Live camera feeds, interactive weather radars, multi media features and real time information propelled WataugaRoads.com in reaching nearly a half a million views in 2013.
In early February the addition of live camera feeds of Downtown Boone, Downtown Blowing Rock, Highway 105 in Foscoe, Valle Crucis and Banner Elk gave viewers the chance to not only check in on road conditions, but to also see how the weather was impacting the five different areas.
Also in February WataugaRoads.com added interactive weather radars. This not only marked the first High Country based media or weather website to do so, but it added to the radar feeds provided by Brad Panovich and WCNC TV/NBC Charlotte.
Continues updates of the Linville Gorge Wildfire, Earthquake Near Blowing Rock, Lightning Strikes Local Church, No Injuries, Tree Destroyed and First Ever Flash Flood Emergency Issued For Watauga County were just a few of the most viewed stories.
Along with New Traffic Signal On 105 in Boone, Section of 194 In Avery County Closed Indefinitely, various roads closed due to accidents through out the year, updates on Highway 321 widening in Blowing Rock, and this comparison of Downtown Boone Aug 1940, Downtown Boone Aug 2013 there was plenty to pass along in 2013.
There are several “Thank You(s)” that I would like to mention.
Most important is to you the viewer – In starting WataugaRoads.com in 2011 I had no idea if anyone would come to it on a regular basics. If truth be told I wasn't really sure what I was doing in some regards. My media background and business background are all rooted in Watauga County. As happens in life unanticipated events occur and you find yourself re-adjusting or “reinventing yourself” as the popular catch phrase goes.
Brad Panovich (Chief Meteorologist NBC Charlotte) – Brad has been a tremendous resource since the Watauga Roads facebook page started in 2010. As WataugaRoads.com has grown over the last 2 years Brad's weather knowledge and assistance has proved to be priceless. He has always been supportive of how the website and the social media outlets were trying to provide information in a way that no other High Country based media outlet had ever done before.
Mike Doble (Resortcams.com and Skisoutheast.com) – Working with Mike and his team at Resortcams.com and Skisoutheast.com has provided a highly valued resource in passing along information and conditions. His video feeds have been featured all over the world, however in working with WataugaRoads.com it marked a more targeted approach for High Country motorist and travelers.
Phil Hysell (National Weather Service Blacksburg) – Phil, along with other officials in that office, has provided a lot of information and help over the last 2 years.
Weather and road information has been the backbone of the website since it's start in 2011. However there's news that the site has covered not related directly to roads or weather, but still had a big impact on the area. Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagman, Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford, Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye and their respective departments have been extremely helpful in passing along information when these situations arise.
Renee Whitner (Director of Public Relations Blue Ridge Electric) – No matter the time day or night Renee is always prompt about providing information about power outages for the area when I ask. She has not only been a supporter of WataugaRoads.com and the social media outlets in her professional role but personally as well.
Caprice Cheek (NCDOT) – Caprice is always on the ready when questions and information is needed about the 321 project in Blowing Rock. She has been a strong supporter of WataugaRoads.com both personally and professionally.
Appalachian Regional Healthcare System & Blue Ridge Electric have been with WataugaRoads.com since nearly Day 1 with their advertising support. Their early support provided “credibility” to both viewers and other future advertisers that site was trying to take a different approach in providing information.
To the current and past advertisers – Your advertising dollars are limited and there are so many options on how to spend them in this competitive area. Just like WataugaRoads.com is about building a bond with viewers so is your business. I thank you and look forward to helping our businesses grow even farther in 2014.
Scott Dickson, Sarah Pinnix, Aaron Whitener, Henri Deschamps – Thank you for all your insight and support when I needed it.
As an independently owned media website there have been many challenges to overcome, some more so than others. But with the record breaking 2013 year it's encouraging to move forward with the additions planned for 2014.
Kenneth Reece – Owner/Operator WataugaRoads.com