Gateway to the Smokies

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Facebook Live Video from 2022/04/12 - Jackson County Treasures in the Great Smoky Mountains

Facebook Live Video from 2022/04/12 - Jackson County Treasures in the Great Smoky Mountains


2022/04/12 - Jackson County Treasures in the Great Smoky Mountains

[NEW EPISODE] Jackson County Treasures in the Great Smoky Mountains

Jackson County is a wonderful area to live, work, and have fun in! Beautiful waterfalls, excellent stores, fantastic restaurants, and wonderful companies abound in that area. This week's episode features a special guest, Kelly Donaldson. He will be bringing you up to speed on all the big things happening in town. You'll learn about the best waterfalls to check out, where to grab a bite to eat and what businesses have the best gifts.

Kelly Donaldson is the Assistant Director of the Jackson County, N.C. Chamber of Commerce –a job he has held for the past eight years. Kelly’s wife, Julie Donaldson is the Executive Director of the same organization and has served in that role for 23 years. Kelly spent 15 years as a Sports Journalist and Editor for various publications in WNC—as well as in Gainesville, Georgia, before embarking on his career with the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce in 2014. 

Kelly’s hobbies include photography, attending WCU sporting events, and spending time with his family, along with an impressive resume of volunteer work in the community he loves and promotes so well. He will keep you up to date on all the great things happening in Jackson County that you need to know about. So, tune in and don't miss out!



Tune in for this fun conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.

Show Notes

Segment 1

Joseph as always begins with the sponsor, his own, the Meadowlark Motel and He also mentions upcoming events such as a fly fishing camp weekend and being one with the river while witnessing a valuable ecosystem. He also reads a poem by Eunice Lamberton called “Trout Fishing”. Joseph also introduces his guest, Kelly Donaldson, the Assistant Director of the Jackson County, N.C. Chamber of Commerce. Kelly started his career as a technical writer and then became an executive assistant in sales and marketing. Kelly says that he always believed that he'd be in a career dealing with media in some way. When making a jump to being a sports editor, Kelly says that he got to work for Transylvania Times after graduating from college. He started covering local college sports and high school sports as well as other topics like music while getting to interact with the community. He worked for a few years in places like Gainsville, Georgia for a daily newspaper, getting into bigger sports teams and games.

Segment 2

Kelly speaks about moving from working with The Crossroads Chronicle newspaper as an editor to doing more community work. He got more involved with the community along with the Chamber of Commerce in Sylva, North Carolina. Kelly would be involved in planning events, writing press releases, and taking pictures and videos. Kelly and Joseph talk about using media to promote yourself, business and in Kelly's case, Jackson County. Kelly also talks about working with his wife, Julie Donaldson, who is the Executive Director of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. Kelly describes being able to balance work and life together with his wife as they work together in the same organization. He also speaks about some projects they are working on like at the Pinnacle Park where there may be a mountain bike trail. They speak about the area being great for adding mountain biking as a focus as well as trouting.

Segment 3

Joseph mentions Jackson County having the Greening up the Mountains Festival. Kelly says that they will be having it again soon this month of April to celebrate the mountains turning green but also the people turning green with the environment. They have music, vendors, information about greenery, and much more. Kelly says that you can visit to learn more about this exciting event. Kelly is also involved with the Concerts on the Creek Series, something that his wife started and it’s now in its 13th year. They speak about some bands and artists that they’ve been involved with like Darren Nicholson and Balsam Range. They also discuss some of Kelly’s favorite waterfalls as well as areas for hiking. Kelly also mentions a program that his wife started where each business can showcase themselves and where other businesses come together for networking.

Segment 4

Kelly talks about more exciting things that happen in Jackson County throughout the year. He says that they have a big concert in Sylva during the 4th of July and they also have a lot of fireworks that the community could get a great view of. He also mentions having fireworks during the holidays. He also discusses great things in Dillsboro, a town in the county. Kelly also mentions still doing editing work while working on the Our Town publication and Eating out in Jackson County Guide. To learn more about Jackson County and the Chamber of Commerce at Joseph thanks Kelly Donaldson for this great conversation!


00:00:40.800 --> 00:00:43.500 Joseph McElroy: g'day welcome to the gateway to the smokies.

00:00:43.500 --> 00:00:52.830 Joseph McElroy: podcast this podcast is about america's most visited National Park, the great smoky mountains National Park in the surrounding towns.

00:00:53.250 --> 00:01:01.500 Joseph McElroy: This area is filled with ancient natural beauty a deep storied history and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.

00:01:02.190 --> 00:01:11.100 Joseph McElroy: I have Joseph Franklin mcilroy man of the world, but also a deep roots in these mountains my family is living the great smokies for over 200 years.

00:01:11.550 --> 00:01:21.210 Joseph McElroy: My business is in travel, but my heart is in culture today we're talking about Jackson county North Carolina but first let's talk about some sponsor messages.

00:01:21.990 --> 00:01:32.070 Joseph McElroy: I want you to imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the fast past in modern and vibrant with a chic appalachian feel.

00:01:32.820 --> 00:01:40.560 Joseph McElroy: a place for adventure and for relaxation imagine a place where your fish, you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream.

00:01:41.130 --> 00:01:59.400 Joseph McElroy: grill the catch on fire and need accompanied by fine wines of craft beer imagine a place of the old time music and world cultural sounds, there is no other place like the middle art motel and Maggie valley your smoky mountain adventure starts with where you stay.

00:02:00.690 --> 00:02:09.810 Joseph McElroy: Another sponsors smokies adventure smokies plural adventure the smoky mountains and surrounding areas.

00:02:10.260 --> 00:02:21.300 Joseph McElroy: Are vacation destination for all seasons, some of the nation's best hiking trails waterfalls outdoor adventures and family entertainment can be found, right here.

00:02:22.050 --> 00:02:30.330 Joseph McElroy: start your adventure by using smokies adventure calm to explore all the wonderful features of the great smoky mountains National Park.

00:02:30.960 --> 00:02:36.210 Joseph McElroy: and includes trails and waterfalls take co where a lot of the elk are and more.

00:02:36.720 --> 00:02:49.350 Joseph McElroy: than check out all the awesome family attractions and entertainment, you and your entire family can enjoy and don't hesitate to look for places to hold outdoor life events like weddings and honeymoons.

00:02:50.040 --> 00:03:00.330 Joseph McElroy: Because we have it all here in the smokies the goal of smokies adventure comes to become the leading information portal for adventures and experiences and the great smoky mountains.

00:03:01.980 --> 00:03:07.620 Joseph McElroy: want to tell you about event coming up it's at the middle like motel into fly fishing camp.

00:03:08.160 --> 00:03:17.100 Joseph McElroy: What bit what's better for the soul than throwing a line upstream watching it pass doing it again and again, and perhaps getting about.

00:03:18.000 --> 00:03:22.890 Joseph McElroy: All anglers know that fly fishing isn't only about reeling in the big one.

00:03:23.490 --> 00:03:35.130 Joseph McElroy: All that although that's always gets our heart of jumping fly fishing is about being one with the river and it's magnificent presence, while witnessing a valuable ecosystem.

00:03:35.910 --> 00:03:54.660 Joseph McElroy: The maillard motels offering fly fishing camp weekend on April 15 through the 17th of 2022 in the smoky mountains and Maggie bow our goal is to bring like minded people together to bond and become friends to fly fishing food, drink stories and campfire.

00:03:55.890 --> 00:04:08.040 Joseph McElroy: there'll be fishing tales and beverages and food and lodging and then there'll be a half day of instruction and then four or five hours of intense fishing on a regional trout stream plus.

00:04:08.430 --> 00:04:20.580 Joseph McElroy: The whole backyard of this mountain the middle or motel has a mountain heritage stock stream with rainbow trout and brown trout to fish at your pleasure practice what you learn so.

00:04:20.880 --> 00:04:35.730 Joseph McElroy: Be sure to come out there and again that'd be free food and campfires in lot call eight to 89261717 to reserve your your place at this weekend's it's this coming weekend fly fishing camp.

00:04:37.410 --> 00:04:55.590 Joseph McElroy: we're talking about fly fishing and we're also be talks about Jackson county which has a little bit to do with it with trout fishing, so I found a poem called by a woman named Mrs you eunice be lumberton which he wrote in 1873 called trout fishing.

