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Friday, August 26, 2011

2010 Visitor Impact for Wilkes County

County Spending by Domestic Visitors Increased by 6.1% Percent in Expenditures.  
The North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development announced today that domestic visitors to and within Wilkes County spent $57.79M in 2010, an increase 6.1% from 2009.
This continued growth of the tourism industry in Wilkes County is primarly attributed to the promotion and marketing completed by theWilkes Chamber of Commerce.  The marketing efforts of the Chamber of Commerce highlight the festivals, events, attractions, parks, recreational opportunities, and natural beauty of Wilkes County that brings travelers to the area.  The addition of the Northwest NC Visitor Center which opened October 2009 and managed by the Chamber, have given travelers a “welcoming place” to pick up printed information and gain a greater knowledge of Wilkes County.  The chamber’s cooperative marketing and affiliation with such organizations as; Cascade Highlands (a NC/VA marketing collaborative), High Country Host, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, and Yadkin Valley Heritage Corridor provide Wilkes County Tourism enhanced promotion as well as national and international tourist exposure.  
Wilkes Chamber works with the NC Division of Tourism and their Extranet Database in maintaining a current listing of local accommodations, campgrounds, events, atrractions, and recreational facilities kep in the statewide online database.  The chamber is reimbused in the amount of approximately $8,000 for advertising and marketing annually through the Wilkesboro TDA.  These funds enable the chamber to have marketing partnerships with High Country Host Marketing Group and with the Blue Ridge Parkway Association.  Tourism marketing funds normally acquired through accommodation occupancy tax does not exist throughout Wilkes County, only in the Town of Wilkesboro and therefore, funds for tourism marketing is limited.  However, the chamber markets tourism by sending   visitor information and packets to individuals interested in visiting the area.  Many of these individuals are directed to Wilkes through leads derived from the High Country and Blue Ridge Parkway affiliation and partnerships.  The Chamber’s website  HYPERLINK "" provides worldwide tourism exposure as it tells the story of Wilkes through print and beautiful images of the county.  
Tourism impact highlights for 2010:
The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 480 in Wilkes.  
Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Wilkes was $8.4M.
State tax revenue generated in Wilkes totaled $3.07M through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income.  Approximately $1.36M in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.
Gov. Beverly Perdue announced in March that visitors to North Carolina spent a record $17.0 billion in 2010, an increase of 9.0 percent from 2009. 
These statistics are from the “2010 Economic Impact Of Travel On North Carolina Counties.” The study was prepared for the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development by the U.S. Travel Association.
Statewide highlights include:
2010 total visitor spending saw an increase of 9.0 percent to $17.0 billion, up from $15.6 billion in 2009.
The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 183,000 North Carolinians.  
The tourism industry generated nearly $1.5 billion in tax revenues.  State tax revenue totaled $946 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income.  Some $544 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.
MEDIA CONTACTS:  Linda Cheek, Wilkes Chamber of Commerce 336.838.8662
 Margo Metzger, North Carolina Division of Tourism

Friday, August 19, 2011

Educating the Public on the use of Hypnosis

If you didn't attend the Wilkes Chamber Small Business meeting for August you really missed out. Charlie Silva, Board Certified Hypnotist, of Blue Skies Hypnosis Center in Wilkesboro educated attendees on the inner workings of their subconscious as well dispelling some of the myths associated with hypnosis.

The mission statement for Blue Skies Hypnosis Center states they are: committed to helping you grow personally, professionally, emotionally, and spiritually. We will accomplish this by using hypnosis as a means to help you believe in yourself, your inherent goodness, your integrity, and your enormous potential. Charlie explained that we have three very distinct minds that do different things and they have a hard time communicating with each other. The three different minds are our conscious, subconscious and our unconscious mind. We spend the most time in our conscious mind. It keeps us awake and makes 100s of decisions a day. Our subconscious mind is where our programming resides, this defines who we are. And our unconscious mind controls our automatic functions, such as breathing.

Charlie went on to point out that whatever our programming says we are that is what we are. Our subconscious mind holds our total memory, it is like a video camera holding all of our memories since we were born. He went on to say this is where our habits and emotions live. These could be good, bad, positive or negative. The key to remember: positive suggestions from ourselves or others are difficult to enter the subconscious mind, while negative suggestions easily enter. We are more ready to believe the negative things we hear and believe about ourselves.

Charlie suggests in order to change our bad habits we need to reprogram our subconscious mind and this is where Hypnosis comes into the picture. During hypnosis our bodies are more relaxed, all of our senses are much better and you are completely in control of yourself. One myth about hypnosis is that you are asleep, you are not asleep during hypnosis. Once positive suggestions are made the conscious mind decides whether or not to allow the suggestion. If the suggestion is allowed to enter our subconscious mind this is when reprogramming begins.

According to Charlie anyone can be hypnotized and your mental attitude determines either success or failure. With hypnosis, Blue Skies Hypnosis Center can help you reduce stress, stop smoking, lose weight, improve sports performance, relieve test anxiety, increase self-confidence as well as teach you  self-hypnosis.

Contact Charlie Silva today to set up an appointment!

Office Location: 102 East Main Street, Wilkesboro (Across from the Wilkes Heritage Museum)  Phone: 336-990-0901 Email:

Visit Blue Skies Hypnosis Center Website

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wilkes Chamber of Commerce Welcomes New Members for July 2011

The Wilkes Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome our new members for the month of July. Please visit our website directory to find out more information on these and other businesses in Wilkes County. Business Directory Link

Accessories on the Go
Just Save-Lowe's Foods #137
Lowe's Foods #5
Lowe's Foods #250
MBI Builders, Inc.
Real McCoy Golf Services

Thank you new members for supporting the Wilkes Chamber of Commerce! If you are interested in becoming a member or have a general membership question, please email Jamie Lakey at

Monday, August 8, 2011

Belk Chamber Membership Sales Discount for August 9th

Belk of Wilkesboro would like to extend a special sales discount for Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 to all current Wilkes Chamber Members! Read below to see the comments from your local Belk store.

Hello Chamber Members,
We'd like to say a great big THANK YOU to the Chamber of Commerce for its pivotal role in the economic vibrancy of our community. In appreciation of the Chamber's many efforts, Belk would like to present an all day savings pass for all Chamber members.

This savings discount is only available to current Chamber Members. Come by the Chamber Office at 717 Main Street, North Wilkesboro to receive the 20% sales coupon.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Take Advantage of the Tax Free Weekend

Wilkes Chamber encourages Wilkes County citizens to take advantage of the “tax free” weekend by buying locally.  Support your local economy, make your tax free purchases in Wilkes!

Visit our Online Business Directory to find local businesses for all your shopping needs.

Click Here for Directory

11 & 12 Year Old Wilkes County All-Star Softball Team

Congratulations to the 11 & 12 year old Wilkes County All-Stars softball team! Monday night, representing North Carolina, they won the Little League Southeastern Regional Tournament against Florida, 7-2. This win placed them in the Little League World Series in Oregon next week.

In a effort to help with the cost of the trip for the team and their families, two fundraisers will be held this weekend on Saturday. Beginning at 9:00 am Saturday morning, a car wash will be held in front of Crossroads Harley-Davidson on 421. Then from 6:00-8:00 pm Saturday evening, 10% of the sales at Chick-fil-A during these hours will go to the team, or they will accept cash donations.

Let's help support these girls on their great accomplishment!