Economic Development

In addition to displaying and protecting North Carolina’s official folk art created by Vollis Simpson, the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum non-profit’s organizational mission includes spurring economic development in Historic Downtown Wilson, creating a community gathering place, and being a major tourist attraction for the region. In the summer of 2019, as the park had been open for just about two years, the non-profit wanted to better understand how the park project had affected economic growth in Wilson County. Economic Leadership, LLC was engaged to measure the economic and community benefit of the park from its inception in 2010 to the park opening in 2017, as well as the time since the park has been completed. The results of the study are quite amazing. Here are a few of the many interesting findings you will learn as you read the study and/or watch the presentation (both below):

  •  The properties surrounding the park increased in value over the study period by 36% while the property values in the City of Wilson as a whole remained flat during that same time period.
  • The park regularly welcomes visitors from around the globe. Those visitors infuse over $3 Million into the local Wilson County economy annually.

The park clearly has had a substantial impact in the economic development and growth arena. Please take a moment to watch the study presentation by Ted Abernathy, the Managing Partner of Economic Leadership LLC or download the full report.