With all the recent talk about the effectiveness and viability of Visit Lake Norman, I would like to voice my support for the organization from the point of view of a cooperative business partner. In addition to running a multimillion dollar NASCAR race team, Michael Waltrip Racing operates a thriving tour and retail attraction as well as a successful special-events venue. Since opening in 2007, we have welcomed thousands of race fans, who come from all over the world to tour our unique race shop. We have hosted hundreds of events, from corporate meetings and seminars to private dinners, parties and charity benefits.

Since my arrival four years ago, we have enjoyed a successful relationship with Visit Lake Norman as our promotional partner. Since I was new to the Lake Norman scene, the agency’s staff was invaluable in helping us establish a local identity and get the word out about our shop to all our neighbors, especially those outside the NASCAR fan base. Visit Lake Norman has been instrumental in helping us grow our tour and retail business by promoting us through its established network of businesses, government and civic agencies and media contacts. Visit Lake Norman has helped us expand our event business through referrals for events, large and small, and fostered our participation in high-profile events such as fishing and sports tournaments, business conventions, seminars and trade shows. Serving on the board of Visit Lake Norman for the past two years, I have seen the benefits of the partnership on other businesses as well.

It is disheartening to think such a valuable community and business asset is in danger of losing its already limited funding. I fail to see the logic in dismantling a beneficial resource that has proven its worth in promoting the Lake Norman corridor. Given what it accomplishes with limited resources, imagine what it could achieve with the full complement of funding, money the organization is owed by law, but does not receive at this time. This is the time to support and strengthen Visit Lake Norman. I urge you to support House Bill 508 to fully fund Visit Lake Norman.

– Chris ‘Sid’ Sadlowski, Director Fan Relations for Michael Waltrip Racing