Georgia Wraps Up Decade as Top State for business

Georgia Wraps Up Decade as Top State for business

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read January 2020Development and growth in Atlanta remain strong as the decade comes to an end, and the economic activity and favorable business climate characteristic of Atlanta looks just as peachy for the entire state of Georgia. In November, Georgia was recognized by Site Selection Magazine as the top state for business for a record-breaking seventh year in a row. Similarly, Area Development Magazine also named Georgia as the top state for business for the sixth-consecutive year. 

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said continuing to foster a thriving business climate has been a major part of his vision for the state since assuming office in January 2019. “From Day One of my administration, we have been laser-focused on creating opportunities for hardworking Georgians in every corner of the state,” Kemp  announced at the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta, Georgia in November . “Our efforts to cut burdensome regulations, continue developing a world-class workforce, and market all regions of the Peach State through the formation of a Rural Strike Team have not gone unnoticed, and this announcement affirms that.” 

 

The state’s workforce training program, Georgia Quick Start, was also recognized as one of the best in the nation. The state reported around 29,000 new jobs were created for fiscal year 2019. According to the Atlanta Regional Commission, 2.5 million residents are expected to move to the region by the year 2040, bringing the total population to 8 million. 

 

Heading into the new decade, technology will be a key area of growth for the region and state. The Metro Atlanta Chamber identified bioscience, financial technology, supply chain and Internet of Things as economic segments poised for growth. Additionally, Georgia’s logistics hub legacy is one of the state’s main competitive advantages. Logistics hubs like the Port of Savannah and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport connect businesses to their customers with ease. The workforce training programs, and logistic hubs, coupled with the state’s pro-business policies make Georgia a frontrunner for companies looking to relocate. 

“The nation’s leading site consultants see opportunity for growth across our state. Our top-ranked workforce development initiatives – combined with a conservative, pro-business policy approach, world-class higher education system, and a logistics network that puts the global economy within arm’s reach – make Georgia a top competitor for investment from businesses large and small – across the country and around the world,” Kemp said. 

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.metroatlantachamber.com 

https://www.georgia.org https://atlantaregional.org/

Public-Private Partners Devise Future of Queen City

Public-Private Partners Devise Future of Queen City

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read January 2020In the last decade, Charlotte rose from the devastating effects of the Great Recession to become the 16th-most populous city in the United States. The Queen City has experienced continuous years of growth thanks to the diversification of its economy, its budding headquarters relocation culture, steady commercial and residential development, and its “cool” appeal favored by the young workforce moving to Charlotte and its surrounding region. As the city prepares for another decade of evolution, growth, and development, public and private partners have their eyes set on the year 2040. Several complementary plans are underway that will help guide the future of Center City, the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for the next 20 years.

Spearheaded by nonprofit Charlotte Center City Partners, in partnership with the city and county, the “ALL IN 2040” plan aims to establish a new blueprint for the growth and development of Center City, an area that encompasses Uptown and South End. Simultaneously, the city of Charlotte is working on its 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which will guide the growth of Charlotte overall, while Mecklenburg County rewrites its Park and Recreation master plan.

Michael Smith, president and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, said the Queen City has a strong legacy of careful planning for long-term development. “We’ve had four decades of deliberate planning and this decade has really defined Charlotte,” Smith told Invest: Charlotte. “Charlotte has launched a new, renewed Center City vision for 2040, called the ‘ALL IN’ plan. This is a great opportunity for Charlotte to carry on its legacy of planning. This is a 50-year tradition of creating these blueprints, each time looking several decades ahead, but renewing that vision every 10 years. This provides us with an opportunity to listen to our community, and to bring subject-matter experts in to help us understand some of the best practices around the world,” he said.

 

Much of the successful growth and development in Charlotte that occurred in the past decade was a result of strong public-private partnerships, which the “ALL IN 2040” plan will continue to develop and strengthen. “The plans and projects are co-created and co-owned with the private sector. In Charlotte over the last 50 years, we’ve had the public sector making transformative, shaping, stimulating investments in infrastructure, and the private sector responding in a collaborative way,” Smith said.

 

Infrastructure will be a strong focus of the “ALL IN 2040” plan, as well as the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan. “With the growth we have, we know we have to invest in transportation,” Smith said. Both plans account for major transit expansions to the city’s rapid bus transit and light rail systems. “All that infrastructure development is really needed as the city is booming with construction on the residential, office and hospitality fronts. Right now, there are almost 2.2 million square feet of office space under construction. Of that, there are about 700,000 square feet in South End, and more in Uptown. This is not speculative; there is a lot of pre-leased space in South End. As a matter of fact, about 90% of what’s under construction is pre-leased. It provides us with great confidence,” he said.