00:04:57.120 --> 00:05:21.330 Joseph McElroy: Give me a rod of the split Bamboo a rainy day or a fly or to a mountain stream, where the eddies play and Miss hang low or the winding way give me a heart for by the failing brooke a hidden spot in a massing look no sounds say for the hum of the drowsy be or loan birds.

00:05:22.410 --> 00:05:37.620 Joseph McElroy: On the hollow tree the world may roll with it's busy with it's busy throng and phantom scenes on its way along its stock may rise it stocks may fall what care I for its bottles all.

00:05:38.880 --> 00:05:53.670 Joseph McElroy: I cast my fly over the troubled real during the beauties by magic skill, with a mind at rest and hard at ease and a drink and drink the light at the bomb he believes pretty.

00:05:54.780 --> 00:06:05.910 Joseph McElroy: A lusty trout to my glad surprise speckled and bright on the crest arise, then splash and play into the daily world hope springs I knew as the wavelengths curl.

00:06:06.480 --> 00:06:21.090 Joseph McElroy: gracefully swing from left to right action so gentle motion so slight tempting enticing on craft intent till yielding tip by the game is bent.

00:06:21.960 --> 00:06:33.840 Joseph McElroy: Drawing in slowly the letting go under the ripples where the bosses grow doubting my fortune lost in a dream blessing, the land of, for I stand stream.

00:06:35.400 --> 00:06:40.800 Joseph McElroy: That was a beautiful poem and it's repeated quite often a lot of fishing clubs around the United States.

00:06:43.260 --> 00:06:50.460 Joseph McElroy: So I have a guest here today who knows a little bit about trout because it comes from a county is famous for its trout fishing.

00:06:50.910 --> 00:07:01.950 Joseph McElroy: His name is Kelly donnison and he Donaldson and he's a graduate of pisco high school and canton which is, which is the arch nemesis and my Alma mater Alma mater test gola.

00:07:02.550 --> 00:07:03.210 Joseph McElroy: High School.

00:07:03.570 --> 00:07:08.490 Joseph McElroy: And he's also a graduate of Western Carolina university and callaway and C and.

00:07:09.510 --> 00:07:23.730 Joseph McElroy: Dallas and spent 15 years as a sports journalist and editor various publications and Western North Carolina and Georgia, but for the last eight years he has been an assistant director of the Jackson county North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, how are you doing Kelly.

00:07:24.450 --> 00:07:27.150 Kelly Donaldson: i'm great it's hard to follow that poem that was awesome.

00:07:28.170 --> 00:07:31.110 Joseph McElroy: hey I think I got into that poem did not have done.

00:07:31.110 --> 00:07:34.200 Joseph McElroy: That a little bit of a dramatic reading like that no.

00:07:35.730 --> 00:07:37.320 Kelly Donaldson: I might have to borrow that sometime.

00:07:37.410 --> 00:07:39.810 Joseph McElroy: yeah get me to have it up a little.

00:07:39.810 --> 00:07:40.260 Kelly Donaldson: bit right.

00:07:42.180 --> 00:07:43.350 Kelly Donaldson: That is a great very.

00:07:43.500 --> 00:07:45.300 Joseph McElroy: You started your career as a.

00:07:45.300 --> 00:07:53.880 Joseph McElroy: Technical writer and then executive system and sales and marketing was that your long term career plans to be involved with technical and marketing fields.

00:07:54.300 --> 00:08:01.170 Kelly Donaldson: i'm sort of I always kind of thought that I would be in some kind of media form and.

00:08:02.100 --> 00:08:16.170 Kelly Donaldson: I wish that the job market was like it is today back when I was looking for a job, out of college, because it was it was tough to find what I wanted to go into so you can have had to take what you could get and that was as close as I could get at the time right.

00:08:17.700 --> 00:08:25.320 Joseph McElroy: Oh, and what what, what do you think what were the learning foundations you got in your original the first careers that you had wow.

00:08:25.410 --> 00:08:29.580 Kelly Donaldson: The first job I had it was working for a private investigation company.

00:08:29.970 --> 00:08:33.750 Kelly Donaldson: Oh, my and they did like workers compensation cases.

00:08:34.140 --> 00:08:53.160 Kelly Donaldson: So the investigators would go out and take video of someone that you know, had laid out of work for six months, with a an injury, they have accrued at walmart or somewhere and then they would send back their handwritten notes and I had to type it up and make it sound nice for.

00:08:53.550 --> 00:08:54.600 Kelly Donaldson: A court docket.

00:08:56.700 --> 00:09:00.660 Kelly Donaldson: Though we saw some interesting things come across our desk and video.

00:09:01.380 --> 00:09:03.480 Joseph McElroy: Those legal tech technical and.

00:09:03.630 --> 00:09:08.880 Kelly Donaldson: Yes, it wasn't very creative or exciting, but it was my first my first job.

00:09:09.630 --> 00:09:17.130 Joseph McElroy: Well, but how did you then right after that use transition to becoming a sports editor how did you make that jump that's a pretty different line of work.

00:09:17.460 --> 00:09:22.140 Kelly Donaldson: It is that that's what I wanted to do that was the the goal coming out of college, so I finally.

00:09:22.560 --> 00:09:34.590 Kelly Donaldson: Finally, got it I got an opportunity to work over and provide in Transylvania county for the Transylvania times it's been there a long, long time it's still a great paper and Stella trap.

00:09:35.250 --> 00:09:42.540 Kelly Donaldson: was the one that hired me she's a she's a legend in North Carolina journalism so just kind of cut my teeth over there and.

00:09:43.020 --> 00:09:53.010 Kelly Donaldson: started covering provided high school football games and all their sports bard college athletics and roslyn high school and.

00:09:53.790 --> 00:10:07.320 Kelly Donaldson: In when school was out, I was able to do some features on different topics I didn't want on log cabins one summer and I did one on bluegrass music one summer, and this is some of the things that I really enjoyed.

00:10:07.770 --> 00:10:14.520 Kelly Donaldson: And had an interest in so there's a good way to get out and meet the Community that I didn't already know in the high school sports world.

00:10:15.480 --> 00:10:21.690 Joseph McElroy: Oh cool you know this area this this area high school sports is a pretty important pretty important thing.

00:10:22.110 --> 00:10:25.170 Kelly Donaldson: it's amazing It really is just all across the region.

00:10:25.260 --> 00:10:35.400 Kelly Donaldson: You know this coming from peers got know how important it is there, and my parents grew up you know going to camden high school when they were winning you know state championships back in the day and.

00:10:36.030 --> 00:10:52.200 Kelly Donaldson: regards no different you know they had some state champions if they actually had the first integrated football team in the state, so they had a great history there as well, so, and then you know it's this thing the same out through here and sylvan in going out to Murphy in those areas.

00:10:52.710 --> 00:10:57.420 Joseph McElroy: Oh man I That was a long trip to go out to Murphy to play, but I remember, we did that once or twice so.

00:10:57.570 --> 00:10:58.020 yeah.

00:11:00.030 --> 00:11:00.930 Joseph McElroy: That was a tough trip.

00:11:01.410 --> 00:11:10.200 Joseph McElroy: Yes, so, then you after after due to spin is still a sports editor you got to be the editor of the crossroad coc Chronicle and cashiers.

00:11:10.560 --> 00:11:10.830 I was.

00:11:11.910 --> 00:11:18.810 Kelly Donaldson: It was great it was great I went from regard to Morgan 10 and work there, a couple of years and then went to.

00:11:19.650 --> 00:11:28.920 Kelly Donaldson: gainesville Georgia and work there, a few years, and each of those places where dailies so i've kind of gone from being like a biweekly to a daily newspaper at both of those so.

00:11:29.460 --> 00:11:40.590 Kelly Donaldson: going to Georgia, I kind of got more into the Georgia bulldogs and Georgia tech and the braves and the falcons and bigger bigger sports and then just you know it's a tough life it's.

00:11:41.040 --> 00:11:51.240 Kelly Donaldson: When you think about when you like to watch sports and one of the greatest sports games are on it's a you know it's late at night and it's on the weekend, so it doesn't do much for your social life so.

