sort of changes are long-lasting, and the implications of both on Hendersonville and the region’s many tourism-related industries, including leisure travel, summer camps, agritourism and more.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Nathan Ramsey


On this week’s show, we are joined by Nathan Ramsey, the Director of the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board with Land of Sky Regional Council. Through the Land of Sky Regional Council, Nathan and his team partner with many organizations, such as the NC Works Career Centers, to support job growth and development across the region. Nathan discusses how the pandemic of 2020 affected business, jobs and unemployment, and what sort of changes, both short and long-term, we have to look forward to in 2021 and beyond.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Beth Carden


On this week’s show, we are joined by Beth Carden, the Executive Director for the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority (HCTDA). Beth talks about the biggest challenges the tourism industry faced in 2020 amid the pandemic, the ways that the HCTDA and businesses pivoted to overcome the year’s obstacles, and what she sees down the pipeline in 2021 for Henderson County’s tourism businesses.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Dave Tollefsen


On this week’s show, we are joined by Dave Tollefsen from the NC Beer Guys, which is an organization that works to promote craft beer produced in North Carolina, which as of the time of the interview was up to more than 300 breweries. Dave discussed why the beer scene in the state, and Western NC in particular, has grown and changed over the years, what has made it attractive for beer drinkers and brewers alike, and what makes this region unique in terms of beer styles.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with David Lee


On this week’s show, we are joined by David Lee, the Natural Resources Manager at Conserving Carolina. David tells us about the area’s newest stretch of hiking trail, the Wildcat Rock and Bearwallow Mountain connector trail, located in Gerton, in the eastern part of the county. David talks about how new trails are planned, established and maintained, and how having outdoor recreation opportunities like this is a benefit to the region.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Bob Williford


On this week’s show, we are joined by Bob Williford from the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, which provides programs to help businesses grow, prosper and network. Bob gives the Chamber’s take on 2020, discusses how the Chamber and its members were affected by the pandemic, how those struggles shifted over the course of the first 9 months of the pandemic, and how Henderson County businesses and the Chamber are planning for the many unknowns 2021 holds.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Wit Tuttell


On this week’s show, we are joined by Wit Tuttell, the Executive Director from Visit North Carolina, the state’s official tourism marketing office. Wit recaps the strange year for tourism that was 2020, delving into how each of the different parts of the state were affected, and talks about what we can look forward to in 2021, including when, why and how people will be expected to start traveling.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Wit Tuttell


On this week’s show, we are joined by Wit Tuttell, the Executive Director from Visit North Carolina, the state’s official tourism marketing office. Wit discusses the Tourism Promotion Grants that were distributed to counties across the state, including Henderson County, that were made possible by the NC CARES Act, and how they benefited many towns in North Carolina.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Amanda Baker


On this week’s show, we are joined by Amanda Baker from Visit North Carolina, the state’s official tourism marketing office. Amanda gets into how Visit NC typically works to bring group travel to the state, what sort of groups typically visit the different regions of the state, and how that group travel drastically changed in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions and precautions.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Clara Curtis


On this week’s show, we are joined by Clara Curtis of the North Carolina Arboretum. Clara discusses Winter Lights, the Arboretum’s annual display of holiday lights, which is also their biggest fundraiser of the year. She tells us how 2020 will be a different year because of Covid and gets into the details about how big of an operation Winter Lights is each year. This is one can’t-miss event every holiday season!


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Whit Winslow


On this week’s show, we are joined by Whit Winslow from the North Carolina Wine & Grape Council and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. Whit discusses the state’s many wine regions, how American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) are established, what makes Hendersonville so ideal for wine grape growing, and how wine tourism is a huge industry that benefits wineries across the state.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Matt Willey


On this week’s show, we are joined by Matt Willey, the artist behind Hendersonville’s newest piece of public art, the Bee Mural. Matt’s local homage to the humble honey bee is one of many bee murals he has painted around the globe on his mission to paint 50,000 bees. Hear Matt’s story, how he got started painting bees and why he is so excited about the project in Hendersonville.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Tubby Kubik


On this week’s show, we are joined by Tubby Kubik from the Blue Ridge Parkway Association. Tubby talks about fall on the Blue Ridge Parkway, everything from the 2020 leaf outlook, to which parts of the Parkway see earlier or later foliage, great places to hike, and tips for visiting, like taking your trash with you, bringing layers and snacks, and not stopping at places that are overcrowded.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Jason Guidry


On this week’s show, we are joined by Jason Guidry, the Forest Supervisor at DuPont State Recreational Forest. Jason talks about how 2020 has been DuPont’s busiest year ever, and both what “over-loving the forest” means for the forest itself and how the rangers manage the forest. He also gives tips for safely recreating on public lands and talks about some of the lesser-visited parts of DuPont.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Elizabeth Jackson


On this week’s show, we are joined by Elizabeth Jackson from The Riveter, one of the area’s newest attractions. The Riveter is a multi-use recreation facility that includes bike park, indoor climbing gym, yoga and wellness studio, fitness area and bar. Elizabeth talks about their grand opening, which took place just before Covid-related closings were mandated, how they went about finally reopening safely, and how they are a complement a region that loves outdoor recreation.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Earl B Hunter Jr


On this week’s show, we are joined by Earl B Hunter Jr from Black Folks Camp Too. Earl gets into the details about why black people traditionally don’t spend as much time hiking or camping, what he and Black Folks Camp Too are doing to change this mindset, and what we can all do to encourage diversity on our trails and in our lives.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Dr Terry Kelley

On this week’s show, we are joined by Dr Terry Kelley from the Henderson County Cooperative Extension Office. Terry discusses what the Cooperative Extension has to offer, and then gets into talking about Hendersonville’s bread and butter: apples. He discusses why apples grow so well here, what determines a good apple growing year, how apple farming has changed over the years and decades, what sort of apples are most popular, new apple varieties being tested, and what his predictions are for how the Cvoid-19 pandemic will impact the 2020 apple harvest season.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Dave Lamond


On this week’s show, we are joined by Dave Lamond who helped to create and install the Ride Kanuga Bike Park, one of Hendersonville’s newest options for mountain biking. Dave goes into the details of what Ride Kanuga Bike Park is, how it was established and designed, how it works for those riding there, and why this is such a unique riding option in the region. Kanuga also has lodging options for people who want to stay and ride.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Tammy Hopkins


On this week’s show, we are joined by Tammy Hopkins from Film Brevard and the Blue Zones Project. Tammy talks about why Western North Carolina is such a draw for filming TV shows and movies, a bigger-picture look at how this industry impacts the region, what things have been filmed in the area in the past, what filming projects are coming up and how people can get involved. She also briefly discusses the Blue Zones project, a global project intended to make communities healthier, and how that relates to Western North Carolina.


 

Tourism Speaks: Interview with Wit Tuttell


On this week’s show, we are joined by Wit Tuttell, the Executive Director of Visit North Carolina, the state’s official tourism marketing office. Wit discusses the economic impact of tourism on North Carolina, how Covid-19 impacted travel across the state and how counties have begun working to reopen safely, the Count On Me NC program and the North Carolina Welcome Centers.