 

The “ALL IN 2040” plan and similar city and county efforts are meant to complement one another. Throughout 2020, residents are encouraged to attend public engagement sessions where they can give their input regarding the future of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. 

By the end of the process, a final draft will be created that will eventually head to the city council for approval and implementation.

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.charlottecentercity.org 

https://www.allin2040.com/plan

Philadelphia, South Jersey Prioritize Transit, Affordability, Sustainability in 2020

Philadelphia, South Jersey Prioritize Transit, Affordability, Sustainability in 2020

By: Sara Warden

2 min read December 2019 — Although under slightly different time frames, both South Jersey and Philadelphia’s local and state governments are prioritizing investment in three key axes for the coming years: transit, affordability and sustainability.

 

In 2011, Philadelphia’s City Planning Commission outlined Philadelphia2035, a comprehensive plan for managing growth and development in the city. Updated every year, the first phase includes a Citywide Vision, that encompasses broad planning goals, while the second phase will build upon these with specific policies related to 18 different planning districts. The program invites public and private investment for the development of the city over the medium term. The blueprint is based on three key themes: Thrive, Connect and Renew.

According to the 2035 planning document, the Thrive element will focus on promoting affordability in housing, strong neighborhood centers, economic development and land management. Connect will center around improving transportation and utilities, including transit, streets and highways, ports, airports and rail. Finally, with an eye on sustainability, Renew is all about creating more open spaces, effective use of water resources, air quality and historic preservation.

“Philadelphia 2035 envisions a city with an expanded transportation network that better connects home and workplace; ensures convenient access to sources of healthy food; supports the productive reuse of vacant land; and provides modern municipal facilities that serve as the anchors of strong neighborhoods,” said former City Mayor Michael Nutter when launching the plan in 2011.

The new year was already off to a good start for the City of Brotherly Love even before the calendar turned. National Geographic Traveler in November named Philadelphia one of the top 25 must-visit destinations in the world in 2020.

And across the Delaware, South Jersey faces many of same issues are at the top of Gov. Phil Murphy’s priority list. The four pillars of the 2020 budget signed in June 2019 include creation of over $1.1 billion in sustainable savings, stabilizing New Jersey’s credit-worthiness and ensuring tax fairness for the middle class. This foundation will support the final priority of investments in education, infrastructure – in particular NJ TRANSIT – and an innovation-driven economy.

“The budget enacted today is a victory for working families in New Jersey in many different ways—it supports middle-class priorities, invests in education, makes a record investment in NJ TRANSIT, provides property tax relief, and so much more,” said Murphy when he signed the budget into force.

But Murphy also has his eye on further priorities to strengthen the 2020 plan amid more effective tax revenues. “This is a budget that does not include tax fairness, does not ask opioid manufacturers to help fund addiction services, and does not raise gun fees that have been untouched since 1966,” he said. “These common-sense revenues would have allowed us to save for a rainy day and sustainably fund necessary investments for New Jersey’s nine million residents.”

To learn more, visit:

https://www.phila.gov/departments/philadelphia-city-planning-commission/ 

https://www.jerseycitynj.gov/cityhall/mayorfulop

 

Thanksgiving in the Queen City

Thanksgiving in the Queen City

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read November 2019— Gratitude, family, fellowship, outdoor activities, turkey, gravy, and shopping are some of the characteristics closely associated with Thanksgiving Day, and the Queen City offers no shortage of any of these during the fourth Thursday of November through the long weekend. The signature North Carolina cold weather allows for some outdoor, family fun while the feast cooks slowly in the kitchen. From famous parades, Black Friday shopping preparations, and ice skating, Thanksgiving Day in Charlotte offers plenty of activities for the entire family. 

While New York City has the Macy’s Parade, Novant Health, one of the region’s largest employers, has wowed Charlotteans with fancy parade floats, marching bands, live music, and recognizable cartoon characters for the past 72 years. Known as the “Mile of Smiles,” The Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade is a beloved tradition drawing families from across the southeast to Uptown to kick off the start of the holiday season. The parade starts at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and draws more than 110,000 attendees. The parade begins on 9th Street heading South on Tryon Street to Stonewall Street, where different ethnic organizations display their pride and colors, while marching bands from a variety of educational institutions keep the energy upbeat as they make their way through the Mile of Smiles. The party continues at the end of the route with performances from a bevy of local talent. For those who would rather snooze a bit longer on Thanksgiving morning, the parade will be broadcast online and on local TV stations. 

