We've come a long way, baby.July 19, 1989: The North Carolina Legislature enacted legislation authorizing Cabarrus County to levy a room tax and establish a Tourism Authority.
August 21, 1989: The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners levied the occupancy tax and The Tourism Authority was formed to promote tourism for Cabarrus County.
The legislation also established the format by which the Board of Directors was created. The Board of Directors for the Tourism Authority is a twelve member board composed of six representatives of the Tourism Authority, three representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, and three representatives of Cabarrus County. The Board of Directors established the Convention and Visitors Bureau to conduct the day to day operations for the Tourism Authority.
Since its creation, the CVB has seen its budget increase substantially due to the growing popularity of NASCAR. As the home of Charlotte Motor Speedway and several NASCAR race teams, Cabarrus County is seen as the heart of NASCAR—“Where Racing Lives!” The popularity of the sport has resulted in additional area hotels, restaurants and attractions which have all significantly impacted the economy in Cabarrus County. zMAX Dragway opened in 2008 becoming the first and only four-lane, all-concrete dragway in the world.
Cabarrus County tourism revenue has been generated mostly by the leisure traveler. But in 2002 and later in 2007, the group meetings and convention business saw a boost with the grand openings of two meeting facilities—The Cabarrus Arena and Events Center and the Concord Convention Center. These two facilities have the ability to host everything from entertainment events and corporate meetings to weddings and reunions. In 2009, Great Wolf Lodge opened and as the largest indoor water park in the Carolinas, the year-round resort has since become a destination unto itself.
Because of the continuous growth of tourism in Cabarrus County, on July 1, 2008 the Bureau formed an independent non-profit 501c6 organization. Previously, the Bureau operated under the local arm of Cabarrus County. With the creation of the non-profit status, the Bureau now has the flexibility to grow and meet new demands it will face in the future. The legal name of the organization is now the Cabarrus County Tourism Authority DBA Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau.