Tourism

RE: Belmont’s Busy Weekend

Well, a big weekend has come and gone in dear old Belmont.

Some of the more progressive realtors in town were able to piggyback on the weekend that drew thousands of visitors to Friday Night Live!, the Garibaldi Festival, and the Belmont Women’s Club Home Tour. There were multiple “open houses” for homes that were for sale in the Belmont area. Realtors certainly took advantage to show their listings this weekend and particularly on Sunday.

photos from Belmont Rocks! website:

Some homes for sale within the tour pattern were visited by a number of individuals, and a few received offers this week according to our sources.

Now this is the way to market Belmont, events, social life, school activities, and FUN!

congratulations to all the people who continue to show the best of what Belmont has to offer. This summer should be very interesting with all the upcoming events that are planned.

Friday Night Live 2008 begins May 16

The Belmont Downtown Merchants Association kicks off the 2008 Friday Night Live! on May 16 with Chairmen of the Board

Other dates are:
May 30, Rough Draft;
June 13, Jimmy Quick & Coastline;
June 27, The Tams; (turn on your speakers)
July 11, SwampDaWamp



SwampDaWamp Video

July 25, The Band of Gold;
August 8, Band of Oz
August 22, Coming Up Brass

 The CUB video

     IT’S ALL GOOD !

Gaston To Welcome Olympic Hopefuls In Belmont’s Stowe Park Wednesday

Come see some future Olympians and welcome competitors in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Whitewater Slalom Team Trials in Belmont’s Stowe Park Wednesday, April 23, from 6:30 – 9 p.m.

About 130 competitors are in the area preparing for the trials this weekend at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The City of Belmont is sponsoring the Stowe Park party along with the Belmont Downtown Merchants Association, Gaston Travel and Tourism and The Gaston Gazette.

There’ll be live music by the band Rough Draft and Whitewater Center exhibits. The Belmont Historical Society’s Cultural Learning Center will be open during the event at 40 Catawba Street.

There’s no charge for any of the activities.

“W” Presidential Library – the inside edition

George W Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning stages. You’ll want to be the first at your corporation to make a contribution to this great man’s legacy. The Library will include:

  • The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.
  • The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you can’t remember anything.

  • The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don’t have to even show up.
  • The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don’t let you in.
  • The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don’t let you out.
  • The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room (which no one has been able to find).
  • The Iraq War Room. After you complete your first tour, they make you go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth tours.
  • The Dick Cheney Room, in the famous undisclosed location, complete with shooting gallery.

Plans also include:

  • The K-Street Project Gift Shop – where you can buy (or just steal) an election.
  • The Airport Men’s Room, where you can meet some of your favorite Republican Senators.

 

Last, but not least, there will be an entire floor devoted to a 7/8 scale model of the President’s ego.

To highlight the President’s accomplishments, the museum will have an electron microscope to help you locate them.

 When asked, President Bush said that he didn’t care so much about the individual exhibits as long as his museum was better than his father’s.

 

Crowded house in Gastown watches council commit millions

“Big Plan” Palenick had his vision and confirmation of at least 3 more years of job security voted in by the Gastonia City Council last night, 5-1. Even tenacious city-cheerleader/mayor Jennie raised her hand in the vote. We wondered about that, was she worried about a tie?

cheerleader-mayor-stultz.jpg big-plan-palenick.jpg (Palenick considering the mind-meld technique)

In the so-called Downtown Revitalization plan, the former First Union building will be torn down to build a parking deck. That surely must be a good first step. Can’t find parking for the Thursday night summer events at the Rotary Pavilion and on the 4th of July, so it must be able to alleviate that mess. It is certainly very close to the other “Gastonia” destination hot-spots of the DS Botanical Gardens (11.51 miles), the Schiele (2 miles, ok 1.98 miles), and the always jumping Franklin Square 1 (4.51 miles).

It is really doubtful that the other voting members of the Gastonia City Council get it. Business markets develop over time. Government interventions to jump-start private investment have very mixed results. One key is the local community support through pride of the the financial committment, and “boots on the ground”. Many of the downtown property owners know that, have waited for the “free” money (i.e. your taxpayer $$) to flow their way and ultimately allow them to cash out.

