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Cabarrus County plans for visitors in 2020

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TWC News: Cabarrus County plans for visitors in 2020
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Cabarrus County is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the state. Now the county's convention and visitor's bureau is forming a long term plan to keep tourism growing.

It's called the 'Destination 2020 Vision Plan.' Tourism and travel leaders in the area are working together to lengthen visitors' trips and increase spending.

Phillip Cunningham is the general manager at the Great Wolf Lodge. He's also part of a new task force for the plan.

"Concord and Cabarrus County as a whole is fast becoming a destination market," said Cunningham.

It's an initiative by the Cabarrus County CVB to make the county a top destination for visitors within the next decade.

"Ultimately our goal as an organization is to enhance the visitor experience and drive visitation to Cabarrus County," said John Mills, Executive Vice President of the CVB.

Last year, visitors spent $340 million in Cabarrus County, according to the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development. That's up 8.7 percent from 2010.

One way the CVB plans to keep that number growing is by improving traffic flow.

"How do we connect the hubs in Cabarrus County, being Exit 49 with the speedway and Concord Mills, along with Downtown Concord and Downtown Kannapolis and how do we move people along those corridors more effectively," said Mills.

A trolley used during the Democratic National Convention may make a return to help ease congestion, and get more visitors to new activities.

"The speedway is starting to do more, the skating rink I think is a great attraction for our guests," said Cunningham.

Just one way the CVB hopes to enhance the visitor experience and drive spending. The Destination 2020 Plan task force is also working with county and city governments to secure funding for future projects.

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