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Our State Magazine Features Boone, Beech Mountain and Blowing Rock in its January Issue

By Nathan Ham

Three locations in the High Country got some extra publicity this month with the release of the January issue of Our State magazine. The Horton Hotel in downtown Boone, Blowing Rock’s WinterFest and Beech Mountain’s cover story were all included in this edition. 

“They reached out to us expressing more interest in the hotel so we had them come and stay and oriented them to who we are and what we have to offer,” said Denise Lovin, co-owner of the Horton Hotel. “The editor stayed with us and another writer came and spent some time here. They really got to know us and the hotel, and they frequented other places downtown and in the High Country.”

The hotel story also featured the trendy rooftop bar that so many visitors rave about, even when the weather isn’t always perfect outside. 

Denise says they have already had guests come in with a copy of the magazine that stayed a couple of nights and was carrying the magazine with them to try and do everything mentioned in the articles. 

“It has been great for our town and surrounding areas highlighting this area as a nice winter vacation destination,” she added. 

In Blowing Rock, the magazine described the setting of the popular polar plunge that is part of Blowing Rock’s WinterFest coming up January 23-26. Being featured in Our State is nothing new for Blowing Rock, or any of the other areas in the High Country as well. 

“We’ve worked with Our State for years, we have a great relationship with the publisher and the editor and so they are very familiar with not just Blowing Rock but the whole High Country. They have a great appreciation for this area,” said Tracy Brown, Blowing Rock’s TDA Director. “The press we got out of this story is worth far more to us than just what a paid ad would get us.”

The idea of promoting a winter vacation in Blowing Rock came about last year according to Brown. 

“They called us right before WinterFest last winter and asked if they could send a writer and a photographer to do a piece for this year. Of course, we said yes. We worked with the writer and photographer to make sure they got whatever they needed and we trust that whatever Our State does is going to be good,” Brown said. 

One of the biggest takeaways from the article is that it highlights what Blowing Rock has to offer as a year-round vacation spot, not just a summer destination.

“That kind of thing really helps us up here because our summer economy up here in the High Country is really strong but our winter economy is not quite there yet and is quite subjective to the whims of the weather so having this is a huge benefit for our economy up here,” said Charles Hardin, the President/CEO of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. “We have a lot of quaint little hotels, inns and restaurants that are cozy in the winter and it’s a different experience in the winter.”

The final area highlighted in the January edition was the town of Beech Mountain. This story also happened to be the cover shot for the issue with a photo that features a beautiful wide-angle view of Beech Mountain as the snow machines at the resort are hard at work making snow for the ski slopes with local restaurants and shops residing at the base of the mountain. 

Kate Gavenus, the Director of Tourism and Economic Development for Beech Mountain, was excited with the continued positive publicity that her town and other parts of the High Country continue to receive. 

“It is wonderful and we appreciate them so much. To come to Beech Mountain, you have to be very intentional, it’s not on the way to anywhere. You have to be specifically thinking that you’re going to drive up that extra 1,500 feet in elevation to come here. We have to be really vocal for people to know we’re here,” Gavenus said. “You have to have heard about Beech Mountain to know we’re here, and we love when our neighbors get coverage too. It’s great for everybody.”

Being a resort town, it takes visitors to come up to Beech Mountain and keep the restaurants busy and the hotels full. People can drive up to the mountains and pass through towns like Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk, but being able to get visitors to specifically focus their trip on locations like Beech Mountain, getting this publicity is crucial. 

For more information on Our State magazine or to find a copy of the January 2020 edition of the magazine, visit them online at www.ourstate.com