To the Editor:
I recently had occasion to take a 10-day camping and motorcycling trip. Maggie Valley was selected as my turn-around destination. The draw to Maggie Valley was great. The potential to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway, which would include scenic views with great mountain vistas.
My magnet was more parochial in nature — The Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum. It has been several years since I had visited the museum. My first trip was during the original construction and opening of the facility by Mr. Dale Walksler.
The first museum visit was fabulous, and I vowed to return. During my absence, I heard a disturbing report regarding the Maggie Valley business community not supporting the museum and Mr. Walksler’s museum development plan.
This was disturbing and kept me away until my recent trip. Wow! What an incredible museum to be included in the Maggie Valley business community.
The improvements and enhancements to the museum’s historical presentation of America’s motorcycle history were impressive. Mr. Walksler serves as a modern-day “Indiana Jones” as he acts as curator for what was once a global business entity for many communities that were producing motorcycles in America in the early days of our country’s industrial greatness.
Mr. Walksler’s philosophy of keeping his equipment original and running is legendary in the motorcycle world.
Why is Wheels Through Time an important ambassador for the Maggie Valley business community? Simple, it’s the math. I was one motorcyclist, on one motorcycle, visiting Maggie Valley for the expressed reason of seeing the Wheels Through Time Museum.
I spent my discretionary dollars locally on food, fuel, and local camping accommodations. My spending included snacks, treats, souvenirs and fees. All my purchases included applicable North Carolina and local taxes. I left tips where appropriate. I would not have visited Maggie Valley without the museum as a magnet.
Wheels Through Time has to be considered a significant economic draw. I hope Maggie Valley supports this viable community partner and recognizes its significance.
As a final testament, I have become a marketer for Maggie Valley. I have told all my network of contacts of my great experience. One of my contact groups already has firm visitation plans for this fall. I have made plans for a return trip in late August.
While at the Museum I shot an unsolicited video with Dale, which is being viewed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?-v=hfEmLXPgWdI with my observations on Facebook and Twitter.
Joseph A. Abal, Ph.D.