Few areas of the country can boast as many geographic benefits as the Piedmont Triad. Located midway between Washington, DC and Atlanta, central to North Carolina’s I-85 corridor, and just a few hours from both the Blue Ridge Parkway and North Carolina’s Atlantic coast, the Piedmont Triad provides an excellent location for industry and a superior quality of life. As the 37th largest metro area in the nation, the Triad encompasses three major cities - Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem - and is home to more than 1.6 million people. Long known as one of the primary manufacturing and transportation hubs of the southeastern United States, the Triad is an important educational and cultural region.
Greensboro, the largest city in the Triad, is a diverse community where residents enjoy a rich quality of life flavored by a vibrant downtown, 80 miles of walking and biking trails, close access to state-of-the-art healthcare, and a variety of cultural opportunities.
Winston-Salem is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and provides a unique blend of history, culture, charm and hospitality, as well as high-tech industry, diverse businesses, fine universities and medical facilities.
High Point, known as the “Furniture Capital of the World” draws visitors from 50 states and 110 countries for the biannual High Point Market, the largest home furnishings show in the world. While it boasts all of the amenities and services of a world-class city, High Point offers its residents the cozy, close-knit feel of a small town.
Economy and Business
The Triad region is historically known for its large textile, tobacco, and furniture industries. It remains a national center for textile manufacturing, represented by corporations including Hanes and International Textile Group. Tobacco continues to be a prominent crop, and companies including Lorillard Tobacco Company and Reynolds American call the Piedmont Triad home. Numerous furniture manufacturers are also headquartered in the Triad area, especially in the cities of High Point, Thomasville, and Lexington. Popular brands like Thomasville and Lexington Home Brands are derived from the names of these cities.
Today, the Triad is notable as the fourth largest manufacturing region in the country, as well as an international center of banking and finance, biotech and high technology. Many Triad communities have worked to create a favorable environment for technology-based companies. Winston-Salem, for instance, founded the Piedmont Triad Research Park, a highly interactive, master-planned innovation community developed to support life science and information technology research and development.
In 2005, the opening of a Dell computer manufacturing plant near Winston-Salem began a chain of significant economic investments into the area. Additionally, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University have joined forces to establish the Gateway University Research Park, a technology-based entity which will focus its efforts on a host of biological, life, and environmental science research projects. Upon completion of the project in 2012, it is expected to consist of two 75-acre campuses, employ approximately 2,000 people, and generate $50 million dollars per year in the Triad economy.
The Piedmont Triad’s commitment to education begins with strong public and private K-12 institutions, and extends to a superior community college system and 11 four-year colleges and universities. The area has more than 50,000 students, many of whom enter the local labor force annually.
Triad communities are continually improving their public K-12 institutions with the support of the State of North Carolina. Advancements seen in recent years include: internet connections in virtually all classrooms, teacher-to-student ratios in elementary schools of 13-to-one, magnet schools, middle colleges and early colleges that provide excellent alternatives for students.
North Carolina’s new and expanded Industry Training Program, which is available throughout the area’s community college system, provides training for companies creating jobs in North Carolina. There are nine branches of the community college system in the Piedmont Triad, encompassing 28 campuses and centers.
The area’s four-year colleges and universities include Wake Forest University, Salem College, Winston-Salem State University, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, High Point University, Guilford College, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro College, Bennett College, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, and Elon University and Law School.
Three prominent boarding schools also call the Triad home: Salem Academy, Oak Ridge Military Academy, and the American Hebrew Academy.
Cultural assets are plentiful in the Piedmont Triad, including museums, performing arts arenas, historic districts, landmarks, vineyards, festivals and seasonal events. In 2003, Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point was ranked as the 40th “Most Fun U.S. City” in a survey conducted by Cranium Inc. Factors taken into account included: the number of sports teams, restaurants, dance performances, toy stores, and the amount of a city’s budget spent on recreation.
