The City of Mount Airy (pop. 10,417), (known famously as the inspiration for Andy Griffith’s fictional Mayberry) is located in North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley wine region, with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge mountains and the rugged pinnacle of nearby Pilot Mountain. Benchmark prepared the city’s very first Comprehensive Plan, building on previous land use and strategic planning efforts, engaging citizens, business leaders and elected officials through a participatory process.
Benchmark worked closely with the Planning Board and the public throughout the process to develop this meaningful and action oriented comprehensive plan. In addition to traditional comprehensive plan topics, this plan focused heavily on branding and aesthetic improvements, particularly in the city’s downtown core in an effort to enhance the city’s standing as premier regional tourism destination. The resulting plan has led to significant investment in the city and surrounding area, with a focus on projects that have enhanced the community as a tourism destination, particularly focused on the growing wine tourism industry and outdoor recreation tourism.