 

While Thanksgiving Day is a time for reflection, it also marks the start of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday has become a national tradition, and the area’s local shopping malls are gearing up for the influx of shoppers expected to get a leg up on the holiday shopping season. In the spirit of enjoying time with the family, many recognizable stores have chosen to close on Thanksgiving Day and open early during Black Friday. According to bestblackfriday.com, a website that tracks Black Friday deals and news, stores such as Burlington Coat Factory, Costco, Lowe’s, Marshalls, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Petsmart and Sam’s Club, among others, will be closed on Thursday nationwide. Locals looking for deals can head to Concord Mills, SouthPark and Northlake shopping malls early Friday morning, as they have adjusted their schedules to accommodate shoppers. 

 

Families looking to avoid a turkey stupor can also head to the NASCAR Hall of Fame to stretch their legs and ice skate under the night sky. During this time of the year, the mecca for all things NASCAR turns into a magical winter wonderland, known as Holiday on Ice and featuring one of Charlotte’s best ice skating rinks. Families can enjoy selfies with a giant polar bear, or a large Christmas tree, or a walk through the Ceremonial Garden that features thousands of holiday lights. A trip to Holiday on Ice is the perfect way to finish Thanksgiving and embrace the upcoming holiday season. 

 

For more information, visit:

https://www.nascarhall.com/plan-a-visit/holidays-at-the-hall

http://novanthealththanksgivingparade.com/

Spotlight On: Liz Babson, Director, Charlotte Department of Transportation

Spotlight On: Liz Babson, Director, Charlotte Department of Transportation

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read November 2019 — As Charlotte continues to grow, the Department of Transportation is looking at ways to improve and innovate its transportation system. The department has been keen on leveraging capital investment with private development to build a safe transportation network for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Safety is a top priority for the department heading into 2020, said Liz Babson, director of the Department of Transportation, in an interview with Invest: Charlotte.    

How has Charlotte’s transportation system kept up with economic growth in the past decade?

 

“Charlotte, like other major cities, is experiencing economic growth and is seeing the effects of that in its transportation system. We have seen congestion increase throughout the community. The city must look at multiple ways to solve and manage its transportation system. We put a lot of investment in transit and other transportation improvements and continue to manage  congestion. In the last decade, we have seen a shift in the way we look at transportation investment throughout the city, not just on the transit side but making sure we are connecting our networks, such as our walkways and bikeways, and giving people a choice when they travel throughout the city. We are making a major shift from traditional roadway projects and single occupancy vehicles.”  

 

What is the state of the transportation system in Charlotte?

 

“In the last few years, the state legislature was changed to reprioritize transportation investment throughout North Carolina. As a result, there is a tremendous amount of investment at the state level that is coming to Charlotte. Some $3.2 billion in state transportation investment is earmarked for this city. Those are projects that will improve the freeway systems throughout North Carolina. As your capacity increases in those facilities, it gives people more travel options to use Charlotte’s surface streets for local, short trips. We then have more capacity at the surface street level to improve the transportation system for cyclists and pedestrians.”  

 

How is the Department of Transportation working with the private sector to speed up projects in Charlotte?

 

“We work to find ways to align our capital investment to where we know new development or redevelopment is happening. The Camp North End project north of Uptown and the River District are good examples where we anticipated the type of development and redevelopment we want to see happen and set aside capital investment dollars to partner up with investors and developers. It allows us to see projects developed quicker. The challenge is finding equitable and balanced ways to do that. We have always tried to be strategic with our partnerships; sometimes the private side is faster and more efficient.”    

 

How is the Department of Transportation working with the community as Charlotte continues to grow?

 

“We are developing our 2040 Comprehensive Plan. We are engaging the community, elected officials and private partners in a way that we have not done before to look at how we want to grow as a community and how we will do that. We are engaging the community as we have those conversations, so they can understand the challenges and how we can work together as we head into the future. We are having those tough conversations in a meaningful way. This is an important undertaking for the city. It will be transformational for the city from an organizational structure and how we do our work and engage the community.” 

