News Tourism & Hospitality

Winners of Heart of NC tourism awards

ASHEBORO — Two Randolph County business owners and two visitor center employees received awards from the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau/Randolph County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) on Jan. 20. The recognition focused on individuals who excelled at adapting operations for guest safety while providing exceptional hospitality.

Award recipients

The 2020 Mary Joan Pugh Excellence in Hospitality Awards, the highest award given for tourism service in Randolph County, were given to:

  • Beverly Mooney: As the owner of Millstone Creek Orchards, Mooney operates an agritourism-focused orchard and farm in Ramseur. In the spring, she transformed her farmstand into the Apple Barn Mobile Market and delivered fresh produce and goods from local farms to shut-in neighbors in need of food delivery. She revamped her annual summer berry picking, fall pumpkin patch, hayrides and holiday lights event into #CountOnMeNC-certified safe visitor experiences. Her efforts captured national attention and were included in a July 2020 Smithsonian article.
  • Tony Wohlgemuth: Wohlgemuth is best known as the mastermind behind Spookywoods, touted by “O, The Oprah Magazine” in 2020 as one of the best haunted houses in America. As the owner of Kersey Valley Attractions in Archdale, Wohlgemuth pivoted and developed a new app for Spookywoods to “save Halloween.” The app allowed for social distancing and timed entry as guests waited in their cars and played games. In addition, Wohlgemuth and his team worked to transform ziplines, axe throwing, escape rooms, high ropes course and more into #CountOnMe-certified safe attractions.

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