Connecting the Natural Environment with Downtown Life

Destination by Design worked with Chimney Rock Village and the Rutherford County TDA to increase pedestrian mobility and visitor capacity in order to better connect the the area’s natural environment with village amenities. Chimney Rock Village is uniquely positioned to facilitate connections for area visitors between Rutherford County’s natural environment and its downtown life.

Walk This Way Chimney Rock Village is a classic gateway community, offering visitors to Chimney Rock State Park their first — and often lasting — impression of the community. Chimney Rock State Park hosts some 260,000+ visitors annually, and of them pass through Chimney Rock Village to get there.

The stunning Broad River also flows alongside of the downtown core. The central goal guiding DbD’s involvement in Chimney Rock Village involves improving pedestrian mobility, and ultimately creating increased visitor capacity to enhance access to key focal points like the Broad River and the Village Riverwalk.

Photo Renderings

Keepin’ it Real Like many mountain communities, Chimney Rock Village has a distinct culture and history that gives it a unique authenticity. Most of the town’s buildings date back to the 1920s and 30s when the area first came onto the scene as a top tourist destination.

This project necessitated a nuanced approach that sought to enhance commerce for the Village, while still maintaining its authenticity. By allowing downtown merchants to guide the process and create a shared vision for the community, we were able to achieve those dual goals. The recommended pedestrian-friendly improvements to the built environment in Chimney Rock Village will result in a degree of shared connectivity that tourism assets throughout Rutherford County can all benefit from.

At DbD, we value the uniqueness of every community we work in. Instead of making wholesale changes that fundamentally alter a community’s identity, we seek to add value through small improvements that elevate previously underutilized assets.  For instance, the “small wins” around improving pedestrian mobility helped to greatly enhance the community’s overall tourism product.