From the Hendersonville Times-News and AP on how The Hunger Games is still drawing tourists to the mountains of Western North Carolina:
Thousands of people are still coming to visit the Western North Carolina forest where the movie “The Hunger Games” was filmed.
The Times-News of Hendersonville reported the number of visitors this year to DuPont State Recreational Forest reached 327,000 by the end of October. Attendance last year was about 250,000.
Forest officials say there are no signs the surge of visitors will end anytime soon.
Karen Chavez of the Asheville Citizen-Times also has a story:
David Brown, DuPont forest supervisor, said the increase can partly be attributed to the lure of the “Hunger Games” movie — released in March and starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta — and partly to the crush of national media attention to the region, including Brevard, Transylvania County and Pisgah National Forest.
The media frenzy included DuPont State Forest being named one of the top five State Forest/Parks in the nation by Outside Magazine; Our State Magazine contained an 18-page photo essay on the forest in its March issue; and Bike Magazine featured the forest as a mountain biking destination.
But the extra attention at the 10,500-acre forest, which has no entrance fees, comes with some infrastructure and staffing challenges.
I think the fact that Oskar Blues also decided this year to build its East Coast brewery in Brevard helped put the spotlight on the area’s beauty and mountain bike trails.