Joseph starts today’s episode off by introducing the topic of the episode, Maggie Valley. Joseph makes a big announcement about the future of the Meadowlark Motel, they will be opening a heritage center! The previous guest Bob Plott will be running this project with Joseph. Moving on from the project, Joseph introduces the guest for today’s episode, Teresa Smith. Teresa discusses how she began her involvement with the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce & Area Visitors Bureau. Teresa continues by talking about her love for Maggie Valley. Joseph shares this love of Maggie Valley and gives an anecdote explaining the feeling of the area. Along with the business side of her job, Teresa loves interacting with people. Joseph shares a story showing Teresa’s love for the people and the mountain charm of the people in the area. Teresa discusses some of the services and programs the chamber offers guests of the park.
Coming back from the break, Joseph asks Teresa to talk about the origin of the name Maggie Valley. Teresa tells the story of a man who opened a post office and when asked for the name of the town, gave his daughter’s name. There is a Miss Maggie, who previously has walked around town picking up trash, but now, May through October walks around waving to guests and residents alike. The mascot of Miss Maggie sets Maggie Valley apart from other towns as their mascots are often animals. Teresa describes the growth of the town, which coincided with the opening of Ghost Town. Ghost Town is a theme park on top of a mountain, which brought tourists and residents to the area. In the ’90s though, Ghost Town started fading out of the mainstream. Teresa often receives calls asking about a ghost town, reminiscing fond memories of it before its closing in 2012. There are plans for Ghost Town though as it recently transferred owners.
Joseph discusses the revival of the town of Maggie Valley beyond Ghost Town and asks Teresa why she thinks this is going on. Teresa sees the boom going on in the town as a result of the calming feel of the town as opposed to some other parts of the park. The two discuss activities to do within the town. Moving on, the two discuss motorcycles in the town. The traffic they have brought with festivals and museums has helped the town. Moving on from motorcycles, Teresa and Joseph discuss the presence of breweries in the town. Teresa goes on to share info about upcoming events at the festival grounds such as drive-in movies and car shows. There have also been drive-in concerts at the festival grounds, which have been very popular. The people of Maggie Valley love their biking, taking advantage of the bike trails in the park. Joseph makes a note of the interesting fact that “ATV” is the most searched term on his website with resources about the park.
Joseph introduces the last segment of the episode by introducing the topic of safety in the town. Teresa continues on the topic by sharing how safe she feels in the town, with Joseph joking that he would feel ok leaving his car unlocked with the keys in it. Teresa has been very impressed with the businesses in the town’s reaction to the COVID pandemic, staying very safe and following guidelines. Tourism in Maggie Valley has increased since the town has opened back up, likely as a result of the town being so remote. The two discuss the locations most tourists come from, citing New York and Florida as big contributors. Moving on, Teresa talks about the future for Maggie Valley, noting that tourism will likely remain busy, with hotels preparing for a busy summer. Teresa shares resources for listeners to find upcoming events in the Valley and details about them. Joseph ends the episode by sharing his own resources.