The Ashe County Chamber of Commerce today announced new extended business hours for the Visitors Center to better serve tourists this season.
“We’re seeing a lot more visitors to Ashe County, and several of the businesses in West Jefferson are now staying open later,” said Chamber Executive Director Cabot Hamilton. “We’re doing it because it enables us to serve more people.”
The Chamber Board of Directors decided to keep the doors open until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, he said.
Mo’s Boots, Scarlett Creek, Carolina Country Wines, Good Ole Days and the Candy Shack are among businesses that added evening hours, he said, and some restaurants are also staying open longer.
The chamber has been encouraging local businesses to stay open later to give visitors something to do in the evening. “The people are coming,” he said.
“We didn’t feel it was right for us to recommend businesses do this if we weren’t doing it ourselves,” he said.
The Chamber’s Robin Privette will be working the Visitors Center desk during extended hours.
Privette, who has worked for the Chamber for almost 11 years, said the Visitor Center has, indeed, been seeing “tons of visitors.” On Saturday, she had “75 on a cold rainy day during MerleFest,” she said.
The Visitors Center will hold an open house with refreshments 5-8 p.m. Friday, Hamilton said.