00:11:52.200 --> 00:12:04.920 Kelly Donaldson: come into casters it gave me a chance to work more of a nine to five schedule and kind of expand, you know my abilities beyond sports I was covering more county Commissioner meetings and things like that.

00:12:05.190 --> 00:12:07.650 Joseph McElroy: You have to cover a lot, what was the biggest story you covered it.

00:12:08.970 --> 00:12:26.280 Kelly Donaldson: Oh wow i'm just how they cope with growth up there just you know they're they're not really incorporated and just the influx of tourists there and how they cope with it, but yet not be incorporated it's it's a challenge up there, but they make it work.

00:12:27.030 --> 00:12:27.780 Joseph McElroy: make it work.

00:12:28.080 --> 00:12:33.000 Joseph McElroy: Well, tourism coming up there for mountains are waterfalls what really coming up there for.

00:12:33.420 --> 00:12:38.970 Kelly Donaldson: I think, so the cooler weather, you know it's a lot of people from Florida and Georgia, that that want to come up.

00:12:39.180 --> 00:12:39.300 With.

00:12:40.320 --> 00:12:44.400 Joseph McElroy: Some written a lot of lot of that similar though this area too yeah.

00:12:44.460 --> 00:12:46.470 Kelly Donaldson: It is it's very similar it's.

00:12:46.500 --> 00:12:47.070 Kelly Donaldson: kind of a.

00:12:47.430 --> 00:12:51.540 Kelly Donaldson: ghost town in the winter time which is you know some the locals like it.

00:12:52.980 --> 00:12:55.530 Joseph McElroy: Now us from a few thousand to 200.

00:12:56.880 --> 00:12:57.660 Joseph McElroy: that's a good good.

00:12:58.170 --> 00:13:03.240 Joseph McElroy: All right, well, we got to take a break already and we'll come back and we'll talk more about the Jackson county.

00:13:03.780 --> 00:13:04.440 Kelly Donaldson: That sounds great.

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00:14:11.880 --> 00:14:16.410 Are you on edge day we live at challenging edgy time so let's lean it.

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00:15:20.070 --> 00:15:29.250 Joseph McElroy: Audi this is Joseph Franklin mcilroy back to the gateway to the smokies podcast and my guest Kelly dials so Kelly yeah you left.

00:15:30.000 --> 00:15:50.370 Joseph McElroy: The cross the Cross road Chronicle right about after 878 years and then you went to some called mainstreet silver team, you made a big transition didn't you from being an editor writing game into all of a sudden sort of Community work, how did that happen.

00:15:51.840 --> 00:16:02.280 Kelly Donaldson: Is it's really been a natural progression when I think about what i'm actually doing at the Chamber, but when I was there at the paper and casters.

00:16:03.360 --> 00:16:10.680 Kelly Donaldson: I became really involved in the Community doing volunteer work and I was asked to be on the board of directors, that they have their own.

00:16:11.160 --> 00:16:22.740 Kelly Donaldson: Chamber of Commerce and cashers so I was on their board of directors, for a few years and just immediately fell in love with it was this very interesting planning events and.

00:16:23.490 --> 00:16:28.770 Kelly Donaldson: Just everything and about involved with what the Chamber of Commerce does in the Community so.

00:16:29.280 --> 00:16:38.190 Kelly Donaldson: This kind of got to know people and got more involved in the Community and realize that's what I wanted to do, and this opportunity came up in Silva and.

00:16:39.180 --> 00:16:50.400 Kelly Donaldson: So I jumped on it and it's been a great fit this you know you writing press releases, you know, probably do that, once a week, at least, and you know, taking photographs at the newspaper i'm taking.

00:16:50.880 --> 00:16:56.400 Kelly Donaldson: i'm the guy that's always walking around our events taking photographs and videos and things like that so it's it's a really.

00:16:56.820 --> 00:17:04.890 Kelly Donaldson: Natural progression, you know at the newspaper, I was uploading a lot of stuff to our Facebook pages and websites and that's kind of the same thing i'm doing is.

00:17:05.160 --> 00:17:07.140 Joseph McElroy: nuts and bolts of it is very similar right.

00:17:07.200 --> 00:17:11.700 Kelly Donaldson: It really is i've never really thought about that, but it they're very similar.

00:17:12.300 --> 00:17:18.570 Joseph McElroy: cool well you know we were really excited to have you join us for sort of you know, for the for the reasons, because a.

00:17:19.200 --> 00:17:31.260 Joseph McElroy: big part of what we do is letting our naughty naughty naughty audience know about great things that people and places and regions and allowing us to be their base camp for creating their own memorable experiences of the smokies.

00:17:31.560 --> 00:17:36.000 Joseph McElroy: Absolutely, especially for getting become to our battle art motel but general.

00:17:36.750 --> 00:17:37.200 General.

00:17:38.310 --> 00:17:45.240 Joseph McElroy: And then, like you said you know you're using the same sort of tactics tactics and techniques to promote Jackson county.

00:17:45.750 --> 00:17:46.770 Joseph McElroy: Is that a fair statement.

00:17:46.860 --> 00:17:48.000 Joseph McElroy: yeah is that yeah.

00:17:48.300 --> 00:17:58.920 Kelly Donaldson: It really is, you know I think we were all just you know when I first started, you know in braveheart it was just you know it was old school like using glue you know taken.

00:17:59.610 --> 00:18:06.120 Kelly Donaldson: The copy on to the board on a piece of paper and shooting it that way on plates, and you know now it's just you know.

00:18:06.600 --> 00:18:09.990 Kelly Donaldson: The the social media world has changed everything it's.

00:18:10.230 --> 00:18:24.330 Joseph McElroy: Good you know my first my first ever effort at promoting something, believe it or not, using technology was in the early 90s, I was, I became one of those manufacturers, I was one of the ones they may law not.

00:18:24.360 --> 00:18:24.990 Not to do it.

00:18:26.460 --> 00:18:31.440 Joseph McElroy: But all I was doing was mass maxing out my resume looking for computer consulting work but.

00:18:31.530 --> 00:18:40.020 Joseph McElroy: I sure hope to visit them for that yeah that was like before that nobody knew how to get their information out other than spending money on stamped everybody right.

00:18:40.230 --> 00:18:41.190 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah.

00:18:41.520 --> 00:18:42.150 Kelly Donaldson: amazing.

00:18:42.270 --> 00:18:43.650 Joseph McElroy: It has changed lives.

00:18:43.740 --> 00:18:51.630 Kelly Donaldson: Right, I remember shooting pictures at football games and you know it would be Monday, before I ever saw the pictures because we did on film and.

00:18:52.020 --> 00:18:53.280 Kelly Donaldson: You know knock them off at.

00:18:53.580 --> 00:18:59.190 Kelly Donaldson: CVs or walgreens on the Saturday morning and i'll get them back on Monday and.

00:18:59.700 --> 00:19:00.540 Kelly Donaldson: You know now.

00:19:00.840 --> 00:19:07.620 Kelly Donaldson: If I go to an event, you know I can post it up to our Facebook page this right there immediately, so this is amazing how.

00:19:08.970 --> 00:19:20.160 Joseph McElroy: My first job with IBM, I was a computer programmer I would program for these big communications controllers, but I never even saw one for the first two years, I had the job.

00:19:21.900 --> 00:19:24.270 Joseph McElroy: I would just write code and send it off and then come.

00:19:24.270 --> 00:19:27.630 Joseph McElroy: back and these big dumps of hexadecimal coaches crazy.

00:19:28.050 --> 00:19:28.560 Joseph McElroy: anyway.

00:19:29.130 --> 00:19:29.970 Joseph McElroy: it's a new world.

00:19:30.240 --> 00:19:39.120 Joseph McElroy: yeah what else is exciting about us you you work with your wife Julie, just like I work with my wife Simone but she's technically your boss.

00:19:40.200 --> 00:19:41.640 Joseph McElroy: I guess I could relate to that.

00:19:44.760 --> 00:19:58.290 Joseph McElroy: load into my wife and I are you know the battle Arc and the heritage Center and we also run some other businesses, so I really appreciate the fact, how is it how's it for you jack juggling family and business obligations together.

00:19:58.620 --> 00:20:00.900 Kelly Donaldson: Sure it's been great I really.

