News and Updates

Chick-fil-A of Belmont wins 1st place in Chamber tournament

Thursday, June 21, 2018


1st-place team Chick-fil-A of Belmont, from left, Lee Dorn, Tommy Belcher, Jr., Benny Bowles, Tony Gilbert, with Donnie Loftis, chairman of the Board of Directors at presenting sponsor CaroMont Health. In the small photo below, is 3rd-place team Choice USA, with Greg Simmons, Craig Kinlaw, Rush Miller and Blake Bradshaw. 

CaroMont Health presenting sponsor for tournament

For the second time in five years, the Chick-fil-A of Belmont team took first-place honors at the Montcross Area Chamber Annual Golf Tournament at Cramer Mountain Club on June 21, 2018. CaroMont Health was the presenting sponsor. Chick-fil-A also won the tournament in 2014. The Chick-fil-A foursome this year included Tony Gilbert, Lee Dorn, Tommy Belcher, Jr. and Benny Bowles.

Finishing in second place was the MadVapes team of Bryan Hough, Chuck Newman, Kevin Collier and Wayne Kinley. Choice USA took third-place with the team of Greg Simmons, Craig Kinlaw, Rush Miller and Blake Bradshaw.

Also taking home trophies were: Rose Cook of the Carolinas HealthCare team for women’s longest drive; Lee Dorn of Chick-fil-A for men’s longest drive; and the three winners on closest to the pin holes were Lee Dorn and Benny Bowles of Chick-fil-A and Chuck Tomlinson of Carolinas HealthCare.

At the awards lunch, which was sponsored by Hillbilly’s BBQ, Chamber President Ted Hall thanked the players and sponsors, the donors of prizes and good bag items and the dozens of volunteers who helped with tournament preparations and at the course on the day of the event.

Donnie Loftis, chair of the CaroMont Health Board of Directors, spoke on behalf of the major sponsor and presented trophies to the winners.

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Taking 2nd-place was the MadVapes team of Bryan Hough, Kevin Collier, Chuck Newman and Wayne Kinley.   


New Hotel Coming To Mount Holly Near I-85 Exit 27

Monday, June 18, 2018

At the announcement in Mount Holly City Hall, are (from left) Gaston EDC Board Chairman Robert Browne, Mount Holly Hotel CEO Charles Saleh, Mount Holly Council member Carolyn Holbrook Breyare, Mayor Pro Tem Perry Toomey, County Commissioner Don Grant, City Manager Danny Jackson and Wes Bawab and Jay Kamdar of Mount Holly Hotel. 

Late 2019 opening projected for 91-room hotel  

A new 91-room hotel in Mount Holly was announced on Monday and ground was broken just off Highway 273 on Caldwell Drive at I-85 exit 27. Mount Holly LLC and Marriott International will construct the Fairfield Inn and Suites, beginning immediately. 

The new hotel, which will include meeting rooms, will mean 61 new jobs when in full operation, which is anticipated in late 2019.  “We are excited about our future at this new location in Mount Holly” said Charles Saleh, Wes Bawab and Jay Kamdar of Mt. Holly Hotel LLC. “Our company has a wonderful relationship with Marriott International and Midas Hospitality LLC to insure that our guests will have the very best lodging experience." 

The hotel executives were joined at the announcement and groundbreaking by Mount Holly City officials, Gaston County officials and representatives of the Gaston County Economic Development Commission.

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Mount Holly Hotel officials  joined by (from left) Gaston County Commission Chairman Chad Brown, Gaston EDC Chairman Robert Browne, County Commissioner Don Grant and Mount Holly City Council member Carolyn Holbrook Breyare at the groundbreaking for the new Fairfield Inn & Suites. 

Art In the Park Meets Network After Work

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Artists who displayed their work, entertained and demonstrated at the event. In the smaller photo below, Mount Holly Mayor Bryan Hough welcomes the crowd with Gaston Arts Council Director Kim George.

Arts and business communities blend well together

Music, art, barbecue and business networking blended together beautifully in Mount Holly’s Tuckaseege Park on Thursday, June 14, 2018, in an event sponsored by Gaston Arts Council. GAC Executive Director Kim George dubbed the combination “Art In The Park Meets Network After Work.”

Six local artists were on site under tents to display and in some cases demonstrate their work. Singer, composer, songwriter and musician Chloe Olivia performed. Barbecue chicken and pork was served with all of the trimmings from the Soul Food truck.

Mount Holly Mayor Bryan Hough welcomed the crowd, and Recreation Superintendent Mark Jusko talked about Tuckaseege Park and its facilities and greenway on the banks of the Catawba River.

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Artist Heidi Schmidt of Anchored Soul (center) with Chris Cole and Jennifer Church.  