Major art and historical museums contribute to the cultural climate of the region, including the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Old Salem, High Point Historical Museum, the Weatherspoon Museum of Modern Art, the Greensboro Historical Museum, and the Charlotte Hawkins Brown State Museum. The area also has its fair share of scientific museums, such as SciWorks, the Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology, and the Natural Science Center of Greensboro.
Events range from the nationally acclaimed annual Eastern Music Festival to the cutting edge performances of the Triad Stage theater company, as well as performances by the Greensboro Opera and Symphony. The Barn-Dinner Theatre, reputed to be America’s oldest dinner theatre, draws guests to enjoy theater in the round while feasting on an exceptional meal.
Winston-Salem is often referred to as the “City of the Arts,” in part because it founded the first arts council in the United States in 1949. Local art schools and attractions include the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the Piedmont Opera Theater/Fletcher Opera Institute, the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Stevens Center for the Performing Arts, and the Sawtooth Center for Visual Arts. The city also hosts the National Black Theatre Festival and the RiverRun Film Festival.
The climate of the Piedmont Triad is temperate, with the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west forming a barrier that shields the region from severe winter conditions. Extreme high and low temperatures are rare during any part of the year. The average annual high temperature is 69 degrees; the average low is 46.
Recreational opportunities abound in the region, including countless outdoor adventures. Many state parks take advantage of the area’s natural beauty, where boating, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, rock climbing and swimming are just some of the popular activities residents enjoy.
The area is also well known as a golfer’s paradise: the Piedmont Triad has an average 262 playable days per year and an average greens fee of just $31.79. The PGA Tour’s annual Wyndham Championship, held in Greensboro, is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious golf tournaments. Additionally, Greensboro is home to more than 20 public golf courses, so any time is a great time to tee off!
The Triad offers a wide variety of sporting events for the whole family, with opportunities to support local clubs and college teams, or even to cheer on the pros!
Greensboro is the home of Grasshoppers baseball. As a Class A affiliate of the Florida Marlins, the Greensboro Grasshoppers regularly fill the seats at New Bridge Bank Park. This state-of-the-art facility features a 30-foot wide, open-air concourse, the Go Triad Grandstand outdoor sports bar, and a kid-safe play park. Winston-Salem also hosts its own minor league baseball team, the Winston-Salem Dash. A Class-A minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, the Dash play at BB&T Ballpark.
The Carolina Dynamo provides action-packed soccer for area residents to enjoy. Founded in 1993, the team plays in the USL Premier Development League, the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Mid-Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.
NCAA fans enjoy some of the most exciting college sporting events in the country, with Wake Forest University, The University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Duke University all within driving distance.
Professional sports action is also close to home! A mere 90 miles from Greensboro, Charlotte offers exciting Carolina Panthers football and Charlotte Bobcats basketball. The Carolina Hurricanes, winners of the 2005-2006 season Stanley Cup, are located approximately 60 miles east in Raleigh.
Located at the juncture of more interstate highways than any other region in North Carolina, the Piedmont Triad offers easy access to a variety of destinations. Vacation resorts in the mountains and at the beach, and metropolitan cities including Charlotte and the state’s capital, Raleigh, are only a few hours drive from home.
Piedmont Triad International Airport, located in northwest Greensboro, serves the Piedmont Triad area and beyond. A variety of airlines serving PTIA provide frequent direct and connecting flights to the nation’s top business destinations at competitive fares.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport serves more than 30 million passengers annually. Seven major carriers, 14 regional carriers and two foreign flag carriers offer 643 daily flights from Charlotte with nonstop service to 132 destinations, including 30 international locations. Charlotte Douglas was awarded the prestigious Eagle Award from the International Air Transport Association in the "Best Airport" category in June of 2010.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport hosts more than 10 million passengers each year. Nine major airlines and seven regional carriers offer service from Raleigh-Durham to a total of 34 destinations.
North Carolina’s Amtrak offers four trains daily to Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte and nine other North Carolina cities. Five thru trains make selected city stops on their way to destinations south to New Orleans and Miami, and north to Washington D.C. and New York.