00:20:02.190 --> 00:20:09.810 Kelly Donaldson: don't have any complaints it's just a smooth as it can be it's a you know we're best friends, but most of all, and.

00:20:10.770 --> 00:20:20.340 Kelly Donaldson: Just you know we keep our work at work in our home stuff at home and don't try to yeah it's not something that we do consciously I think it's just kind of naturally how we do it and.

00:20:21.480 --> 00:20:28.050 Kelly Donaldson: It works great I think a lot of it has to do with we really enjoy what we're doing you know it's like it doesn't seem like work when you're having fun.

00:20:28.440 --> 00:20:41.100 Kelly Donaldson: And that's kind of how we are we just we both kind of do different things at the Chamber so we're not constantly you know at each other's necks working on the same project it's she's got her skills and i've got mine and.

00:20:41.940 --> 00:20:43.530 Kelly Donaldson: We really don't spend a lot of.

00:20:43.950 --> 00:20:55.590 Kelly Donaldson: a ton of face to face time at work, but it's just we love it and on the weekends will find random moments where will be like hey here's an idea for something that works put this on the back burner until we get back on Monday.

00:20:56.010 --> 00:20:57.540 Kelly Donaldson: yeah so.

00:20:58.350 --> 00:21:01.470 Joseph McElroy: Right now, what do you have 600 Members now or are.

00:21:01.890 --> 00:21:02.730 Kelly Donaldson: We have about.

00:21:02.790 --> 00:21:10.530 Kelly Donaldson: 400 members and within those 400 members there's about 600 individuals associated with those businesses so it's.

00:21:10.920 --> 00:21:14.550 Joseph McElroy: A good number of businesses that all those are in silver.

00:21:15.210 --> 00:21:16.830 Kelly Donaldson: They are well jack Danny.

00:21:16.920 --> 00:21:17.790 Kelly Donaldson: And then we have.

00:21:18.360 --> 00:21:26.070 Kelly Donaldson: A random handful that not being haywood county or in macomb county or kind of just on the outskirts but most are in Jackson county.

00:21:27.150 --> 00:21:38.640 Joseph McElroy: cool well let's talk some about some of the projects, they got the cool projects you got going on Jackson crowded, because I think that there's people like to be involved with some of this and come visit us for some of these.

00:21:38.880 --> 00:21:48.330 Joseph McElroy: Absolutely, so you know let's start with the improvements you've done to the pinnacle creek Park, are you adding a world class mountain bike trail there.

00:21:48.930 --> 00:21:55.350 Kelly Donaldson: They are, that is something that our town of silver that's their property and they're working with our.

00:21:56.100 --> 00:22:08.580 Kelly Donaldson: Tourism Development Authority and some other organizations to like sorber the bicycling organization to do to extend it and make it more bike friendly make it longer.

00:22:09.360 --> 00:22:15.180 Kelly Donaldson: So that's something that they're working on it just got certified as a certified force therapy trail.

00:22:15.870 --> 00:22:21.630 Kelly Donaldson: And that was something that they, the town and the tourism development authority worked on together, and then.

00:22:22.440 --> 00:22:32.220 Kelly Donaldson: they're constantly trying to make improvements to it's it's a I don't know if you've been up there, familiar with, but it's it's pretty strenuous it's a it's a good hi can it's kind of rocky so.

00:22:33.750 --> 00:22:33.990 Kelly Donaldson: You know.

00:22:35.130 --> 00:22:45.300 Kelly Donaldson: It is about three and a half miles up three and a half back for seven miles and they're constantly kind of you know, however, you can go out at different ways and make it almost like nine miles, if you want to.

00:22:45.900 --> 00:22:52.140 Kelly Donaldson: And it is, it is they're constantly improving it we're doing some cool things at the Chamber.

00:22:52.800 --> 00:23:00.900 Kelly Donaldson: Where if you make it to the top, if you take a picture you can come back down we've got a logbook in our Chamber where people can come in and sound a lot but.

00:23:01.650 --> 00:23:09.480 Kelly Donaldson: I tackled the pinnacle and we've got stickers that we give them it will take your picture and make a little post that you've made it at pinnacle and just things like that.

00:23:10.020 --> 00:23:23.700 Kelly Donaldson: kind of add some fun to it it's we've got you know a lot of waterfalls and hiking trails around us, but pinnacles the one that's you know you when you're on Main Street and silver, you can see it from Main Street so it's the one that's closest to us so it's it's cool.

00:23:24.240 --> 00:23:38.910 Joseph McElroy: And would you would would you say to say it's safe to say that Western North Carolina general especially haywood county Jackson county and national really, really stepped up the game to become mountain bike central right.

00:23:39.270 --> 00:23:43.050 Kelly Donaldson: I think, so I mean it's it's a great place to do it, you know there's just all kinds of.

00:23:44.130 --> 00:23:53.100 Kelly Donaldson: You know I mean just the words were the trout capital, but you know, fishing is great and haywood county fishing is great in Pennsylvania county you know it's it's it's really.

00:23:53.520 --> 00:24:06.150 Kelly Donaldson: You know, Western North Carolina is just a special place in general and, but you know mountain biking we're getting a lot more requests for that we're getting our town board is right now, you know juggling putting in a skate park assist you know things that.

00:24:06.450 --> 00:24:15.030 Kelly Donaldson: yeah you have to kind of listen to what the public wants and that might not be my thing but it's there's enough uproar about it to they're considering it so that.

00:24:16.230 --> 00:24:23.010 Joseph McElroy: You mentioned yes Jackson county be in the north Georgia trout capital how'd that come about, did you have something to do that.

00:24:23.430 --> 00:24:40.560 Kelly Donaldson: A little bit when I first started at the Chamber Julie had kind of already got the ball down the road on that some she had created the wmc flat fishing trail, which is 15 spots in Jackson county on along the toolkits EG river, which runs North and South.

00:24:41.790 --> 00:24:45.510 Kelly Donaldson: Jackson county so after that we've got the.

00:24:46.530 --> 00:24:54.660 Kelly Donaldson: record rainbow trout index in Canada, we get stopped with more traffic than any other county in the state, so it was just kind of.

00:24:55.290 --> 00:25:05.460 Kelly Donaldson: All these things came together to kind of she'd come up with the idea let's be the trout capital, so when I joined that ball was already rolling so I just kind of helped.

00:25:06.000 --> 00:25:07.560 Kelly Donaldson: get behind it and push a little bit.

00:25:08.190 --> 00:25:11.280 Joseph McElroy: So yeah general Western North Carolina is great for.

00:25:11.310 --> 00:25:12.690 Kelly Donaldson: trout fishing and it really.

00:25:12.780 --> 00:25:17.280 Joseph McElroy: But you guys took the ball to get the ball to claim it right yeah.

00:25:17.340 --> 00:25:23.550 Kelly Donaldson: It really is he he did, and you know slang can is a great place, and you know there's not a bad place to fish and Western world.

00:25:24.600 --> 00:25:25.110 Kelly Donaldson: it's.

00:25:25.470 --> 00:25:28.260 Kelly Donaldson: it's just a big effort has been real popular we've got.

00:25:29.340 --> 00:25:33.750 Kelly Donaldson: You know the fly fishing trail map it's one of our most popular things that we do it's we go.

00:25:34.020 --> 00:25:38.010 Joseph McElroy: there's the Western North Carroll fly fishing trip that's more than just Jackson county right.

00:25:38.370 --> 00:25:40.530 Kelly Donaldson: Now this Jackson county only it's it was.

00:25:41.010 --> 00:25:43.020 Joseph McElroy: The fly fishing trail, as well as Jackson.

00:25:43.110 --> 00:25:43.860 Joseph McElroy: county only.

00:25:44.220 --> 00:25:45.930 Kelly Donaldson: It is yeah it's something that you.

00:25:45.930 --> 00:25:47.160 Joseph McElroy: expand that out hey we.

00:25:47.190 --> 00:25:47.640 Can.

00:25:49.020 --> 00:25:50.850 Joseph McElroy: get them over to Jay creek of all.

00:25:52.980 --> 00:25:54.210 Kelly Donaldson: We hear that a lot.

00:25:54.210 --> 00:25:54.450 So.