A Little Bit of Art open at South Fork Village Apartments

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Mary and Dennis Steenwyk are cutting the ribbon with Cramerton Mayor Will Cauthen, Town Commission member Susan Neeley and Town Manager David Pugh. Local art instructor Jeaniene Dibble also is on the front row. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board members Brad Frazier (left) of Belmont Abbey College and Jeff Lee of the Vintage Nest in Mount Holly. In the smaller photo below, Mayor Cauthen (left) is congratulating Mary and Dennis following his welcome remarks at the grand opening. 

Gallery is in retail center at South Fork Village Apartments  

For the next outing of your church, civic, social or family group, consider a paint and sip event or an art or craft class at A Little Bit of Art, which is open now in the retail center at South Fork Village Apartments at 900 South Fork Village Drive, Belmont, NC. This Town of Cramerton business with a Belmont address is owned by Mary and Dennis Steenwyk, who celebrated their grand opening with a Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

“Grab a friend and come to a night of fun and inspiration, says Mary. “Can’t make it at night, look for our day classes also. If you don’t want to paint then join us for a craft class. If you are looking to change your décor stop in at our art gallery and get an original painting or piece of pottery to add to your collection.”

For more information on A Little Bit of Art, call 704.221.4943, send email to, or visit the Facebook page at

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Perfect setting for sipping and painting, or for an art or craft class.

MACC Pollinator Putting Tournament

Thursday, June 7, 2018


5:30 flight winners were (from left) Timothy Roberts of Cottage Keepers and Jacob Desvaux of Spectrum. Presenting the prizes, which were gift certificates from McAdenville Table & Market, were Chamber Board Chair Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design and sponsor Ryan Schrift of RJ Schrift Private Asset Management. In the photo below, are 7:30 flight winners Chris Cole and Heidi Schmidt of Anchored Soul, with Chamber President Ted Hall.

Course open to Garden guests at Pollinator Paradise through Sept. 3

The first Pollinator Putting Tournament at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden was loads of fun for three flights of two-player teams, spectators and Garden visitors on June 7, 2018. The 18-hole miniature golf course is part of the Garden's Pollinator Paradise exhibit, which is open daily through September 3.

The tournament was presented by the Chamber and sponsored by RJ Schrift Private Asset Management and McAdenville Table & Market along with Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Chamber member York Chester Brewing was featured in the beer garden and David Demperio and Chris Hertz performed live.

First-place teams in each of the three flights were: Jacob Desvaux of Spectrum and Timothy Roberts of Cottage Keepers; J.C. Vargas of Belmont Executive Offices and Greg Gambill; and Heidi Schmidt of Anchored Soul and Chris Cole.

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Brookline Homes breaks ground at Aberfoyle Village

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


Brookline Homes owner Scott Dirkschneider breaks ground for the townhomes in Aberfoyle Village in Belmont with members of the Brookline team and Chamber members, including Belmont Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Stowe. The Brookline Homes team includes three four-legged members affectionately known as the company "barkitects." 

Aberfoyle Village townhomes from $196,900

Lots already are selling and Brookline Homes of Belmont is ready to start construction of townhomes in the Aberfoyle Village neighborhood along the Catawba River off East Catawba Street (Highway 7), near Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park. The site formerly was home to the Aberfoyle Mill, and many design elements of the townhome and apartment community come from the textile mill heritage of the property. Brookline owner Scott Dirkschneider manned the shovel at the ground breaking accompanied by the Brookline team and Chamber members and friends. Townhomes in Aberfoyle Village range from 1,280 square feet to 1,750, and from $196,900 to $235,900. For more information, call 980.277.1322, or visit The Brookline Homes office is at 425 E. Catawba St., Belmont, NC 28012.

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Estia's Kouzina Grand Opening

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Owner Gus Georgoulias is cutting the ribbon with wife Vicki, help from son Dimitri, restaurant general manager Matt Maynard, chefs Harry Madeckas and Alex Baxevanis, other staff members, Chamber members and Belmont city officials including Mayor Charlie Martin and Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Stowe. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board members Phil Painter of ImageMark Business Services and Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency.

Owner Gus Georgoulias brings decades of experience

Belmont's newest restaurant Estia's Kouzina is open and doing great business at 609 N. Main Street. The Greek and Mediterranean restaurant is named for the Greek goddess of hearth and home. Kouzina in Greek means kitchen. Gus Georgoulias, who has owned and operated restaurants in Charlotte for decades, is the owner along with his wife Vicki. Many Chamber members and friends attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 5, 2018, and were delighted to be treated to a broad sampling of delicious offerings from the restaurant's extensive menu. Estia's Kouzina opens now Monday through Saturday at 5 p.m. for dinner. Lunch and Sunday brunch hours will be announced soon. More information at 704.825.7005, or online at

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