 

How is the Department of Transportation using technology to improve transit operations?

 

“We have close to 850 traffic signals and close to 350 miles of fibers that communicate with 90% of those signals. From one central location, we can change signal timing for the entire city. That fiber infrastructure also manages our traffic camera system, which is comprised of around 450 cameras located throughout the city. It’s a shared system. We work very closely with the police and fire departments. Together we can make on the spot decisions that improve emergency response times and help get the roads cleared faster when there are bigger problems. We have the infrastructure in place to test and implement new smart traffic technologies. We are looking at the possibility of leveraging the connected traffic system with people’s smartphones to share information from the traffic signal operations with pedestrians who want to know when the bus is coming or commuters who want to know when the traffic lights will change. Those are the kinds of things we are starting to look at.”  

 

What are the Department of Transportation’s priorities heading into 2020?

 

“We are working to do road projects that are transformational, as well as small, safety improvements to expand our safe and efficient transportation system for our cyclists and pedestrians. We are a Vision Zero city and are working toward no deaths or serious injuries on our streets by 2030. The goal allows us to take a data-driven approach when it comes to capital investments. We are continuously looking for opportunities to leverage private development with capital investment to build a safe transportation network. There is a real intentional focus to improve the safety of our cyclists and pedestrians.”  

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit: https://charlottenc.gov/Transportation/

Spotlight On: Brett Gray, Managing Principal, Cushman & Wakefield

Spotlight On: Brett Gray, Managing Principal, Cushman & Wakefield

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read November 2019 – In the last few years, the Charlotte Metro Area has enjoyed consistent growth, thanks largely to its strong banking sector. As the region continues to grow, Charlotte’s economy is diversifying and attracting large companies that need commercial real estate solutions. In a recent interview with Invest:Charlotte, Cushman & Wakefield Managing Partner Brett Gray talks about the state of Charlotte’s real estate market, use of technology to improve client needs and his outlook for the region heading into 2020. 

How is Cushman & Wakefield addressing the growth of the Charlotte metro area?

 

We are organized across a suite of services with specializations that directly tie to Charlotte’s explosion as a high growth city.  These services include Capital Markets, Tenant Representation, Landlord Representation, Project & Development Services, Asset Services, Facility Management, Valuation and Advisory Services and Consulting to name a few.  Under each of those service lines, we have additional services that clients can tap into for all of their needs. 

 

This is a thriving city. It has often been thought of as a secondary market, but it’s practically a regional hub that’s led by the banks. That has been the driver for development since the 1980s. It is essential for us to have key leaders in this space to help grow. For example, we have one of our National Emerging Tech Advisory Group members here in town, which is important as tech has been a big part of Charlotte’s recent growth. Our Multifamily National Practice Co-Leader sits here, our Southeast Valuation and Advisory leader is here.  These are just a few examples that show our commitment to this market and the depth and breadth of our resources and services.

 

How is Cushman & Wakefield implementing new technologies to address client needs and provide better service?

 

Cushman & Wakefield’s property technology (PropTech) strategy focuses on strategic partnerships across our global platform with a variety of organizations, including Fifth  Wall, MetaProp NYC, Plug and Play and 1871.  The firm recently entered into technology relationships with innovative companies like Saltmine and Reonomy.  It is essential for us to partner with organizations to identify technology that will disrupt our industry.  PropTech drives efficiencies ensuring Cushman & Wakefield evolves quickly in this ever changing environment to deliver excellence to our clients.  It is our responsibility to drive the latest solutions to them as their advisor. 

 

How is Cushman & Wakefield addressing growth while preparing for a potential recession?

 

We’ve seen some inverted yield curves, and while the curve is a good historic warning sign of a recession, it doesn’t mean it’s right on the edge. The difference is that consumer confidence, which makes up 70% of the economy, continues to rise. Government spending remains strong. You’ve got a record unemployment rate continuing at an all-time low. You’ve got wage growth. As long as we continue seeing wage growth and low unemployment numbers, with consumers making up so much of that, we feel really good about where we are. We don’t see anything happening in the next year and a half to two years, but we continue to advise clients to be aware. We take a look at the “what if?” models out there. If a recession happens, what will happen? We’re always looking at those things, but right now we feel really good. 

 

How does Cushman & Wakefield view the commercial real estate landscape?