00:25:55.710 --> 00:26:05.640 Kelly Donaldson: it's a lot to keep up with you know Julie works very hard every day she tries to get we've got probably close to 10 fishing guides that we deal with that.

00:26:06.270 --> 00:26:13.470 Kelly Donaldson: You know they post their big fish pictures and we share them on on Facebook and they help we do the fly fishing report every week.

00:26:14.130 --> 00:26:26.940 Kelly Donaldson: So they help us out with that and kind of tell people you know what time of day they're supposed to be battling and what they're biting on and things like that so it's a lot just to keep up with with our our own county people but it's great it's.

00:26:28.320 --> 00:26:29.490 Kelly Donaldson: I don't know if we can take it.

00:26:29.490 --> 00:26:31.440 Joseph McElroy: anymore, I want to get a coalition of.

00:26:33.360 --> 00:26:38.370 Joseph McElroy: chambers to coordinate one that was something else but anyway.

00:26:38.700 --> 00:26:45.120 Joseph McElroy: I you know I heard you're one of the originators of the hook line and drinker festival that sounds pretty interesting to me what is that.

00:26:45.390 --> 00:26:55.500 Kelly Donaldson: Oh it's fun it's it's it's my favorite thing that we do at the Chamber, we started it in Cola, you know, along with the trout capital and the fly fishing trail.

00:26:55.980 --> 00:27:03.570 Kelly Donaldson: And we have great craft breweries in town and lots of outdoor gear type people, so we thought you know let's have a festival.

00:27:03.930 --> 00:27:13.530 Kelly Donaldson: To kind of celebrate being the trout capital and the home of the fly fishing trail, so we would have about 20 vendors outdoors The fly fishing and then craft beer and then we'd have.

00:27:13.950 --> 00:27:20.340 Kelly Donaldson: A few bands play at the bridge park and silver and it was about four hours from three to seven every May.

00:27:20.910 --> 00:27:37.050 Kelly Donaldson: And just you know kind of grew we were good this was going to be our fifth year, and you know coven kind of hurt us last year and we had it, but it was later and kind of reduced and then this year with the staffing shortage.

00:27:38.070 --> 00:27:43.530 Kelly Donaldson: A lot of our faith fishing vendors and beer vendors couldn't spare the staff to come to the festival.

00:27:44.490 --> 00:27:49.050 Kelly Donaldson: We decided to postpone it till 2023 but i've got my fingers crossed we're gonna be.

00:27:50.430 --> 00:27:51.720 Joseph McElroy: Like a fun event and i'm looking.

00:27:51.720 --> 00:27:57.000 Joseph McElroy: forward to come out and visit here, you know I spent I spent the eclipse itself and you guys did a great job.

00:27:57.270 --> 00:27:58.260 Joseph McElroy: Great yeah.

00:27:58.650 --> 00:28:01.470 Joseph McElroy: Well, we have to take a, we have to take a break we'll come back talk about.

00:28:01.470 --> 00:28:04.950 Joseph McElroy: More things are happening silver Jackson Jackson county in general.

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00:30:11.280 --> 00:30:17.460 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast and my guests Kelly.

00:30:18.660 --> 00:30:21.210 Joseph McElroy: So Kelly, you know the maillard motel is.

00:30:22.230 --> 00:30:41.910 Joseph McElroy: One of the last time I looked at the only three pine rated motel West asheville and that's the award the state gives to sustainable and green you know green green lodging and restaurants and different kinds of things so we're pretty proud of that.

00:30:44.130 --> 00:30:50.550 Joseph McElroy: city oh Jackson county and Silva has had this long time this screening up the mountain festival.

00:30:50.910 --> 00:30:51.300 Joseph McElroy: that's right.

00:30:51.630 --> 00:30:55.860 Joseph McElroy: Council would stands for it stands for, is, are you gonna have it again this year.

00:30:56.070 --> 00:31:08.130 Kelly Donaldson: We are we are it's just in two weeks we'll listen it's on April 23 and it'll be our 24th Annual event so that's right up our alley that's how the festival got started.

00:31:09.120 --> 00:31:14.910 Kelly Donaldson: It was you know kind of meant to a celebrate, you know that the mountains are actually greening up and now.

00:31:15.300 --> 00:31:26.250 Kelly Donaldson: you're starting to come back and get the kids sprinklers out there, but also just to kind of celebrate green living recycling, you know that whole movement, and it was a lot of.

00:31:27.030 --> 00:31:41.700 Kelly Donaldson: You know, farm to table type stuff and nonprofits you know just kind of that thing it just grew and grew and grew and you know i've heard several times that you know some of the biggest ones, there was over 10,000 people there is.

00:31:41.820 --> 00:31:43.200 Kelly Donaldson: it's a great event it's.

00:31:43.200 --> 00:31:57.660 Kelly Donaldson: Free it's all like the close the streets up and down Main Street is closed, and then the bridge park has music, the way we have we've had two stages before we've kind of tamped it down to just one stage.

00:31:58.470 --> 00:32:06.840 Kelly Donaldson: But it's just been incredible up the first time first few times I went had this one is a fan and just kind of wandered around and then.

00:32:07.260 --> 00:32:21.390 Kelly Donaldson: When I was with the casters mountain music festival, I was a vendor and then, when I came to the Chamber I got involved with their local Organizing Committee and somehow became the stage emc so I don't know how about.

00:32:22.950 --> 00:32:24.630 Joseph McElroy: So you do a little public facing stuff.

00:32:27.540 --> 00:32:28.140 Joseph McElroy: So you.

00:32:28.560 --> 00:32:31.710 Joseph McElroy: So you so it's got music it's got food right.

00:32:31.710 --> 00:32:31.980 and

00:32:33.210 --> 00:32:43.170 Joseph McElroy: vendors displaying crafts and things and then he also information about greenery and he's got like farm to table is type stuff and farmers market type thing.

00:32:43.380 --> 00:32:49.080 Kelly Donaldson: yep it's a little bit everything, this is, this is a lot of fun, a lot of you know, family friendly.

00:32:49.440 --> 00:32:50.100 Kelly Donaldson: fun and.

00:32:50.880 --> 00:32:52.620 Kelly Donaldson: This kids love it been.

00:32:52.650 --> 00:32:56.160 Joseph McElroy: accepted two weeks basically that's it it's on the 23rd.

00:32:56.310 --> 00:32:58.500 Kelly Donaldson: and hopefully the weather is going to be nice we've got.

00:33:00.150 --> 00:33:03.630 Kelly Donaldson: Four or five bands, some of our local favorite.

00:33:03.960 --> 00:33:05.340 Joseph McElroy: people find out more about that.

00:33:05.820 --> 00:33:08.460 Kelly Donaldson: That would be on greening up the mountains calm.

00:33:09.900 --> 00:33:10.980 Joseph McElroy: Calm all right.

00:33:11.130 --> 00:33:21.030 Kelly Donaldson: that's right that's a town of silver event and it's there's greening up the mountains has its own little organizing committee, so that the Chamber, we help and we kind of man that information.

00:33:22.080 --> 00:33:29.430 Joseph McElroy: Well, speaking of music you're involved with the concert I think it's called the concerts on the creek series that runs from A to Labor day.

00:33:29.730 --> 00:33:30.270 Kelly Donaldson: that's correct.

00:33:30.660 --> 00:33:31.860 Joseph McElroy: Can you tell us more about that.

00:33:32.100 --> 00:33:42.300 Kelly Donaldson: Absolutely that's something that Julie started and it's in its 15th year now 13 i'm sorry and.

00:33:43.800 --> 00:34:00.690 Kelly Donaldson: We have a it's it's free seven to nine on Fridays from Memorial Day through Labor day and we have a lot of our local regional bands perform there and we tried, we asked for donations, but it's it's a great free night out for families and.

00:34:01.860 --> 00:34:12.090 Kelly Donaldson: Just a lot of fun sometimes we've had food trucks that show up and and do some things and ice trucks, but it's just a great event we try to mix it up with the bands and.

00:34:13.080 --> 00:34:15.510 Joseph McElroy: You got any any any big names that we know coming there.

00:34:15.960 --> 00:34:19.020 Kelly Donaldson: Absolutely there Nicholson, of course, from.

