Crafting a new day for Maggie Valley

Maggie Valley has hired an outside consultant to help the once-bustling and now-struggling tourist town overcome an ongoing identity crisis.

The consultant is now ready to move from business to business talking to people about what they want for the valley.


Maggie Valley received a $20,000 grant from the North Carolina Rural Center to commission Craig Madison, the former president and CEO of the Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, to spearhead the project. Madison will start talking to business owners this week.

The three parts of the process include creating an identity for the valley, drawing up a master business plan that falls in line with that identity and setting benchmarks for progress, said Maggie Mayor Ron DeSimone.

Maggie has declined from it tourism heyday but has not fully embraced the trend as a second-home and retirement community — and thus has been a town in flux.

DeSimone said he views the plan as a something that every aspect of the valley can look to for a guide. Individual shops or hotels can create their own plan that would fit in with the overall vision for Maggie Valley, DeSimone said.

The mayor threw out an example of the festival board as one group that could use the plan when making decisions about events.

“The Festival Board will use that business plan as a guide to what sort of events to bring in,” DeSimone said.

The town will host a meeting at 5 p.m. Nov. 8 for business owners in Maggie Valley to gather to form a business council, which will discuss the valley’s future and work together to bring customers in.

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