If your business or industry is tourism related, Cherokee County, North Carolina is an ideal location for your company. With over 1 million annual visitors to the area, our area Chambers of Commerce along with our economic development professionals will work closely with you to locate and develop your tourism or recreation oriented business.

Situated in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains and the Nantahala National Forest, Cherokee County truly is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Along with the mountains, there are a number of rivers, lakes, and streams that offer a myriad of recreational opportunities including the Hiwassee River, the Nottely River and Hiwassee Lake. If you are an outdoorsman that loves hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, or watersports, there’s no better place to be than Cherokee County, NC and no better place to start a business that caters to tourists.

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel, an enterprise of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian Nation located in Cherokee County, opened this brand-new destination with thrilling gaming, five food outlets, cool cocktails and hot entertainmentis. This new casino features 60,000 square feet of gaming space with more than 1,000 slots and 70 traditional table games.Beyond the lively gambling offerings, Valley River guests can enjoy a convenient getaway at the 300 room, seven-story hotel tower.

The mountains and the great outdoors isn’t the only thing that attracts new business, visitors and new residents to Cherokee County. There’s plenty to do and plenty of opportunity in and near Cherokee County including:

  • Outstanding public and private mountain golf courses to challenge your game
  • Our communities host several exciting festivals throughout the year
  • Fall foliage viewing in October is the best in the country
  • Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Touring local wineries and breweries
  • Enjoying live music in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains
  • Enjoy whitewater rafting on nearby rivers
  • Boating, swimming, water skiing fishing and watersports on Hiwassee Lake, the Hiwassee River, or the Nottely River;
  • Hiking dozens of trails for any skill level in the Nantahala National Forest.
  • Nearby snow skiing in winter;
  • Visiting our historic and charming communities including Andrews, Murphy, Brasstown, and Hiwassee Village
  • Shopping for antiques or local mountain crafts
  • Dining in our many outstanding restaurants
  • Visiting the internationally-known John C. Campbell Folk School
  • Staying in Harrah’s Casino or in one of our many local hotels, rental cabins, lodges, or bed and breakfast inns.

The following is a list of websites for you to learn more about opportunities in Cherokee County, North Carolina.

Labor Force & Employment

The total labor pool for companies locating in Cherokee County is over 37,000 and stretches over a 7-county area in 3 states (North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee). Our labor understands the tourism marketplace making us an ideal location for tourism-related customer service centers, or tourism-related retail-commercial enterprises.


All of Cherokee County has access to a good highway network that can benefit your business.   The County’s major highway arteries – US 129, US 64 are highly-traveled tourism highways which connect the County to major interstates within 2 hours including I-40, I-85, I-75, and I-26.

The County is within 2.5 hours of Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport which offers hundreds of domestic and international flights daily. The County also operates Western Carolina Regional Airport which has a 5,500-foot runway that can accommodate most corporate and personal aircraft.

Workforce & Training

A skilled, educated, and diverse workforce is available to new and existing companies in Cherokee County including those in the tourism industry.   Tri-County Community College works closely with local business and industry to provide customized workforce training programs to meet and exceed needs for quality employees. In addition, Tri-County Community College partners with the Cherokee County Schools to develop a quality workforce beginning in the middle- and high-school years of the County’s youth.  Development of our tourism industry and its workforce is of major importance to the continued economic growth of the County.

Cost of Doing Business & Incentives

Cherokee County’s low cost of doing business makes financial sense for tourism companies locating or expanding in the area, with one of the lowest property taxes in the region, no inventory tax, and low utility costs for electric, water & sewer, and telecommunication service.

A range of various local, state, and federal incentives, grants, and tax credits are available to qualifying companies who meet certain requirements. For more information about incentives please contact our office and we can provide a detailed incentive summary for your particular project.

Cherokee County North Carolina Economic Development Corporation