 

If you look at the past 12 months like a report card, it’s arguably the most exciting time in the history of Charlotte. We look out everyday to cranes looking into our windows, and you see the growth of the light rail happening. The airport is expanding. The logical places of growth are emerging. It followed predictable patterns, where before some of the wealth was concentrated, but now you’re seeing emerging corridors appear. Opportunity Zones help drive some of that investment. Companies are selling their properties for record prices, and moving into emerging corridors. When you think of a big city, you put a dot in the middle of the city and there are no gaps expanding outward a mile or two. Charlotte still has some opportunity to develop around those gaps, and you’re starting to see that happen.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit: http://www.cushmanwakefield.com/en

James Fox, President, Maddox Group

James Fox, President, Maddox Group

By Max Crampton-Thomas

 

2 min read October 2019 — To be successful in the construction industry, a company needs to be flexible and cognizant about the sector’s constant state of change. A construction company also needs to be wary that even with new technologies in the market, at the end of the day, there is no way to control unforeseen issues and challenges. James Fox, president of Maddox Group in Boca Raton, discussed these ideas with Invest: as well as how his company is ensuring it remains as recession proof as possible in preparation for an eventual economic dip. 

With which business sectors are your services most in demand?

 

The sector where we’re seeing the most demand is, first and foremost, corporate interiors. Second would be medical offices, then industrial and finally retail. The demand for medical offices seems pretty self-explanatory: retired people relocate to Florida and enjoy the weather, which ultimately increases the need for more medical services. In regards to the demand for more corporate offices, the trend seems to be going toward Palm Beach County due to the simple fact that, in comparison to Miami, there’s more land and more opportunity here now.

 

How have you seen the demand for office types change? 

 

Traditionally a typical build-out would consist of new ceilings, new flooring, new lighting and specified work stations. Today’s young entrepreneur is building offices that aren’t really offices; rather, they are 360-degree workspaces where there isn’t an emphasis on a desk or workspace belonging to any one individual.

 

How has new technology changed the construction industry? 

 

In our industry there are always new technologies popping up to make construction quicker, but at the end of the day it’s still construction. The fact is that you’re building things, and issues are going to arise that are out of anyone’s control. What we do is tell our clients that this is our schedule and barring any unforeseen challenges you’ll be able to move in by this date. But like I said, things happen, and technology can’t always help avoid them.

 

How do you best protect your business in the case of another economic slowdown? 

 

Everybody wants to talk about when things are going to come back to reality in the construction market. People can theorize but no one actually knows. My thought process is to stay recession proof. Doing interior build-outs has been the key to this. When the economy dips, businesses don’t have the capital to relocate and build a new office; instead, they will take the space they are working out of and change the interior. Instead of going out into the market and claiming we do 20 different things, we focus our efforts on interiors and it works for us.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

https://maddoxgc.com/

The Unsolved Mysteries of the Everglades

The Unsolved Mysteries of the Everglades

By Sara Warden

2 min read October 2019 – The Everglades is a sprawling wonder of nature – over 1.5 million acres of swampland that is home to 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles, as well as several protected animal species. Coming in just after Yellowstone as the third-largest national park in the United States, its vast and difficult-to-navigate terrain has swallowed up many an unprepared traveler. Here are just three of the unsolved mysteries buried deep in the swamplands.

 1. The Lost Patrol

South Florida lies just at the tip of the Bermuda Triangle, and is not exempt from its fair share of missing aircraft, especially in the deep swamps of the Everglades. One such case that remains unsolved today is that of The Lost Patrol in 1945. As World War II was coming to a close, a training flight of five Grumman Avenger aircraft left Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station and were never seen again.

A wreckage was found in 1989 but this was later attributed to a later crash, in 1947. But a research team led by entrepreneur Andy Marocco is convinced that, rather than flying east out of Fort Lauderdale and getting lost in open water over the Atlantic, the flight went down over the Everglades. As it stands, there are no known unexplained wrecks of Avengers in or near Florida, and the Lost Patrol remains to be found.

2. Eastern Air Lines Flight 401

In 1972, Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 took off from New York to Miami but crashed over the Everglades, killing 101 of the 176 on board. Among the dead were pilot, Bob Loft, and flight engineer Don Repo. The crash was found to have been caused by a minor technical fault, which was then fixed by Lockheed. Some of the parts of the downed craft were able to be salvaged for use in other airliners. 

