WNC's fame is spreading

By Carol Viau | Jun 08, 2013
Photo by: Viau family photo Pictured are Paul and Carol Viau with two of their grandchildren, Serena and Davin Viau, in Breckenrigde, Colorado.

Having just returned from a week-long trip to Colorado for our grandaughter Zoe's Christening, I'm happy to report that word about Western North Carolina is spreading to the Rockies. And the word is very good.

The reputation of Western North Carolina as a great place to live is gaining momentum, even in the taller Rocky Mountains. While shopping last Saturday, many of the shop proprietors asked where we lived. When we said, "just west of Asheville," three separate retail workers said, "Oh, I want to retire there." Really.

And, others who didn't have retirement dreams said, "I've heard about how beautiful it is there."

Some had heard of Waynesville, and my husband's Maggie Valley Club shirt got positive comments, too — "Yes, I know about golfing in Western North Carolina."

To add to all of this, we did an overnight in the small town of Westcliffe, Colorado, nestled in the valley approaching the magestic Sangre de Christo mountain range. We were fortunate to attend a "house concert." The monthly concerts feature musicians presenting a live music concert in people's homes. The one we witnessed was at a charming adobe home, with a killer view of the mountains. It happened to be a bluegrass concert, which made us feel right at home. The Blue Canyon Boys, a Colorado-based quartet, entertained the group of 40 music aficionados.

I had the chance to talk with the musicians and asked if they knew of Balsam Range. Yes, they said they knew about them. So, again, the good reputation of WNC has been recognized outside of the state.

Colorado prides itself on its beer scene, not only with big brewers like New Belgium and Coors, but also, as a hot bed of craft brewing.  When we told restauranteurs and people at spirits stores we were from the Asheville area, they all said they had heard about the craft beer scene in WNC. We proudly boasted about Waynesville's three craft-breweries.

We may think we are isolated here, but based on the number of surprising unsolicited comments, the word is out on the great quality of life in WNC. And these people aren't even Floridians.

Recently, I gave my husband a bumper sticker that reads, "Don't move here." We may have to mount a campaign to keep WNC to ourselves, with all the people wanting a slice of the mountain lifestyle in Western North Carolina.

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