Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why Go to Franklin, NC, for Training?

by Judy Stepp

It’s late April, and you’ve just received a flyer from Drake stating that live training is available in the small, unassuming town of Franklin, North Carolina, home of Drake Software.

“Franklin, North Carolina?” you ask. “Why would I want to go there?"

Well, why would you? You can often find a training site closer to home, which means less expense and less time away from the office. You can just go, get the training, earn your CPEs, and get back to work. Fast, inexpensive, and easy, right?

From the standpoint of just being trained or just getting the required CPEs, I’m sure that would be true. However, don’t you deserve a break from the rat race and stress? And what about your long-suffering family, who misses seeing you from January through April, when you practically live at your office?

I think I have a solution for this: Bring your family with you to the trainings in Franklin, North Carolina! Franklin has so much to offer; in addition to training at Drake’s offices and meeting Drake’s staff, you’ll be able to enjoy outdoor pursuits, gem mining, entertainment, and the beautiful scenery that comes with a vacation spot in the Western North Carolina mountains.

Outdoor Activities

Franklin is located in the Great Smoky Mountains. If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll love exploring our numerous hiking trails—many of which lead to beautiful waterfalls.

Glen Falls, a short drive east of Franklin
Franklin is just ten minutes away from the famous Appalachian Trail; hike a few miles in spring to see wildflowers galore, or head out there in October to see the fall foliage. As you might expect of an area so rich in wilderness trails, the Franklin area also boasts white-water rafting, a variety of wildlife, and several great campgrounds. There also are multiple bike trails in the area.

“Gem Capital of the World”

Did you know that Franklin is known as the “Gem Capital of the World”? Gem mining began here in Macon County in 1870, when rubies and sapphires were first mined. Now you can go to one of several mines, some of which permit you to dig for gems. You can also pan for gold and visit gem museums. Gem shows are held year-round.

Culture and Entertainment

Franklin is home to many events and parades, and it offers a variety of great culinary experiences. Also, in addition to gem museums, you can visit the Macon County Historical Museum and the Scottish Tartans Museum downtown. Next, you can stroll down Main Street and view the work of local artists, woodworkers, and quilters.

For a different kind of cultural experience, you can visit the nearby town of Cherokee and its Oconoluftee Indian Village—an 18th-century Cherokee village, that hosts live reenactments, interactive demonstrations, and arts-and-crafts classes for children.

Reenactment at Oconoluftee Indian Village

Looking for top-notch entertainment in Franklin? The Smoky Mountain Theater for Performing Arts is host to concerts, plays, and musicals throughout the year, and our festivals and celebrations include Taste of Scotland, the Franklin Folk Festival, Pumpkinfest, and various Christmas events. Check out the Franklin Chamber of Commerce and Franklin Main Street Program websites for more information on community events.

Give Yourself a Vacation

Ready to relax when you’re not training? Spoil yourself by staying at a nice bed and breakfast inn, or rent a secluded mountain cabin. Of course, you can also stay at one of Franklin’s many chain and local hotels/motels. Regardless of where you decide to stay while you’re here, you’ll find that you just cannot beat the southern hospitality in this area. Franklin is also a short drive from several popular vacation spots such as Dollywood, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge, and is within a couple hours of Asheville (NC) and Atlanta.

Visiting Drake Software

When you come to Franklin, you’ll get excellent training from our friendly, knowledgeable Drake Software staff. You might also enjoy a tour of our buildings, where you’ll meet some of the staff who work on the software program, assist you with your calls, or develop the software interface you use. At Drake, we love to meet our customers. We’re proud of our software, our company, and our area, and we’d like you to see the pride we take in our company and our service.

So, come join us for training, or just come visit for a week or two and meet the Drake staff, see the offices, spend a little time relaxing and enjoying the great area around Franklin.

Franklin Training Dates for 2011*

Live training will be conducted in Franklin on the following dates:

May 25-27
June 14-16
July 13-15
August 3-5
August 10-12
September 13-15

*Live training registration and further information are now available on the Drake Support site (Support > Training Tools > Live Training).

Judy Stepp has been an enrolled agent (EA) for 19 years. She worked with CPA firms and H&R Block in accounting and tax preparation before coming to the software program development side in 1997. Judy came to Drake Software in 2005 as a state tax analyst. She enjoys gardening, travel, writing, oil painting, and volunteering.