High Country Economic Kickoff Breakfast

Presented by Peak Insurance Group

The High Country Economic Kickoff Breakfast is held each January as one of the area's first business functions of the calendar year. The event is co-hosted by the Boone Area and Blowing Rock Chambers of Commerce.

Each year, economist Dr. Harry Davis, Professor of Banking and Economist for Appalachian State University and the North Carolina Bankers Association, delivers his Annual Economic Forecast as the keynote address. The data presented frames national economic trends for the coming year while also forecasting impacts on a regional and local level.

The event also includes remarks from a key member of the business community who speaks about new growth or topical issues facing the region.

For the 2021 virtual event, Kent Tarbutton, owner of Chetola Resort and Spa in Blowing Rock, provided past experiences and expertise on the state of hospitality industry in Watauga County, including projections for the future travel trends and the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine. He reported the Top 3 factors likely to influence travel moving forward and commented on the unique position that Watauga County holds.

Brad Moretz, President of Appalachian Ski Mountain, sparked the 2020 event with a presentation focused on historical perspective regarding the local tourism economy while outlining opportunities for future economic development in the area.

The 2019 event featured a presentation from Dr. Mark Poarch, President of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute that focused on the institution's Career Connections program.

In 2018, Erich Schlenker, Executive Director of the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship at Appalachian State, delivered a presentation on Boone’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

Kevin Troyer, President of 4 Forty Four Construction, spoke during the 2017 event about maintaining a sustainable business.

2021 Event Recap

2020 Event Recap

2019 Event Recap