Local News

Thanks To Fantasia, High Point No Longer Just Furniture Town

Posted May 28, 2004

— There are a lot of proud people in Fantasia Barrino's hometown.

It seems the "American Idol" champion has given High Point a lot to cheer about -- finally.

The city has has had some tough years. Maybe the Fantasia phenomenon will add an economic touch to the market.

High Point always has been known for furniture. But now it has put something else in living rooms across the country, and it is not wallpaper.

Fantasia is the real thing, a showcase.

"I think from now on for evermore, High Point will be known for two Fs,'" said Tom Dayvault, of the Chamber of Commerce. "One furniture, the other Fantasia."

High Point has its high and low points. Sometimes, the low is the high: a high unemployment rate, for example, higher than the state average.

Last year, High Point and Guilford County suffered through nine major layoffs and 26 business closings. More than 1,000 workers lost their jobs.

After Fantasia's win Wednesday night, things are looking up.

"Anytime you can advertise your community in a positive advertisement, you can't buy that," Dayvault said. "So, yes, it's going to have a tremendous economic impact."

Said High Point resident Ilene Konrad: "I think it's a big community boost."

Some feel Fantasia has put High Point on the map, and High Point hopes to ride that star.

"The American Dream," said Angela Hauser, principal of a school Fantasia once attended. "She's our American Idol."

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