Visit the the tourist destinations here at home — nothing like 'em
The thought of someone living in Durham and choosing to travel over to Chapel Hill for medical services because "it's always better away from home,"is pretty thought provoking, but a true statement.
The point— those who live in town where one of the greatest medical facilities in the country is located — often have a mindset that it has to be better somewhere else. So they go out-of-town.
Folks here in Rutherford County often have that mindset, too.
Some folks have told me in the past they would definitely take their children to the "specialists" in Cleveland or Spartanburg counties. What? Wonder where folks here think our pediatric specialists studied in medical school?
Just because it's out-of-town, doesn't mean it's better than at home.
I know from many personal experiences, sometimes the medical specialists needed are atlarger teaching hospitals in other counties and states and there is a time you must go there. There is no argument about that. It has to happen if you're going to get well.
But if the same services and same businesses are here, we ought to try them.
I was interested to read the results of an October 2012 survey conducted with visitors coming to the towns of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village.
In just the one month survey, the businesses in the two towns recorded 1,377 customer visits from 781 unique American zip codes representing 43 states and nine foreign countries.
It seems the residents of the two towns accounted for just 2 percent and 0.2 percent respectively of recorded customer visits.
Those who conducted the survey said that was an extraordinarily low figure, based on past studies of other tourists areas.
Obviously a resident in a tourist town such as Chimney Rock Village can't do their grocery shopping or clothing shopping there in the souvenir shops, but there are some awesome restaurants there.
Other businesses in Rutherford County may face similar problems with outside visitors exceeding locals.
Why leave Rutherford County if you can get the same things here.
Of course, we're not metropolitan and we do not have the same large department stores and large outlets, but that's why we're living in a small town, right?
Before deciding it's better elsewhere, try shopping local. You might be surprised at what you find out there.
Back to the tourists areas.
In a crowd of hundreds Rutherford County people, if they were asked how many had been on top of Chimney Rock or even in Chimmey Rock Park, the numbers would be small.
The facts show Rutherford County is not a major market area for Chimney Rock or even Lake Lure.
We can change that.
People might think it's better somewhere else, but not many folks can brag about having a gorgeous lake surrounded by beautiful mountains. When the sun sets, it's picture perfect.
The areas offer some of the most beautiful scenery with awesome walking and hiking trails and it's here at home.
By the way, no one has to go on top of the rock unless they want to. It is high, but there is much more to see than the rock, as wonderful as it is.
I'd been to Chimney Rock Park many times before I realized the beauty of the park was the trails leading to the waterfalls and the grassy meadows.
Going to Lake Lure, walking along the boardwalk, taking a boat tour or just rambling around Rumbling Bald is quite the experience.
Have you heard Lake Lure and the Gorge areas are being considered for an IronMan competition? The world's largest participation sports platform.
Other people in the world think it's pretty cool up there in those mountains, too.
What about Hollywood and the movie makers who shot scenes for some of the most popular blockbusters ever — Last of the Mohicans and Dirty Dancing.
The park is a wonderful place to go to capture nature, wildlife and other living things and the lake is the best for relaxing at the end of a grueling week.
And by the way stop in the shops while in the Gorge.
Let's be a part of changing the attitude, it's better out of town.
There's something there's no place like home.