We have no problem with property owners wanting to get the best deal for themselves, or for a community to “profit” by investment in the downtown areas. But when a plan “elbows” its way into the process, with little discussion and the spectre of class warfare below the surface, it becomes a fairness discussion.

salvation-army-logo.jpg

Moving the Salvation Army Shelter and administrative functions out of downtown, to “…hide your brothers and sisters…”, as Captain Stan Colbert has commented, is one way to rid the appearance of blight and depression. Ok, so 5 million privately contributed dollars later, the shelter is moved across the tracks and the homeless cross the Marietta Street bridge and hang out in front of the new downtown Microtel Inn and Convention Center?

microtel.jpg

It is just a shame that this proposal also chooses to ignore the already committed investments that the city has made to renovate the Webb Theater and the private investment plans that are slowly turning.

A downtown investment is not a quick fix. Mr. Kirlin knows that. The city of Belmont knows that as well. Our downtown “beautification” is certainly taking on a life of its own, but remember, it was a decade ago and commitments by PRIVATE property owners to work together to make it all happen. The city just dealt with the streetscape and made an investment into the park area. The Belmont downtown development group (underwritten by Stowe Mills), and the revitalized downtown merchants association (re-formed when the chamber was struggling with membership), worked very hard to work on a mix of business types to hopefully balance a purpose to visit the downtown area.

That result is an apparently vibrant downtown at 9:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 8:00 PM. Of course, that commitment also cost a visionary mayor his elected seat, and brought several more years of obstructionist cronyism before we could seriously address the need for nurturing our community soul.

Gastonia has to suffer the throes of similar tribulation – it will all work out in the end, that of which, we are hopeful.

To comment on the event last night itself:  

The Belmont Front Porch’s intrepid editors, taking pages from the political science playbooks, stationed people at the council meeting and watched the drivel unfold on television last night. The exit polls by the “watchers” definitely indicate an uprising brewing among the Gastonia electorate. As far as television is concerned, it would seem that both city council members and staff should learn to dress for the low-tech cameras that are trained on their every  utterance of  “uh”, “yeah”, “okay”, and our collective favorite,  “um”.

toastmasters-logo.gif

Gaston College offers public speaking classes, Toastmasters International has at least two area chapters, and there are a host of community consultants that for a fee could help these elected public officials and hired staff stand before a mic and camera. Please invest your training dollars wisely if you hire or elect mumble-mouths.

Orchid Conservatory at DSBG opens Saturday

orchid-conservatory-2.gif

Observer Article

Charlotte Trip Magazine Article

The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens (DSBG) are by far the coolest piece of the Gaston County sites to visit. Over time, the Gardens will be larger and more complete — there is a 40-year Master Plan for the site — world class by anyone’s standards. This was a privately funded project without government “partnership”. The late Daniel Stowe kick started and endowed the development of the Gardens with a donation of land and $14 million in the early 1990’s. All other development has been through private contributions and sponsorship.  

The unique destination sites that now border the City of Belmont are the US National Whitewater Center to the east (just over the river north of the I-85 weigh station) and the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. Along with historical sites located throughout the county, Gaston is blessed with tourism resources that can rival many pleaces.

Good luck to the folks of the community who develop and market these facilities. Belmont certainly has taken a lead when it comes to developing intriquing places to visit.

red-imperial-bromeliad.jpg

(Red Imperial Bromliad – one of 2,000 rare and exotic plant at DSBG)

Orchid links

 

Belmont resident to give leadership to Tourism group

Friend and neighbor, Walt Israel, was tapped by the Gaston County Travel and Tourism board to serve as the interim director of the organization.

He has begun the $50,000 temporary postion and will concentrate on moving the Big League Dreams project in Gastonia and helping to recruit new hotels to the area. The Tourism department of the Economic Development Commission is funded by a Hotel/Motel occupancy tax.

A staff member to the Visitor’s Center was also approved by the Tourism board. This position will be funded by the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

(704) 825-4044   620 N Main St    Belmont, NC 28012