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Hunger Games Boost NC Tourism

Jennifer Lawrence & Liam Hemsworth in 'The Hunger Games'The Hunger Games film, which was just released in theatres on Friday, may not seem like it has anything to do with tourism, but North Carolina begs to differ. Travel agents are saying that fans of the movie are already going to locations around North Carolina, where scenes were filmed – giving the state a boost of tourism.

For The Hunger Games, many scenes in the film were shot in the DuPont State Forest woods. This 10,400 acres of forest has fishing streams, lakes and waterfalls ideal for the outdoor scenes needed for the movie. Fans will likely walk forest trails to search for Katniss Everdeen’s pond, which is located at the bottom of Triple Falls waterfall. There they will hope to find evidence of the fireball sequence from the film. Triple Falls was also a key location in The Last of the Mohicans film by Michael Mann. A hike to the falls is part of an eight-hike challenge of the Carolina Land Conservancy, which includes walks to Hooker Falls and High Falls. The hike to Triple Falls on its own is 2.6 miles.

One prominent feature in the movie was shot at the Henry River Mill Village close to the town of Hildebran. The mill burned down in 1977, but the remaining buildings do well to make it look like a ghost town. The area is private property, and private security guards and the local sheriff’s department are working together to keep people away over concerns about liability in the event someone gets hurt. Property owner Wade Shepherd says fans are already visiting the site. They are driving through day and night to take pictures and walk around. There are too many, and he has been bombarded with people, he added.

Aside from the tourism North Carolina will get at filming sites, fans are also slated to seek out places where the movie’s actors spent their time off – namely the city of Asheville. The stars are said to have eaten at the Laughing Seed Cafe, Southern Kitchen and Bar, Wasabi and Lexington Avenue Brewery. They also visited local independent bookseller Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe. However, in Charlotte, cast member Woody Harrelson is said to have visited the US National Whitewater Center for a 46-foot rock-climbing experience. The city also served as the film’s capitol.

The North Carolina Division of Tourism is offering an easy way for fans to plan trips to the state to see where scenes for The Hunger Games were shot. The office has a four-day itinerary, as well as a list of 12 places where people can experience the movie for themselves. Frosch Entertainment-affiliated travel agent Marnee Revri, who is based in the state’s capital of Raleigh, has told reporters that people are obsessed with The Hunger Games. She believes there will be a big interest in people visiting the state – just like the interest Twilight fans had in visiting Forks, Washington – a key setting for the films.

Over $60 million was spent on filming The Hunger Games in North Carolina. About 5,000 people were employed – including the stars, crew and extras – making it the the biggest film ever made in the state. At opening weekend at the box office, the film made $152.5 million – the third best opening weekend of all time, according to Hollywood.com. The movie is based on the New York Times bestseller from Suzanne Collins.




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