According to multiple sources, 2019 was a banner year for business in the High Country.

New construction and renovation of existing properties kept contractors busy during the year, including new development in Boone, Watauga County, and on campus at Appalachian State, as well as renovations at Avery High School and Avery's new swimming pool.

Boone Area Chamber of Commerce President David Jackson told the Watauga Democrat 2019 was a strong year in most sectors of the community, with a busy tourist season and well over nine figures in active construction projects, both public and private.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce shows unemployment figures in Watauga among the lowest in the state, at 3.1 percent.

The real estate market also has seen record growth during the year, with the High Country Association of Realtors reporting area realtors had sold more homes by the end of November than in all of 2018. And 2019 was the ninth consecutive year of sales growth in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties, with the most homes sold in a year in more than a decade.