At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

A new park opens

“Ghost Town is one of the biggest things that has happened to the western end of North Carolina in many a day. It has proven a giant boost to the economy of a people long hampered by a natural terrain that made farming mostly impractical and by transportation problems that, until lately, didn’t allow much influx of big industry.

Millions of visitors have visited Ghost Town in the past years and their presence in the area is causing tidy benefits to fall into the laps of the native businessman.

Real estate values in Maggie Valley have gone out of sight. ... Before the arrival of Ghost Town, most of the motels in Maggie Valley and vicinity closed after Labor Day. Since Ghost Town remains open until Nov. 1, the motels are now doing likewise, which means, of course, they now have an additional two months of business which did not exist before.

Many new restaurants and hotels have been built in Maggie Valley since Ghost Town had its grand opening in June of 1961. A new Howard Johnson Restaurant and Motel was built on U.S. 19 just a short way down the highway and from the entrance of Ghost Town, and a beautiful 18-hole golf course and club house was built in Maggie Valley recently.”

— from “The Story of Western Carolina’s Ghost Town in the Sky,” provided by Brad Pendley

Go to top