It's been a while since we re-introduced ourselves, so we thought it was time to take a deep dive into Rutherford Bound and all of the work we're doing in Rutherford County!
Rutherford Bound is a collaborative effort between the Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) and the county's towns and municipalities. Through this initiative, these community stakeholders are working together to create a vision for the future of Rutherford County, and make it an even better place to live, work, and play.
So, who is Rutherford Bound for, how does it work, and what comes next? Read on and learn more...
Visionaries from each community in Rutherford County come together to envision and execute projects that will enrich the lives of the people who live here. Families are already enjoying new recreational spaces like the Thermal Belt Rail Trail, Kiwanis Park and the Purple Martin Greenway, and more projects are underway.
Sites like Chimney Rock and Lake Lure have long been travel destinations for visitors. But locals know that Rutherford County has even more to offer. Rutherford Bound is revitalizing and enhancing lesser-known areas of the county so tourists get a true taste of this beautiful part of North Carolina. Don Cason, Executive Director for the Rutherford County TDA says it best, "When you build a better place to live, work, and play, you build a place people want to visit."
The projects of Rutherford Bound - vibrant streetscapes, city parks, and lush greenways - are paid for in part by occupancy tax collected on all overnight stays by visitors to Rutherford County. This 'bed tax' on short-term lodging, such as hotels, B&Bs, and vacation home rentals is funneled back into local towns and municipalities.
State law requires that two-thirds of these funds are used for program administration and marketing, to encourage more visitors to come experience Rutherford County. The remaining one-third of tax revenue is spent on capital projects, recreational infrastructure, and other improvements that enhance life for residents and draw visitors to the region.
In addition to occupancy tax revenue, townships and municipalities in Rutherford County contribute portions of their budget to Rutherford Bound Projects. Grant money, capital campaigns, and private donors have also provided significant contributions. You can learn more about how Rutherford Bound is funded here.
Rutherford Bound has already put some incredible projects on the map, but there is much more to come. The Factory! at KidSenses Children's Museum on Main Street in Rutherfordton will be a major destination in Western North Carolina. In Spindale, a new 7,500 square foot skate park and pump track will draw outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels from across the region. And charming Chimney Rock Village will continue their enhancements with an inviting new streetscape that encourages visitors to linger.
Now that you know a little more about Rutherford Bound, we hope you'll stay tuned to hear more about the latest projects and updates. Follow us on Instagram @RutherfordBound, and check back here to see what's next!