COOKEVILLE – Members of the Upper Cumberland Tourism Association are again partnering with the Upper Cumberland Home & Garden Show to host “Stay and Play.” The travel expo has been held in conjunction with the Home Show since 2013.
Stay and Play is designed to educate people about the region and help plan trips that last a day, a weekend, week or longer. The expo can also help locals plan for entertaining out-of-town guests; visitors will find the latest information about diverse experiences, from the UC’s rolling hills, valleys, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, farms, and off-the-beaten-path trails.
The 2017 Upper Cumberland Home & Garden Show will be held March 3-March 5 at the Hyder-Burks Pavilion in Cookeville.
Over the last decade, tourism in the Upper Cumberland region has been on upward moving scale. According to the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and the Travel Industry Association, visitors spent an estimated $389.67 in the region million in 2015, the most recent data available, a 3.3 percent gain year-over-year.
“Tourism in the Upper Cumberland is a strong industry with major growth potential,” said Ruth Dyal, director of the Upper Cumberland Tourism Association (UCTA), a non-profit tasked with increasing the economic impact of tourism in the region. “Many people don’t realize what an important role travel and tourism play in our economy. The fact that more tourists are traveling and spending more money in our region is the direct result of lots of hard work on the part of our chambers of commerce, community leaders, elected officials and especially tourism-related businesses and citizens.”
While Cookeville and Crossville are leading in tourism income, smaller counties throughout the Upper Cumberland region are also enjoying an increase in tourism dollars. Many will be exhibiting at the Home Show.
Featured on the upper level at Hyder-Burks are:
- White, Pickett, Jackson counties and Macon and Red Boiling Springs with information about events and attractions in their respective areas
- Retreat at Center Hill, a new destination in the region, ideal for family gatherings, church and company retreats
- Monterey, “Where the Hilltops Kiss the Sky,” with events and happenings around town
- Walker Creek Confections with its hand crafted, fine candies including almond toffee, gourmet caramels, and Southern pecan pralines.
On the main level:
- Celina and Clay County with information on Dale Hollow Lake and downtown Celina happenings for the upcoming season.
- Historic Granville, which is celebrating the 1940s, “A Decade of Change.” Granville is home to the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour and many music and heritage festivals throughout the year
- Representatives from Crossville, Tennessee’s Golf Capital
- Neighbors from Rugby and Morgan County, who will be marking their first time at Stay and Play. With two national parks and four state parks, they claim to be Tennessee’s best-kept secret
- Highland Aero/UCRA with information about flying lessons in the Upper Cumberland and information about the airport
- Cookeville officials will provide details about the county’s event calendar. Beginning in May, Cookeville is a favorite stop for the Run for the Wall, motorcycle riders on their way to Arlington National Cemetery. And from July 11-15, Cookeville will host the Southern Backroads H.O.G. Rally, a regional motorcycle rally drawing thousands of riders from across the globe for music, riding competitions and of course, guided & self-guided rides through Tennessee’s most scenic backroads
- Rita Reagan and her Overton County family will tell you all you ever wanted to know about Livingston and Overton County. They have a lot going on this tourist season
- The Doll Museum and the Upper Cumberland Quilt Festival & Trail will provide information about its upcoming events
- Upper Cumberland state parks
- Highland Rim Retreats in Spencer near Fall Creek Falls and Rock Island State Parks
- Arbortrek at Fall Creek Falls, the aerial adventure park in the trees, which features hours’ worth of zip-riding, bridge-crossing, free-climbing and more
- Main Street McMinnville has a great summer planned downtown and on the water
- And the Upper Cumberland Tourism Association, with information about different activities going on the region
Officials will have copies of the 2017 Tennessee Vacation Guide and Upper Cumberland Magazine; information about the UC Wine Trail; the Wine, Shine and Stein Trail and information about other destinations in the region, including 16 Discover Tennessee Trails brochures and the most updated Tennessee maps.