00:34:19.020 --> 00:34:19.950 Kelly Donaldson: Boston range.

00:34:19.980 --> 00:34:22.500 Joseph McElroy: we've had in our place yeah good.

00:34:22.770 --> 00:34:34.980 Kelly Donaldson: Okay fantastic so he's he's from Texas EG originally in Jackson county so we always try to have dinner in here we we used to we have we had balsam range in the beginning, but they're out of our price range.

00:34:34.980 --> 00:34:35.220 Now.

00:34:37.290 --> 00:34:48.840 Kelly Donaldson: So there is always comes and helps us we still love the Boston range gas to we've got the Maggie valley band coming in the woods and i've got the.

00:34:50.310 --> 00:35:01.950 Kelly Donaldson: same meet in the sound is one all Alma russ is once you sees it's got an album coming out and sees plays a lot locally in waynesville and you know we get a lot of people that play over there as well, COs balsam.

00:35:02.640 --> 00:35:06.690 Joseph McElroy: I heard you were involved with the cashiers music festival, and you got people like Doc Watson and.

00:35:06.690 --> 00:35:09.690 Joseph McElroy: Steve raiders to come to that that must have been pretty cool.

00:35:09.930 --> 00:35:16.950 Kelly Donaldson: It was that's you know, one of the greatest things i've ever been involved with and I hate that it's not still around, but it was.

00:35:17.640 --> 00:35:29.190 Kelly Donaldson: A lot of fun it's just another thing that I kind of got started going to as a volunteer in somehow became like a Co director of it, and it was just fantastic and just to.

00:35:29.730 --> 00:35:39.090 Kelly Donaldson: You know just I can't believe what really happened there is like seeing Doc Watson backstage and you know telling where he needs to go and.

00:35:40.200 --> 00:35:48.630 Kelly Donaldson: Earl scruggs got it we know, he was at the point where he needed some help to to walk up to the stage and just you know those are things that I won't ever forget and.

00:35:49.110 --> 00:35:58.500 Kelly Donaldson: Just to see people in the crowd this you know almost in tears just you know thinking back to the beverly hillbillies days you know and just you know there's so many.

00:35:58.860 --> 00:36:05.520 Kelly Donaldson: People that just have great memories of Doc Watson and Earl scruggs that are just really enjoyed it made made a lot to them.

00:36:05.850 --> 00:36:12.120 Joseph McElroy: wow well cashiers I mean you you're involved the cashiers well, you had some good stuff going on, you had groove it in the Greens.

00:36:12.540 --> 00:36:21.450 Kelly Donaldson: that's correct that's that's like their concerts on the creek it's pretty much the same thing this Memorial Day to Labor day Fridays about seven to nine.

00:36:22.350 --> 00:36:24.180 Joseph McElroy: A leaf festival so goes on right.

00:36:24.330 --> 00:36:29.490 Kelly Donaldson: It does, yet I look today to see it makes sure that was still going on, and it is, I think it's October.

00:36:30.030 --> 00:36:39.690 Kelly Donaldson: 7 through the ninth if i'm not mistaken, so they it's a it's a great event it's a lot of arts and crafts vendors at the village green and cashiers and they have some music and things like that.

00:36:40.530 --> 00:36:43.560 Joseph McElroy: So Jackson county is also known for waterfalls.

00:36:44.280 --> 00:36:56.040 Kelly Donaldson: It is, it is, we have a waterfall and hiking trail map, this is probably one of our main things that we give out and it's got all of our waterfalls that are located in Jackson county.

00:36:56.910 --> 00:37:07.710 Kelly Donaldson: we've got about 21 on this piece, and then our hiking trails around here and there are multiple use trails for TVs and bikes and things like that, but we.

00:37:08.430 --> 00:37:19.500 Kelly Donaldson: that's a you know no surprise that's probably the number one thing that people come in asking about is you know where the first the best hiking trail where's the best waterfowl where's a good place to get a bite to eat and a beer.

00:37:20.880 --> 00:37:21.240 Joseph McElroy: What do you.

00:37:22.860 --> 00:37:25.710 Joseph McElroy: What do you think of the four or five most beautiful waterfalls.

00:37:26.730 --> 00:37:38.460 Kelly Donaldson: I really enjoy going to want waterfalls it's the the tallest waterfall this side of the Mississippi and it's just beautiful, you know it's it's an easy walk you know if you've got some.

00:37:39.750 --> 00:37:48.720 Kelly Donaldson: challenged people in your group that you know have some physical abilities that they can't hack rough trail it's a very easy paved path and.

00:37:49.020 --> 00:37:56.310 Kelly Donaldson: Less than a mile up to where you can see, the whole thing so it's it's nice it's a pretty good little while you're kind of getting right on the edge of the.

00:37:56.790 --> 00:38:07.740 Kelly Donaldson: Jackson county Transylvania land but it's it's beautiful and I love going to whiteside mountain it's RAD on the macon Jackson line and it's it's my favorite view.

00:38:08.250 --> 00:38:17.100 Kelly Donaldson: In this area, and then again it's it's probably a little tougher hike but it's not that far in, for you know, an avid hiker it's pretty easy hike.

00:38:17.460 --> 00:38:26.760 Kelly Donaldson: So those are those are my two favorites and a lot of times it just depends on when we get visitors coming in from other areas, it just depends on how much time they have they may be just.

00:38:27.360 --> 00:38:34.350 Kelly Donaldson: here for a few hours and passing through to come to Maggie Valley, or they may be here for the whole week so.

00:38:34.860 --> 00:38:45.270 Kelly Donaldson: there's a nice little loop that they can do that, like from silver to cashers to Highlands back down to Franklin and that's where you can see, like places like half half hours.

00:38:45.660 --> 00:38:57.210 Kelly Donaldson: bridal veil files which you know you used to be able to drive behind it, but now I think you can just walk behind it, I believe, but there that's where, if you look at our map that there's like a horse, you have that's where most.

00:38:57.300 --> 00:38:59.280 Joseph McElroy: Good way i've walked behind that one and.

00:38:59.970 --> 00:39:03.120 Joseph McElroy: Highlands and Islands right that yeah that's a nice.

00:39:03.990 --> 00:39:19.710 Joseph McElroy: idea, though, I want to emphasize to people that you know because i've been reading some bad news day don't don't jump in the falls and don't jump into and things unless it's clearly designated you can because it becomes extremely dangerous now.

00:39:20.970 --> 00:39:23.280 Kelly Donaldson: it's every year, you know when we're.

00:39:23.700 --> 00:39:25.860 Joseph McElroy: Sad one sad one yeah so but.

00:39:27.300 --> 00:39:30.840 Joseph McElroy: So you know, be very, very especially about young children, you know.

00:39:30.930 --> 00:39:35.640 Joseph McElroy: around it was false but, that being said, yeah some of them, you can get the water right.

00:39:36.270 --> 00:39:50.610 Kelly Donaldson: Absolutely, you know we've got a lot of great little swimming holes in the Tucker CG reverse great to swim in what like glanville is a great place so and there's lots of places to get in the water, besides getting at the top of a slippery waterfall.

00:39:51.900 --> 00:39:53.010 Joseph McElroy: exactly right.

00:39:53.430 --> 00:39:58.530 Joseph McElroy: yeah so you have something called a stir program can you explain the idea behind that.

00:39:58.920 --> 00:40:08.520 Kelly Donaldson: Absolutely again that's something that that Julie started, and she it's it's a business after hours, I think most towns have a business after hours type deal where.

00:40:09.630 --> 00:40:21.930 Kelly Donaldson: After work you get together one business and invite all your Chamber membership to come and that business gets to kind of showcase what they're all about, and you have hors d'oeuvres and drinks and.

00:40:22.530 --> 00:40:35.190 Kelly Donaldson: mingle network with your fellow TEAM members so it's a great program we do it once a month and we're just now getting back to a regular groove again after coven so it's it's great to see.

00:40:36.000 --> 00:40:43.350 Kelly Donaldson: Everybody come together and it's like they haven't seen each other in two years, so it's just nice to to get back to normal, a little bit.

00:40:43.590 --> 00:40:45.120 Joseph McElroy: And now I know we're all trying to.

