Feb. 13, 2014. Tourism tax revenues in Blowing Rock increased 4.23 percent in 2013 from the previous year in spite of major travel disruptions caused by the U.S. 321 road improvement project and record rainfalls in target markets along the eastern seaboard. The increase in tourism tax revenues in 2013 marked the fourth consecutive year of gains after revenues fell from their peak in 2007, according to the annual report submitted by the TDA to the Blowing Rock Town Council.
In his report, TDA Board Chair Kent Tarbutton said that the goals set out for the TDA in 2013 were achieved, and he praised those who contributed to the effort.
“We thank the Blowing Rock Town Council and their staff for the support, and further offer thanks to the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce for its collaborative efforts and the notable events and business simulators they provide our community,” Tarbutton said.
Tarbutton highlighted the “unprecedented amount of earned media for our wonderful town. The kind of coverage, where writers tell their unsolicited stories of Blowing Rock, is still the most potent media we can get.”
TDA goals for 2014 include expanding the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube along with blogging; working on improved communication among hoteliers to improve coordination and participation in the development of programs to increase occupancy; and continued collaboration with attractions and events, including BRAHM, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Ski Mtn, WinterFest, Blue Ridge Wine Festival, Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, music events, Mayview Madness and the Trout Derby among others.
Tarbutton announced that the Oasis Shriners will return to Blowing Rock in May, booking more than 1,500 room nights for their Spring Ceremonial. This will be the fifth year in the past six that the Shriners have come to Blowing Rock before High Season.
The Blowing Rock TDA is a quasi-local government agency funded through occupancy taxes paid by visitors staying in local lodging establishments. The TDA operates the official Blowing Rock Visitor Center in the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum and promotes the Town through marketing, advertising, public and media relations efforts.