Business students enrolled at Catawba Valley Community College recently visited the Tryon International Equestrian Center located in Polk County in Western North Carolina to learn about the venue’s unique business model.
Students who attended include Gianluca Graziano, Caleah Xiong, Sierra Tuttle, Luis Gallardo, Ekua Brew, Vanessa Sharp, Alexis Hunt, Brittany Gillion, Sebastian Acosta, Grace McDougall, Crystal Jones and Paochoua Xiong.
Launched in 2014, Tryon International Equestrian Center opened its doors with initial amenities of 12 riding arenas, 1,200 permanent stalls, a covered riding facility and fitness center and operating sanctioned horse shows. There is no admission fee for events; revenues come from lodging and sales at restaurants and shops. Their marketing campaign is comprised of social media and word-of-mouth.
Future expansion includes a resort hotel, condo and apartment buildings, mixed use retail space, visitor center, sports complex, plus a full calendar of equestrian competitions and activities.
TIEC holds competition series in the spring, summer and fall. They recently opened a derby field and now offer a cross-country competition along with dressage and hunter/jumper competitions.
“The business trip to the Tryon International Equestrian Center was a delightful and educational experience,” said student Gianluca Grazidno. “The center has a wonderful marketing plan, and the potential seems limitless. We would like to go again to see the growth.”
Each semester instructors from CVCC’s School of Business, Industry & Technology plan opportunities outside of the classroom to provide real life business experiences. Faculty members involved include Kathy Crump, Renee Dyer, Chelsea Ledford, Christy Lefevers, Jeff Penley and Darcie Tumey. Previous travel/study experiences they have organized include tours of Sierra Nevada Brewing in Fletcher, N.C., BMW in South Carolina, IKEA in Charlotte, and the French Broad Chocolate Factory in Asheville.