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Wilmington named one of Dozen Distinctive Destinations

READ MORE: Wilmington named one of Dozen Distinctive Destinations
WILMINGTON -- More than 60 cities in the country apply every year and only 12 are selected. This year Wilmington was one of the very elite 12 honored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the country's Dozen Distinctive Destinations. It's a major award chosen from dozens of competitors across the country. George Edwards with the Historic Wilmington Foundation said, "You couldn't ask for better recognition. It's incredible." The national trust for historic preservation included Wilmington on its 2008 list of the country's 12 most distinctive destinations. Joining places like Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portland, Oregon as having the best mix of cultural and recreational activities. Nancy Tinker with the National Trust for Historic Preservation said, "Ggreat gardens, good museums, good architecture, a downtown with a heartbeat, economic and cultural diversity. So why not here?" Wilmington beat out neighboring cities like Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. City Mayor Bill Saffo said historic preservation is one of the city's priorities. Saffo said, "So many cities around the country have destroyed their historic core. And historic fabric of what they were and who they were. We haven't. We have preserved a lot of ours." But as we've been reporting all month in our Cape Fear 2020 series, we're also growing faster than any other place in North Carolina... And as our population increases, so does the demand for more development. "The challenge for us is not to lock this city down in place and pretend that it's a 19th-century city, but to retain all of our fabric but at the same time to allow orderly growth and development," Saffo said. The city passed its first preservation ordinance in the 1960s, helping to preserve these historic buildings. Today the mayor said that we need to keep our past in mind, as we continue to grow into the future. The city's visitors' bureau says the award puts our city in the national spotlight. They project the attention should translate to a major increase in tourism here. In 2006 tourism contributed over $300 million to our economy, and according to the CVB folks, that number will only go up.

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Distintive Wilmington

Yes, Wilmington is a distinctive destination! This a prestigious award for our beautiful city of living history and amazing coastline. With the city council we have elected, the Mayor's warning that the "challenge for us is not to lock this city down and pretend that it's the nineteenth century," is unnecessary to say the least. Just let someone try! Some residents feel that our present city council is there to allow a few to cash in the quality of life here, at the expense of the quality of life here. Let's see?