Home Business Seasonal Greetings: What’s New In Blowing Rock Since October

Seasonal Greetings: What’s New In Blowing Rock Since October

By David Rogers. May 26, 2016. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Every year, a veritable flood of seasonal residents arrive in Blowing Rock come late Spring and depart for warmer climes as Autumn colors yield to Winter frosts. But Blowing Rock stays — and even in those folks’ absence changes arrive. New features. New places. Even new faces. Here’s a look at some of what seasonal residents will find upon their return, things that were introduced to the Town from late summer on. CLICK on the thumbnails to enlarge the photographic images.

[brmed180]Blowing Rock News coverage of The Town of Blowing Rock is made possible by a sponsorship from Blowing Rock Medical Park and PLUS Urgent Care, divisions of UNC-Caldwell Health Care

COVER IMAGE: In upgrading their lodging property, Hemlock Inn innkeepers made a significant investment in “chainsaw sculptures” of North Carolina mountain wildlife by artist Dayton Scoggins, “Artistry In Wood,” of Heidelberg, Mississippi.

Appalachian Ski Mountain Welcome Center

Appalachian Ski Mountain’s new Welcome Center and Signage

With the construction of the new Reba and Grady Moretz Bridge leading to the soon-to-be-completed Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge Post Acute Care and Rehabilitation Center, connecting with Edmisten Road at its intersection with U.S. 321 on the northern edge of Town, Appalachian Ski Mountain lost its iconic billboard that pointed the way to the popular wintertime attraction. App Ski Mountain has invested more than a million to buy land at the northwest corner of the intersection and build a new Welcome Center, complete with a natural stone monument sign and ski chalet architecture to match the actual ski lodge. In addition to the more seasonal use of App Ski Mountain, the current plans are for the Welcome Center to become the year-round home of High Country Host.

Photographic image of the Appalachian Ski Mountain Welcome Center by John Speckmann for Blowing Rock News


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Chestnut Ridge Nearing Completion

The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge is nearing completion

Grand opening ceremonies have already been scheduled for mid-July, including the participation of Governor Pat McCrory, according to information provided to Blowing Rock News in late March. After a mandatory regulatory review, The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge Post-Acute Care and Rehabilitation Center will start accepting patients, currently slated to begin in September.

Photographic image by John Speckmann for Blowing Rock News


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Reba and Grady Moretz Bridge

Reba & Grady Moretz Bridge

With approval from the Town, Appalachian Regional Healthcare has named the new bridge leading to the new, $30+ million Chestnut Ridge facility in honor of Reba and Grady Moretz, the founding owners of Appalachian Ski Mountain and whose iconic billboard once stood on the banks of the river at the west end of the bridge site.

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

Crumbling sidewalks are disappearing!


Broken and crumbling sidewalks on Main Street have been or are being replaced with new sidewalks and updated landscaping, thanks to earlier grant funding obtained by the Town of Blowing Rock and approved by the Board of Commissioners.

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

Valley Blvd. Widening Project Progressing

Not done yet, but getting there.

Under the supervision of Maymead Construction and Vecellio & Grogan construction companies, a lot of progress has been made on the U.S. 321 Bypass widening project, especially after it came to light last summer at a Blowing Rock Civic Association-hosted public symposium with NCDOT officials that a significant contributor to holding back progress were the limitations of when construction crews could work. With some of those restrictions made more realistic, the Phase I stretch from Tanger Outlets to Norwood Circle should be all but complete by early July.

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News


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Blowing Rock Country Club Fitness Center

The fitness center will be a nice addition to BRCC

Most Blowing Rock Country Club members should already know that BRCC is building a new fitness facility near the intersection of Country Club Dr. and what was formerly know as the Lenoir Turnpike (U.S. 321). Significant progress has already been made since construction started in earnest during the winter months.

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

Blowing Rock School Playground

The ribbon was cut in mid-October for the new playground, a project headed by Blowing Rock School parent and PTO member Ron Cutlip, a landscape architect who specializes in playgrounds and parks in the Mid-Atlantic states, principally New York and New Jersey. Cutlip marshalled a lot of community help from a variety of partners, including the Town, several construction partners who donated their time, labor and resources to “the cause,” and individuals such as Principal Patrick Sukow, members of the PTO, fundraising chair Karyn Herterich, and even the Blowing Rock School students, who offered suggestions on what they valued in a playground. There were too many individuals playing contributing roles to name them all in this story, but it was a true community effort — and you can tell by the kids smiles that it was a job well done.

New school playground brings big smiles.

New work has started to extend the playground facility and add an outdoor classroom/amphitheatre.

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News


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Blowing Rock Medical Park and Urgent Care

Blowing Rock Medical Park

In October, Blowing Rock News broke the story that UNC-Caldwell Health Care, or UNC Caldwell Memorial Hospital, is entering the Blowing Rock healthcare market in partnering with the former Blowing Rock Medical Clinic of Dr. Charles “Bunky” Davant III and Dr. John D. Davis, Jr.  They have renovated the old Blowing Rock Renovators building on Valley Blvd., near the Subway restaurant location, and opened for business in early February.

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News


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J. McLaughlin

8th NC member of the 100+ store chain that started in 1977 on Manhattan’s Upper East Side

Opening in early spring, the 105-store men’s and women’s apparel retailer opened its 8th store in Blowing Rock, at 1081 Main Street. The first store was launched in 1977, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Other North Carolina locations include in Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Winston-Salem, Highlands, Greensboro and Chapel Hill.

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

Renovations at The Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock’s namesake attraction has undergone a lot of changes in the past couple of years, including renovations to the Gorge View Annex, that also houses a robust photo gallery of Blowing Rock history. In addition to landscape improvements, this winter the attraction finished renovations to the main gift shop and welcome center, including new flooring and efforts to make the space more open. Check it out!

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

Town Hall Enhancements

The new “trophy case” in the lobby area has been joined by enhancements to the interior of the Town Council chamber room, as well as updating much of the technology serving the town business and administration.

Reinert Fine Art

Reinert Fine Art

With origins in Charleston, SC where the original store was founded, Reinert Fine Art now has a second gallery, at 1153 Main Street in Blowing Rock. The galleries feature a wide array of accomplished artists, each with diverse and unique styles.

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

New Southmarke Shop: Kissmet

New shop at Southmarke features artful home furnishings.

Southmarke was the first center in Blowing Rock to require year-round tenants rather than just May-October, and the first to have standardized hours and an exclusivity clause for merchandise offerings. Now it has a new larger tenant, Kissmet, a retailer carrying an assortment of fine Turkish rugs, mosaic glass lamps, jewelry, hand bags, boots and apparel, including footwear.

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

Is that Yogi up there on that balcony facing?

Hemlock Inn “Wildlife”

They are not immediately obvious, even at the front of the property, but once you find them the wood carvings of North Carolina wildlife at Hemlock Inn are sure to delight and fascinate young and old alike. The work was done by Dayton Scoggins, “Artistry In Wood,” of Heidelberg, Mississippi.

Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News




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