Opening of Downtown Cary Park to boost already booming tourism industry in Wake County, expert says

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Thursday, November 16, 2023
Downtown Cary Park brings expected boom to Wake County tourism
After 20 years of planning, Cary Park is soon opening to the public and a Wake County tourism leader says the space is a key component to the town's growth.

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- After more than 20 years of planning, Downtown Cary Park is opening Sunday to the public. The space is a key component to the town's growth, according to one Wake County tourism leader.

The seven acre property in the heart of downtown has a botanical garden, food and beverage spots, a pavilion and dog park to name a few features.

The park was a selling point before Riley Hanus relocated to Cary with his wife and baby. His parents soon followed.

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"We'll be here on the opening day. We talk about every day now," said Riley Janus. "We're super excited about it."

The park is opening as the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau is celebrating another win with the third quarter report.

"With the uptick in lodging, tax and food and beverage prepared tax, both up double digits, those are the two taxes that feed the in our local coffers," said GRCVB Vice President Loren Gold.

Prepared food and beverages taxes totaled more than $33 million, up 11 percent from last year. Hotel lodging taxes increased 18 percent.

Gold said Cary's newest park will undoubtedly help Wake County's tourism bottom line.

"They're very progressive in their thinking, in their planning. I think the park's going to be a great anchor to downtown. I do believe once they get their event schedule rolling, that there will be a draw," Gold said.

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Cary will soon have more hotel options, with locations such as the MacGregor Village shopping center and Cary's North Harrison Avenue on the map.

Businesses around the park also looking to benefit.

Rosanna Mirabel owns Filly Coffee.

"It's just going to expand the horizons of just growing the business," said Mirabel. "There's going to be more happening in the downtown area."

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony Sunday from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.