Statesville: An Overview
Mia D'Agostino (2020)
“A historic town that is challenged with wanting the same growth as the communities to the south without losing our charm and hometown magic.” - Nancy Davis
Nancy Davis is the Public Affairs Director for the city of Statesville, located in western North Carolina. The Public Affairs office oversees public communications as well as community projects, so I knew Ms. Davis would be the perfect person to talk to about Statesville. Statesville is Iredell County’s county seat and is located along I-77 and I-40, offering central access to all North Carolina has to offer. Due to Statesville’s central location, many travelers utilize the hotels and restaurants throughout the city. Another draw is the Statesville Park and Soccer Complex, which hosts dozens of youth soccer tournaments throughout the year. Many visitors to the areas return to their newfound favorite restaurant, boutique, or music venue. Statesville has built its community around hospitality, offering weary travelers a warm and friendly place to stop.
Some of the main attractions Statesville has to offer are the annual Carolina Balloonfest, which attracts nearly sixty thousand tourists each year. Visitors can also experience balloon rides year-round, as Statesville is home to 15 balloon pilots. Fort Dobbs is a state park with a replica of the actual 18th-century fort used as a frontier defense during the French and Indian War, which attracts thousands of visitors, including school and tour groups for reenactments. Lake Norman, the state’s largest man-made lake, is just fifteen minutes away, offering a relaxed climate with more than just swimming! There are numerous ways to enjoy Lake Norman while keeping up with Covid-19 precautions, including a number of outdoor activities such as boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more! The Blue Ridge Mountains are located less than an hour away, where you can rent a cabin for a weekend getaway to hike, swim, and fish. In the fall, the community enjoys Pumpkinfest, and in the winter numerous Christmas events, including a parade and visits with Santa. And of course, the Fourth of July is celebrated with fireworks. Ms. Davis cites Phifer’s Wings and Barbeque as one of Statesville’s best restaurants. Phifers is an old family-owned and operated restaurant that serves as a gathering place for many.
Statesville has experienced recent population growth which is visible through the housing market, which has seen an increase in high-density developments on smaller lots. Mainly, Ms. Davis says Statesville wants its new residents to feel at home. Covid-19 has affected the housing and hospitality market the most. The hotels utilize an occupancy tax that funds Statesville’s travel, tourism, and civic center. However, the restaurants along the interstate are beginning to pick back up, while most of the downtown restaurants are primarily take-out and delivery. All of the community events have been canceled, as well as locations such as Fort Dobbs and the Soccer Complex, which contributes to the lack of income for the hospitality industry.