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IN THE VALLEY — The Maggie Valley Festival Grounds has long been a major attraction in Haywood County, and in recent years has grown in popularity.

The Town of Maggie Valley has voted to purchase land across from its festival grounds to use for parking.

The decision was made at a quick meeting last Monday. Some will likely recognize the plot as the land as belonging to the late Ray Hobby. The 1.05-acre plot used to have a hotel on it and was purchased for $185,000 and has a tax value of $214,500.

“We’ve been allowed to use that land for parking ever since the hotel was torn,” said Mayor Mike Eveland. “As long as we kept it up we could utilize it.”

“With the festivals as big as they’ve gotten, there’s a real lack of parking,” he added.

Eveland didn’t have a solid timeline on when the land may be developed but did note that it would likely either be paved or covered with gravel.

“I know that some or all of the trees will have to come down so we can utilize the property,” he said.

Eveland said he considers the purchase a good investment for the town.

“This helps the commercial side,” he said. “We have such a big investment in the festival grounds. Now we need to commit to other properties as they came up to ensure the ability to continue to have the kinds of events we want.”

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