00:40:45.360 --> 00:40:47.760 Joseph McElroy: we're all striving to get back there right yeah.

00:40:47.790 --> 00:40:57.360 Kelly Donaldson: We are we are but it's it's a great chance to just you know it may be a someplace you've never thought about going, but you end up learning a lot about that business and hopefully down the road.

00:40:58.230 --> 00:41:10.230 Kelly Donaldson: You know somebody approached you about hey where can I get my car fixed and you'll you'll remember that we had that business after hours over there and send them over there, and vice versa, so that's kind of what it's supposed to do.

00:41:10.740 --> 00:41:22.200 Joseph McElroy: How much was a tourism, effective and Jackson county and you know I you know I know in some regards local travel became bigger and so, but yeah tourism increase I think generally the area.

00:41:22.590 --> 00:41:23.880 Joseph McElroy: yeah also change.

00:41:23.910 --> 00:41:27.810 Joseph McElroy: How would you think how would you characterize it changes, what do you think it'll change back to.

00:41:29.070 --> 00:41:42.360 Kelly Donaldson: I think the obvious if I don't go to julie's involved with our tourism development authority, but just from what i've heard from her and seen numbers wise, you know, we had some of our best month ever you know, during coven.

00:41:42.630 --> 00:42:03.660 Kelly Donaldson: I think people from larger cities felt safer to come here and we you know with our outdoors you didn't feel as bunched in as you did in a larger city, I think, sadly, a result of covert is what we're all seeing with you know staffing issues and things like that so it's.

00:42:06.240 --> 00:42:10.290 Kelly Donaldson: it's been that that I hope we can get past that.

00:42:11.550 --> 00:42:18.300 Kelly Donaldson: The staffing issues, because you know, like the hook line and drinker, that is what is the reason why we're not having it.

00:42:19.200 --> 00:42:28.890 Kelly Donaldson: So hopefully we'll get past that but I know our our business owners are struggling you know, trying to find people to it's just I don't know why people aren't going back to work, but it's just frustrating.

00:42:29.730 --> 00:42:38.040 Joseph McElroy: there's lots of you know there's lots of needs of people getting paid more it's hard to find them on searches for hospitality jobs are you know.

00:42:38.970 --> 00:42:51.480 Joseph McElroy: A lot of times are traditionally not been looked upon you know as being lucrative and big futures, you know i'm trying to change that you know matt offering started off for health insurance to everybody that works here.

00:42:51.990 --> 00:43:05.610 Joseph McElroy: You know you have you have to you have to you have to start looking at is you know, making it more into a career, that is just sort of you know, throw away Java just anybody can do you know it's it's it's a different world we're living in now.

00:43:05.700 --> 00:43:06.090 Kelly Donaldson: But.

00:43:06.870 --> 00:43:07.920 Joseph McElroy: It sure is.

00:43:08.430 --> 00:43:17.430 Joseph McElroy: Well, we got to take another break and then we'll come back and finish up with some specific things that you recommend for people to do and and some other things that you've done all right.

00:43:17.730 --> 00:43:18.300 Kelly Donaldson: Thank you.

00:43:21.780 --> 00:43:30.720 hey buddy it's comedy the nonprofit sector can actually coming at you from my attic each week here on talk radio dot nyc I hope program philanthropy.

00:43:31.440 --> 00:43:45.120 Nonsense nonprofits in practice every day and it's my focus to help amplify their message tell their story listen each week at 10am Eastern standard time until 11am Eastern standard time right here on talk radio dot nyc.

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00:45:19.590 --> 00:45:28.110 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin mcilroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts and my guest Kelly Donaldson so Kelly you guys.

00:45:28.800 --> 00:45:34.980 Joseph McElroy: Do really well with events over there and attacks can especially silver you know i've been over to a couple of anti have that.

00:45:35.430 --> 00:45:45.600 Joseph McElroy: nice little area I guess you call it a fair grounds almost like Maggie Is it fair grounds and i'm tell you what what what what they did for the equity the the.

00:45:46.620 --> 00:46:02.160 Joseph McElroy: The eclipse was amazing program with you know professors they're telling you what was happening and music, it was good and cutting into town, but i'm here you got you got some amazing fireworks that happened there you have the fourth of July, and you have Christmas do.

00:46:02.550 --> 00:46:04.800 Joseph McElroy: that's right I works on Christmas tell me about that.

00:46:05.160 --> 00:46:09.120 Kelly Donaldson: yeah we did when I brought after the first year I worked at the Chamber.

00:46:10.500 --> 00:46:19.710 Kelly Donaldson: We didn't have fireworks and Silva they used to be shot near the historic courthouse and after years and years and years they decided that's not a good.

00:46:20.340 --> 00:46:28.110 Kelly Donaldson: fit because I think they found some little little burn holes up at the top of the courthouse and decided it's not a good idea to have it there anymore so.

00:46:29.190 --> 00:46:39.030 Kelly Donaldson: We went a year, a few years without having it in silver and brought it back and it's been a huge hit we've moved it down the road, a little ways, but you can see it from.

00:46:39.330 --> 00:46:48.090 Kelly Donaldson: The park that you're talking about the bridge Park, so people can come, we have a big concert about a four hour concert and it's always a fun.

00:46:48.420 --> 00:47:01.620 Kelly Donaldson: kind of dance band with classic hits and then at dark that everybody can turn around and see the fireworks over town it's visible from all over Main Street in the courthouse and everything so it's been a lot of fun.

00:47:02.370 --> 00:47:15.990 Kelly Donaldson: The holiday fireworks started, because the code it's you know we we just things with their lives down and depressed wanted to do something, and we had a.

00:47:17.160 --> 00:47:26.130 Kelly Donaldson: long story short, somebody contacted this and want to know if we'd be interested in having fireworks for help for the holidays and we said, why not so.

00:47:26.820 --> 00:47:40.650 Kelly Donaldson: We thought it'd be a way for people to get together, but not necessarily be close and just kind of come show up not have a concert just be downtown and just watch the fireworks there you know holiday thing colors and.

00:47:41.250 --> 00:47:49.350 Kelly Donaldson: it's a little shorter show but it's it's been we've had to now and they're they're really great shows they're almost as good as our July 4 power.

00:47:49.950 --> 00:47:54.060 Joseph McElroy: out of the ordinary so i'm sure people just sort of get ecstatic about it it's.

00:47:54.060 --> 00:47:54.720 Kelly Donaldson: Like they do.

00:47:54.930 --> 00:47:57.480 Kelly Donaldson: we've had great weather and the second year, we had.

00:47:58.110 --> 00:48:00.150 Kelly Donaldson: Free hot chocolate at the Chamber and.

00:48:00.450 --> 00:48:04.320 Joseph McElroy: grab it snowed in the fireworks I think that'd be fantastic beautiful y'all.

00:48:06.270 --> 00:48:07.770 Kelly Donaldson: have to talk a little Saint Nick about.

00:48:07.830 --> 00:48:14.280 Joseph McElroy: yeah so uh you know we haven't talked much about some other times like deals bro I love little deals bro.

00:48:14.550 --> 00:48:15.570 Kelly Donaldson: yeah great.

00:48:15.810 --> 00:48:18.450 Joseph McElroy: yeah what kind of programs you doing there.

00:48:18.960 --> 00:48:26.070 Kelly Donaldson: We have a little visitor Center there and hillsborough and the train comes from time to time, the great smoky mountains railroad.

00:48:26.580 --> 00:48:38.580 Kelly Donaldson: used to you know, have a little hub there and then it kind of went away, and then they kind of come, you know every so often more in the season, you know kind of from memorial data to leave season and.

00:48:39.360 --> 00:48:47.130 Kelly Donaldson: there's lots of great arts and crafts in hillsboro innovation brewing started in silver they.

00:48:47.970 --> 00:48:56.670 Kelly Donaldson: opened up a second location in hillsboro kind of near where the train station was called innovation station we've got some great restaurants down there.

00:48:57.210 --> 00:49:08.490 Kelly Donaldson: They have a good group the deals where merchants, and the deals were a group down there they have a lot of festivals during the year this coming weekend is the Easter hat parade don't know if you've never been to the Easter parade it's.

00:49:09.090 --> 00:49:11.670 Joseph McElroy: New York City, but I love Easter at for age oh yeah.

