HUNTERSVILLE – The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and Lake Norman Economic Development have replaced their logos to unveil a new brand to represent the area’s business community.
During a chamber luncheon about the state of the Lake Norman economy Aug. 21 at NorthStone Country Club, the two entities presented their nearly identical logos, which feature a sailboat riding waves.
Lake Norman Economic Development Executive Director Ryan McDaniels told attendees they wanted to create an identifier for the area that is modern, but still emphasizes the area's traditions. The goal is to have consistency across the agencies complement other Lake Norman regional marketing efforts.
Chamber President Bill Russell said they had not originally planned on changing the logo but when approached, agreed the two business-geared organizations needed to keep the similar branding they’ve always had.
A marketing committee, comprised of chamber and EDC members as well as others in the community, narrowed down the winning design from 12 options created by Granite Sky, a marketing and design firm in Huntersville.
The chamber and EDC were joined at the luncheon by the tourism organization Visit Lake Norman to discuss other ways they have been influencing the area.
Visit Lake Norman
Tourism in North Carolina is one of the largest industries for the state and saw an increase of almost 16 percent in 2013 from 2012. With that comes more than 197,000 jobs statewide dealing with tourism.
Visit Lake Norman helps boost those numbers by giving people reasons to come to the area, and as Director Sally Ashworth said, leave with much lighter wallets. Top states represented by people stopping at the Visitor’s Center are North Carolina, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.
This year, VLN boasts 32 new events, bringing nearly 91,000 people – an increase of 6.2 percent since last year. The estimated economic impact for this year is $22.6 million, an increase of almost 4 percent.
Among the events held over the past year were the NC USTA 40+ Tennis State Championships, with 1,000 players coming to 60 courts in 11 public/private tennis venues, impacting Huntersville, Davidson and Cornelius. Ashworth reported they were recently awarded the 18+ tennis state championships for 2015 and 2016 and are working on bringing the N.C. Junior Team Tennis State Championships.
Another event was the Powerade State Games of North Carolina, the largest annually held sports festival in the state and one of the largest in the country. It had more than 13,000 athletes from the Carolinas vying in 10 competitions at nine venues held in Lake Norman. They will return 2019-20.
Upcoming events are the Chiquita Classic, Bass Pro Shop’s Bassmaster Southern Open, Top Gun Softball’s winter World Series, Carolina Bass Challenge Classic, Lake Norman fall classic soccer tournament and the Huntersville half marathon and 5K.
Lake Norman Economic Development
The group has continued its efforts to develop and implement economic development for the Lake Norman area so as to expand the tax base and improve quality of life with the creation of new jobs.
Among the companies either expanding or moving into the area have been Forbo Siegling, Valspar, MSC, Implan Group, Hyde Park and Poly-Tech Industrial.
The EDC also relies on companies and other area organizations to help them find leads to draw in other industries. The group then works to get them educated about the community, find potential sites and negotiate for them.
The problem, McDaniels said, is there simply aren’t enough available buildings for the needed space of greater than 25,000, 50,000 or 100,000 square feet. McDaniels said because of the limited availability, they have lost out on potential economic growth. Based on interest, if there was a new building constructed, it would be occupied.
Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce
The group boasts more than 1,000 businesses, predominantly from Huntersville, Cornelius and Charlotte.
In addition to keeping the area’s business connected, Russell said they are also working to collaborate more with regional partners, including the Charlotte, Mooresville-South Iredell, Greater Statesville and Lincoln County chambers.
The chamber has encouraged residents and employees to be patrons at all area companies, especially those affected by Exit 28 construction.