But pilots, flight officers, even a vice president of Eastern Airlines, later reported seeing the two on flights that had reused the components from the crashed aircraft. The Eastern Airlines VP reportedly had a conversation with someone he assumed to be the captain, but as soon as he realized it was Loft, the apparition vanished. On board one aircraft, a galley oven was mysteriously repaired despite the insistence of the plane’s engineer that he did not carry out the repair and there was no other engineer on board. A flight attendant sighted a man that resembled Repo seemingly carrying out repairs on the oven.

But one of the most startling incidents happened on the Tri-Star 318, where flight attendant Faye Merryweather saw Repo’s face staring out from a galley oven. Two more witnesses backed her claims, and all three heard Repo say “Watch out for fire on this airplane” before he disappeared from sight. Later in the flight, the plane encountered serious engine trouble, and the last leg had to be canceled. Interestingly, the galley oven had originally been aboard Flight 401.

3. The Everglades Ghost Ship

According to the legends, the Everglades Ghost Ship was originally a pirate vessel in the 18th or 19th century, which targeted a merchant ship to pillage. The merchant ship led the pirate ship on a lengthy chase, and when it was finally caught in Cape Florida, the pirates were so incensed that they made every man aboard walk the plank to their death in the murky swamp. But having been forced to watch the slaughter of the crew, the wife of the skipper reportedly cursed the pirates and immediately an enormous tidal wave dragged the pirate ship far inland. To this day, it is doomed to roam the twisting waterways and labyrinthine swamplands of the Everglades, searching for a way back to sea. Natives, locals and hunters have all reported seeing the spectre of the rusted ship wandering aimlessly through the depths of the swamps.

 

5 Spooktacular Halloween Attractions You Can’t Miss in Charlotte

5 Spooktacular Halloween Attractions You Can’t Miss in Charlotte

By Felipe Rivas

2 min read October 2019 – Charlotte is attracting companies, large businesses, and families looking to enjoy everything it has to offer. This Halloween, the Queen City will likely attract pirates looking to loot the area for candy, as well as its fair share of roaming ghosts, ghouls, superheroes and villains ready to enjoy the many events happening in the area. From kid-friendly activities to parties to fear-induced screams, here are our favorite creepy attractions happening this Halloween. 

The City of Concord and its merchants will open the doors to its bite-sized residents during its Candy Crawl 2019. The little ones can enjoy a safe environment as they strut their favorite costumes and parade down Union Street in Downtown, Concord, looking for their favorite pieces of candy. Local merchants will provide trick-or-treating and a family-friendly environment for an evening of fun for the entire family. The Candy Crawl is happening Thursday, Oct. 31 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

This Halloween, Charlotte will be filled with so many frightening sights sure to scare the sleep out of most, including Freddy Kreuger. For those wishing to take a break from the fright, a bar crawl is a sure bet to relax and enjoy Charlotte. The Nightmare on College Street is Charlotte’s largest bar crawl and on Halloween guests can enjoy six outings to local bars for one price. The night starts at Lucky’s Bar & Arcade then it is off to Vida Vida, Blackfinn,Whisky River Rooftop 210 and Suite for a night of spooky fun. Registration starts at Lucky’s Bar & Arcade from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Undoubtedly, petrifying monsters will control Charlotte this Halloween and Petra’s Piano Bar is looking for the scariest of them all. All monsters should head to Petra’s Annual Halloween Bash as they might leave $100 richer. Petra’s is hosting its famous costume contest with a cash prize for the scariest monster of them all. Live music, dance party and cocktails will be part of the celebration.  It takes place Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

If you believe you have a strong bladder, this place will put it to the test … and they are waiting for you. Located in Mooresville, Scarrigan Farms turns its 170-acre farm into one of the scariest haunted trails in the Charlotte Metro Area. Filled with clowns, hockey-masked machete-wielding psychopaths, and countless other frightening sights, Scarrigan Farms makes it their mission to scare the pee out of their visitors, really. Their motto: “ If someone hasn’t peed in their pants by the end of the night we know we haven’t done our job.” Do you dare to find out? Bring a diaper just in case. 

Aside from the fun, candy and parties and haunted houses, Charlotte offers a rich history for sleuths and thrill-seekers to discover. Carolina History and Haunts presents Beyond the Grave, a lantern guided tour that explores sites where they say past inhabitants are still seen lingering around. The tour takes the valiant and curious through Charlotte’s most famous and infamous landmarks as it recounts hair-raising tales native to the Charlotte area. The tour is open year long but it takes special courage to experience it during Halloween.