By GAIL MAHOLICK

GMAHOLICK@TNONLINE.COM [1]

THIS PAST WEEK I WAS FORTUNATE TO BE AT TWO EXCITING SOCIAL EVENTS THAT WILL SURELY BRING PROSPERITY TO THE CARBON COUNTY AREA.

THE JIM THORPE TOURIST PROMOTION AGENCY ANNOUNCED THEY ARE BRANDING AMAZING JIM THORPE TO SHARE THE EXCITEMENT OF VISITING JIM THORPE AS A TOURIST DESTINATION AND THE CARBON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCED THEIR MERGER WITH THE CARBON COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE OPENING A BRAND NEW OFFICE IN LEHIGHTON THAT HOPES TO BRING MORE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES TO THE AREA.

IT WAS EXCITING TO BE PART OF BOTH EVENTS AND I AM HOPE THE STORIES I WROTE CAPTURED THE EXCITEMENT THAT BOTH ANNOUNCEMENTS WILL BRING TO THE AREA.

I HAD MET DAN HUGOS AT THE BROADWAY GRILL, DOWNTOWN JIM THORPE, BUT THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK ONE-ON-ONE TO HIM FOR A LENGTH OF TIME. HE WAS PROUD AS HE ANNOUNCED THE NAME CHANGE, BUT WHILE HE WAS LOW KEY, YOU COULD HEAR HIS EXCITEMENT. THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE NEW NAME AND HIS EXPLANATION OF HOW IT WILL IMPACT THE AREA BROUGHT A LOT OF CLAPPING AND CHEERS BY THE MANY SHOPKEEPERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS WHO ATTENDED THE SOCIAL EVENT OF THE SPRING.

HOW CAN SOMEONE NOT WANT TO COME TO JIM THORPE FOR A DAY OR LONGER. THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO AND THE SCENERY IS AS AMAZING AS THEY CLAIM IT TO BE.

JIM THORPE IS A GREAT PLACE TO VISIT AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A TOURIST TO ENJOY ALL THAT THE AREA HAS TO OFFER. I'VE GONE ON HIKES, BIKE HIKES, SCALED THE GLEN ONOKO TRAIL TO SEE THE WATER FALLS AND I ENJOY LUNCHES AND DINNERS IN THE GREAT LOCAL RESTAURANTS. I'VE GONE KAKAYING AND WHITE WATER RAFTING DOWN THE LEHIGH RIVER, WHICH I'VE ENJOYED IMMENSELY.

THEN THERE IS THE MAUCH CHUNK MUSEUM, OLD JAIL MUSEUM, ASA PACKER MANSION, TRAIN RIDES, PENN AND MAUCH CHUNK OPERA HOUSE THAT ARE ALSO GREAT PLACES TO VISIT. WITH THE LIVE VENUES AT BOTH PENN AND MAUCH CHUNK OPERA HOUSE IN THE EVENINGS AND GREAT OUTDOORS ACTIVITIES TO FILL THE DAYLIGHT HOURS, ITS EASY TO SEE WHY YOU NEED TO SPEND MORE THAN A DAY IN JIM THORPE TO ENJOY IT ALL.

BEING PART OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE NAME CHANGE TO AMAZING JIM THORPE WAS A HIGHLIGHT FOR ME, THEN THE VERY NEXT DAY, I HEADED TO LEHIGHTON TO SEE THE EXCITEMENT OF A RIBBON CUTTING TO OPEN A BRAND NEW CARBON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICE.

DAWN FERRANTE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BRINGS VITALITY, IDEAS AND A GREAT FORWARD THINKING PERSONALITY THAT IS CAPTIVATING, ENTERTAINING AND DYNAMIC. I BELIEVE IN HER AND I BELIEVE IN THE CHAMBER'S MISSION.

PROSPERITY FOR CARBON COUNTY CAN AND WILL HAPPEN. WE ARE ON THE UPSWING HERE IN CARBON COUNTY AND WITH THE GOOD PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN, HOW CAN THINGS NOT IMPROVE?

WE NEED MORE AND BETTER JOBS IN THE AREA AND WITH THE PLANS COMING TOGETHER, I AM SURE THERE WILL BE A POSITIVE IMPACT TO THE AREA.

WE NEED TO STOP THE TREND THAT HAS OUR BRIGHTEST YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING THE AREA FOLLOWING GRADUATION TO FIND GOOD JOBS ELSEWHERE.

CARBON COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE, WORK AND PLAY AND WE NEED GOOD JOBS FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE TO PROSPER. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE COME BACK TO STAY IN THE AREA, FIND JOBS AND RAISE THEIR OWN FAMILIES.

WE ALSO NEED TO PROMOTE OUR AREA AS DAN HUGOS SAID, TOURISTS ARE GREAT FOR BUSINESS AND THEY BRING IN MUCH NEEDED DOLLARS TO THE AREA.

NEXT TIME YOU HAVE TIME FOR VACATION, THINK ABOUT SPENDING THE DAY OR A FEW DAYS IN JIM THORPE. YOU WILL BE "AMAZED."

HUGOS ALSO NOTED THAT HE IS HOPING THAT MORE LOCAL PEOPLE VISIT JIM THORPE. HE NOTED THAT THE SHOPS HAVE WONDERFUL, ONE OF A KIND ITEMS THAT ARE NOT EXPENSIVE. SO THE NEXT TIME YOU NEED A GIFT, TRY ONE OF THE EXQUISITE SHOPS.

CONGRATULATIONS TO JIM THORPE TOURIST PROMOTION AGENCY AND TO CARBON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. MAY YOUR BOTH MAKE AN IMPACT THAT IS FELT THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY.