The Henderson County Tourism and Development Authority has publicly expressed their concerns with Duke Power’s plans to install miles and miles of new transmission lines across Henderson County. In a letter published with the Hendersonville Times-News, HCTDA Chairman David Nicholson enumerated many issues the group has with Duke Power’s plans. In it, Nicholson expresses just how negatively tourism may be affected by the proposed plans, as well as establishing how vital tourism is to Henderson County’s economy:
Henderson County TDA hired a consultant to conduct a tourism research study several years ago and it revealed that visitors’ No. 1 reason for coming to Hendersonville is to enjoy the unspoiled scenic mountain views and outdoor recreational activities in the area’s mountains, forests, creeks and rivers. Camps are also make a huge positive impact on the economy.
The group also gathered data that shows just how important tourism is to Henderson County’s vibrant economy. On the Times-News site, Nicholson wrote:
• Over 2100 jobs are attributed to the tourism industry in our county.
• $20.9 million in state and local tax receipts are due to tourism in our county.
• Tourism taxes create $191.16 in property tax savings on average for each county resident.
• Our Visitor Center Guest Book contains signatures by visitors to our beautiful county from at least 45 states and 22 countries since January 2015.
• Henderson County is 70th in size of all 100 counties in North Carolina, but we are 15th in the amount of money expended by tourists while in our county.
Please read all of Mr. Nicholson’s letter at the Blue Ridge Now website – it shows just how devastating Duke’s lines will be, both by destroying the natural beauty and wonder of our county, as well as crippling our local economy.