• Welcome To The Hickory Nut Gorge!



  • Events We've Been Working On Events We've Been Working On



    Still recovering from the fallout of COVID-19, the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge cautiously moved forward with events and activities in 2022. 

    The Chamber Board and Committees worked diligently to engage local businesses and community members through an array of successful programs including:


    • A Taste of the Gorge: This was the introductory program to allow local restaurants and other businesses to showcase special menus and promotions focusing on dining options in the Gorge. 
    • Souper Supper: Bringing back a local favorite, the competition of soups and salads offered many tasty delights and a great night of fun and friendship held at the Riverside Events Center.
    • Lake Lure Farmer's Market kicked off its inaugural year in 2022, bringing local farmers, artisan crafts, and live entertainment to Lake Lure every Friday. This new event quickly became a favorite activity for locals and visitors.
    • Lake Lure Olympiad: The Chamber helped the Olympiad Committee in planning and implementing the event, which brought 500 participants to the area for a weekend of running, biking, and swimming.
    • Dirty Dancing Festival: After two years without the festival, a smaller, more intimate festival was offered to strategically bring back the music, dancing, games, and fun.
    • Great Gatsby Gala: Always a favorite, the Gala did not disappoint! The sold-out event brought out the Roaring 20s in all of us against the backdrop of the 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa.
  • Economic Development Efforts Economic Development Efforts




    • Ushering in the dream of past leaders, the Chamber was on hand for the groundbreaking of Lake Lure's first assisted living facility.
    • QR Code for Connecting our businesses with our visitors - distributed to our local retail & restaurant businesses & our short-term rental management members.
    • Part of a "Year of the Trail" task force for Rutherford County in alignment with Mountain BizWorks to market & collaborate on this 2023 WNC effort.
    • Attended WNC Outdoor Economic Conference in Cherokee, NC.
    • On the task force with TOLL & TDA on the "Town Center" plan.
    • Provided recommendations to the TOLL and participated in Zoning Board meetings to update Food Truck ordinance.
    • Work with TDA on January, February & March themes to expand the shoulder season and attract tourists.  Health/Wellness January; Warmth and romance February; March outside for March.
    • Focused efforts to attract a bank - creating prospectus and distributing to approximately 40 banks.  Also searched for local investors to create our own local bank.  Unsuccessful on both parts.
    • Worked with DOT and muralist on the retaining wall at the bridge entering the Town of Lake Lure.
    • Met with Fae Nectar and assisted with the possibilities in our area and discussed his goals and objectives.
    • Met with My Green Room (now Terps and Shine), a retail store looking for a location to open.  Very successful CBD dispensary in Forest City and Rutherfordton.  Referred her to the Landlord of old Wags/Whiskers & Sacred Living Wellness buildings.  
    • Met with a large land purchasing corporation regarding their plans to develop an 18-acre tract as well as a 300-acre tract of land in Lake Lure.  Under NDA.
    • Soliciting restaurants(breakfast) regarding a potential opportunity with Japan House departure.  However, Japan House is closed temporarily for Winter versus permanently according to the Landlord.
    • Worked with a private investor group interested in creating a historic golf and recreation area on the previous public course, now green space. Researched primary group, other successful courses, and provided guidance on the development of a PROPOSAL to share with the Town of Lake Lure.
  • Membership & Community Activities Membership & Community Activities




    • Created Chamber Partnership Levels to provide business partners with increased marketing opportunities throughout the year and at Chamber Signature events of their choosing.
    • Offered first Chamber Explorations tour of Tuscany.
    • Organized special discounts at local establishments for participants in the 2022 Rumble presented by The Riveter and the Carolina Climbers Coalition
    • Offered Lake Lure Candidates Forum at Rumbling Bald and Town Hall
    • Participated on the Town of Lake Lure Steering Committee
    • Began development of Member survey
    • Contacted numerous renewing members asking for suggestions and input on how best to meet their needs
    • Offered Chamber Cheers networking gatherings at Emberglow and Old Rock Café, and offered the opportunity to several other local businesses
    • Provided eNewsletter, Chamber Connect, to more than 700 registered followers, and special Dirty Dancing eNewsletter to more than 6,400 followers
  • 2022-23 Chamber Staff & Board of Directors 2022-23 Chamber Staff & Board of Directors


    • Mary Deyak - Chamber Coordinator
    • Karen Yarborough - Bookkeeper



    • John Anderson, President -- JBACFO Consulting
    • Laura Doster, VP/Treasurer -- Blue Rock Business Advisory Group
    • Teri Coutu, Past President/Membership Services --  TERIC Enterprise Solutions
    • Crystal Morrison, Secretary -- Crystal Morrison Strategic Optimization Consulting
    • Paul Brock --  Lured Market & Grill
      • Membership Committee
    • Mike Jackson --  Point Lookout Vineyards
    • Mary Jaeger-Gale --  Chimney Rock Management
    • Liz Geary -- Rumbling Bald Community
      • Membership Committee
    • Amy Neal -- Sacred Living Wellness
      • Membership Committee
    • Diane Daneau Duval - Dwell Realty
      • Membership Committee
    • Kathie Hatfield - Lake Lure Resident


    If you have any questions about the Board or for a Board member, please Contact Us and we will get back with you as soon as possible.