00:49:11.760 --> 00:49:25.200 Kelly Donaldson: yeah fantastic they parade down down Main Street there and the this kind of everybody's got their little hats on and there's usually antique cars come out and mini Coopers and it's a lot of fun, but they have.

00:49:27.390 --> 00:49:41.190 Kelly Donaldson: Five different festivals throughout the year at Christmas, they have the lattes and luminaries festival where they put the little bags with candles in the mat on Main Street and everybody goes around us for Christmas shopping and Santa clauses riding around so it's fine.

00:49:42.690 --> 00:49:45.240 Joseph McElroy: Is there any other festivals and other towns, you want to mention.

00:49:46.590 --> 00:49:50.100 Kelly Donaldson: I, like all of them, when we have time we try to go to to the others.

00:49:51.210 --> 00:49:57.720 Kelly Donaldson: You know, we do we love Jackson county and Silva and deals barn everywhere, but you know we do.

00:49:58.230 --> 00:50:10.290 Kelly Donaldson: we're just so blessed to live in such a great area we we enjoy coming to haywood county that's where i'm from so we came over there, quite a bit and we love you know one or two bras and city and regard and all of our great pounds.

00:50:10.410 --> 00:50:16.680 Joseph McElroy: Or you know you mentioned that you have two big publications you're still editing game they have a.

00:50:17.730 --> 00:50:18.780 Joseph McElroy: salary location.

00:50:19.080 --> 00:50:21.090 Joseph McElroy: and eating out in Jackson county right.

00:50:21.360 --> 00:50:29.400 Kelly Donaldson: We do we just put those out and our town publication, we put it out once a year and it's basically our membership directory.

00:50:29.820 --> 00:50:36.000 Kelly Donaldson: So it has all of our Members in the back in a directory format and then it kind of covers all the events that we do throughout the year.

00:50:36.300 --> 00:50:48.450 Kelly Donaldson: And we try to get some stories in there when we can, and then we do the dining out eating out in Jackson county God it's just basically nothing but our restaurants and breweries and.

00:50:49.020 --> 00:50:56.010 Kelly Donaldson: Things like that, so we do those once a year they're super popular and then our tourism development authority does our visitor guide.

00:50:56.490 --> 00:51:08.610 Kelly Donaldson: And the Chamber is responsible for getting that out, so people can either request it on the website or call and requested in were the the source for getting that mailed out to everybody.

00:51:09.810 --> 00:51:20.430 Joseph McElroy: Well, put on your personal hat take off your hat is, as you know, the assistant director of the of the Chamber, is there any favorite restaurant, you have in Jackson county.

00:51:21.840 --> 00:51:23.820 Kelly Donaldson: that's tough, you know that's why.

00:51:25.500 --> 00:51:27.180 Kelly Donaldson: Either favorite child is or.

00:51:27.570 --> 00:51:28.890 Joseph McElroy: Well, how about how about one.

00:51:29.250 --> 00:51:32.850 Joseph McElroy: that's pretty close to that just convenient you really love that so there's.

00:51:32.880 --> 00:51:36.660 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah that you know that that's the only reason you're doing your mentioned to you.

00:51:37.770 --> 00:51:38.130 Kelly Donaldson: earlier.

00:51:38.580 --> 00:51:39.750 Kelly Donaldson: you're going to get me in trouble.

00:51:42.900 --> 00:51:49.050 Kelly Donaldson: i'll just say we have a lot of great restaurants on Main Street and silver and hillsborough.

00:51:49.920 --> 00:51:55.080 Kelly Donaldson: And we've got a good mix we've got seafood we've got you know more high end things like at a place called hilda.

00:51:55.380 --> 00:52:02.010 Kelly Donaldson: Is a rat on the corner of vermaelen main break up it's new and it's got very high end food.

00:52:02.310 --> 00:52:10.650 Kelly Donaldson: In the seafood we've got creekside auster house, which is always popular and it's right on the creek it's kind of Nice to sit indoor outdoors and we got lots of great.

00:52:11.070 --> 00:52:21.000 Kelly Donaldson: pizza like CDs Peter and mad batter and you know this past weekend we had our it's an annual brew hop which the main street Silva association.

00:52:21.360 --> 00:52:40.200 Kelly Donaldson: organizes it features all of our breweries in downtown we have lazy hiker balsam falls innovation and Nana haleigh innovation has another site in deals borough and then whiteside brewing is up in cashers so we're we're blessed to have some great breweries in town.

00:52:40.530 --> 00:52:54.300 Joseph McElroy: that's that's a great thing, so I got to close it up here, we got to close up everything, so why don't you do some shout outs how people can find out some things that they that the about the Chamber about your towns or whatever you'd like to let them know about.

00:52:54.750 --> 00:53:00.660 Kelly Donaldson: Absolutely, first of all I want to thank my wife, because I wouldn't be here doing what i'm doing without her.

00:53:00.900 --> 00:53:02.670 Kelly Donaldson: So yes, and she.

00:53:03.210 --> 00:53:04.800 Joseph McElroy: didn't write down the other side of the camera.

00:53:06.300 --> 00:53:07.440 Kelly Donaldson: Instructions, a while ago.

00:53:08.760 --> 00:53:09.720 Joseph McElroy: I heard the whisper.

00:53:09.900 --> 00:53:10.260 yeah.

00:53:12.090 --> 00:53:19.050 Kelly Donaldson: You know she's sees the best and she's been doing this for 23 years so she's she's Jackson county is greatest ambassador.

00:53:19.620 --> 00:53:35.130 Kelly Donaldson: um our website is www dot mountain anything we talked about tonight you can hopefully find it there, if you want to call in ask questions were there every day nine to five it's 5862155.

00:53:35.730 --> 00:53:45.060 Kelly Donaldson: And the we have a website for the trout capital in sea trout capital COM, we have a website for the fly fishing trail that is fly fishing trail calm and.

00:53:46.110 --> 00:53:48.600 Kelly Donaldson: concerts on the creek all that is is online.

00:53:49.140 --> 00:53:52.260 Joseph McElroy: All right, well fabulous so I thank you for being on my show today.

00:53:52.710 --> 00:53:53.130 Kelly Donaldson: it's been a.

00:53:53.160 --> 00:53:56.880 Kelly Donaldson: pleasure, thank you very much it's been great it's been great.

00:53:57.180 --> 00:53:59.940 Joseph McElroy: This is the gateway to the smokies podcast.

00:54:01.080 --> 00:54:09.540 Joseph McElroy: And you can find more about us at our Facebook page Facebook COM slash gateway the smokies podcast you can also.

00:54:11.400 --> 00:54:13.770 Joseph McElroy: find us smokies adventure calm.

00:54:14.940 --> 00:54:22.290 Joseph McElroy: there's a link at the top called gateway the smokies podcasts that will link to all our previous episodes and summaries and things like that.

00:54:22.650 --> 00:54:37.110 Joseph McElroy: And you can sign up for a newsletter to find out information that might be useful to this podcast is part of the top talk radio dot nyc network, which is a network of live podcast.

00:54:38.280 --> 00:54:42.600 Joseph McElroy: ranging from self help to small business to.

00:54:43.740 --> 00:54:54.720 Joseph McElroy: You know pets to travel to interesting information that you might find useful and they're all live, which makes them very dynamic, I think that, and I would recommend you go listen.

00:54:55.410 --> 00:55:05.700 Joseph McElroy: To those I actually run another podcast on the network called wise content creates wealth and that's on Fridays from noon until one where I talked about.

00:55:06.180 --> 00:55:18.120 Joseph McElroy: You know content marketing and search engine optimization other marketing techniques using you know writers and artificial intelligence and behavioral intelligence and.

00:55:19.320 --> 00:55:27.720 Joseph McElroy: And machine learning and different things that can be useful for even for small business to figure out how to promote their business.

00:55:29.580 --> 00:55:33.300 Joseph McElroy: And you can also find that on slash.

00:55:35.130 --> 00:55:52.650 Joseph McElroy: Why what wise content creates wealth in my marketing companies gallery tech media COM, and of course i'm promoting also my motel motel middle like motel calm and hope to see you there and I hope to see you next Tuesday from six to seven for another gateway to the smokies podcast.

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