Watauga Community Recreation Center Celebrates Grand Opening with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The Watauga Community Recreation Center’s ribbon cutting ceremony took place Friday, April 23 at 1:30 p.m.

By Harley Nefe

Watauga County Parks and Recreation personnel along with dignitaries and other special guests gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Watauga Community Recreation Center on April 23 to celebrate its opening day, which is today, April 26.

This ceremony comes after long-awaited anticipation from WCP&R staff and community members alike, as the pandemic delayed the opening of the new WCRC. The recreation center was finally able to open to the public at 6 a.m.

“What an exciting day,” said

read more

Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island spends $10M on famous pool, new slide

Imagine polishing a dusty diamond.

Spending $10 million over eight months on the legendary Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is not meant to change the traditional feel of the place, just make things a bit more spectacular in subtle but important ways, its owners say.

“It is a breathtaking change,” Doug Dean, executive vice president, operations at the Grand Hotel, told the Free Press. “I’ve marveled at the work that’s taken place. We had a pretty ambitious plan.”

This rendering of the Esther Williams swimming pool at the Grand Hotel reflects updates and changes to the site  when it opens for the 2021 season. The pool celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

Already the hotel is seeing reservations come in strong for June and July. 

The Grand Hotel, which opened its doors in 1887, 

read more

Surging recreation could signal busiest summer ever in Grand

Boaters are visible on Shadow Mountain Lake last summer as seen from Shadow Mountain Trail. Even with COVID-19 restrictions, 2020 was busy for Grand County and many are expecting this season to be even busier.
Amy Golden /

This summer’s potential for record-breaking recreation in Grand County comes down to simple math.

A general public that could be fully vaccinated by the end of May has been cooped up in a pandemic for over a year. During that time, tons of people have discovered the outdoors leading to record land use.

“People who were using the outdoors regularly are

read more

Grand jury indicts Dante Mason in Boardman hotel animal cruelty case

Reports said Dante Mason told police he beat a dog to teach it a “lesson”

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Mahoning County grand jury Thursday indicted a man who was arrested at a Boardman hotel on animal cruelty charges.

Dante Mason, 30, was charged with possession of a fentanyl-related compound and cruelty to companion animals following his Feb. 22 arrest at the Red Roof Inn after guests complained that someone there was abusing a dog.

read more

Grand Welcome vacation property management opens in Summit County under local ownership

Stacey English and Matt Witmer, owners of Grand Welcome Breckenridge & The High Rockies, are pictured.
Photo from Grand Welcome

Grand Welcome Breckenridge & The High Rockies opened in January under Breckenridge owners Matt Witmer and Stacey English. The local franchise of the larger Grand Welcome company plans to offer a diverse portfolio of condominiums and houses for rent.

The rental management company offers short-term vacation rentals in Breckenridge, Dillon and surrounding areas with per night prices ranging from $100 for a one-bedroom condominium in Breckenridge to $774 for a six-bedroom home in Cordillera in Eagle County. Prospective guests can

read more

‘This is not your grandfather’s old hotel’: Virgin Hotels Las Vegas shares first look inside after grand opening

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — After months of anticipation, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas opened Thursday, boasting a $200 million renovation and a brand-new beginning. 

The property unlocked its doors with an extra dose of fanfare, including 1500 rooms across three towers, along with 60,000 square feet of casino space. 

“This is not your grandfather’s old hotel,” Daniel Hughes President of the Americas at Hilton told 8 News Now. “This is a fun place.”

The first look inside the location, which was once The Hard Rock Hotel, was absolutely electric, with new restaurants, bars and a few uncommon characters among guests. 


read more