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Vargas: Amazing To See Gainesboro Square Busy & Full

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Vargas: Amazing To See Gainesboro Square Busy & Full

The rebirth of Gainesboro’s downtown a result, in part, in the change of mindset that followed the COVID shutdown.

That according to Jackson County Chamber Of Commerce Director Hope Vargas. The news of a possible boutique hotel last month follows the opening of new restaurants and shops on the once vacant square.

“I think people really started thinking a little bit more profound and really considering the quality of life, whether they already had children or were thinking about maybe putting down roots or maybe not even family focused, but more of an outdoor enthusiast,” Vargas said. “I think that people realized that you don’t have to go where the jobs are. You can still have a really great quality of life in somewhere a little bit more out of the box, somewhere a little bit more rural, where there are wide open spaces and you can hop on the river within five minutes, or you can be at Cummins Falls in ten minutes, and it improves that quality of life for people so much.”

Vargas said tourists also began looking for more unique, down-to-earth experiences, something beyond traditional tourist attractions. The businesses moving into the community in recent years have furthered that for visitors.

“We are branding ourselves as a unique experience and we’re prided ourselves on know it’s something again, like you can’t get it anywhere else,” Vargas said. “And so we have some phenomenal restaurants that I believe this might be showing my bias, but I believe they’re some of the best restaurants in the state. We have some really great shopping experiences as well, from farms in Jackson County. And not only the extracurricular activities and potential renovated historic hotel. Just all of it creates a unique experience that I truly believe all Jackson Countians are going to be really proud of.”

Cultural tourism experiences seem more popular in the aftermath of COVID. Some experts have deemed it a return to roots, understanding the history of culture of neighbors. Vargas said Jackson County has a lot to offer in that regard.

“And so whenever someone can be almost that influencer and show someone a new experience, it feels good to know that you’re making a difference, possibly in someone else’s life, allowing them, showing them these awesome experiences,” Vargas said. “It feels really good getting to do something new, getting some fresh air, and bringing friends and family along, too.”

To see the renaissance of Gainesboro, Vargas said, makes her want to do more, while at the same time, feeling proud.

“Even just a few years ago, you would look around the square and there were few actually businesses operating at the time and now it’s the complete opposite,” Vargas said. “It feels good. I feel really proud to be from Jackson County. I hope everyone else does as well who lives here.”

Vargas said it’s up to the Chamber and local leaders to help build on the recent success so that the community can continue to grow.


The post Vargas: Amazing To See Gainesboro Square Busy & Full appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.