1000 x 90

Business Spotlight: Outdoor Adventure Meets the Elegance of the Arts at Sky Retreat

By Jessica Isaacs | jessica@highcountrypress.com

Feeling adventurous? Try something new and see the High Country from a whole new perspective at Sky Retreat, a brand new activities center, vacation spot and event space that literally has something for everyone.

Tucked away just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the area’s newest adventure headquarters is taking the mountain getaway experience to new heights, although it’s only been open for a few months now.

The husband-and-wife team Dimitrijus “Dima” and Merin Sazinas moved here from Charlotte and opened the center in April. The retreat boasts 13 beautiful new log cabins that are available for rent, and a host of exciting things to do while you’re there, including mountain biking and hiking, tubing and kayaking, paragliding and tandem rides, ballroom and Latin dance lessons and fitness classes.

“We are both professional ballroom dancers and paragliding pilots. A lot of the activities you see at the retreat have sprung from our passions for those activities,” Merin said. “The area has really inspired us. We found that the mountain is perfect for paragliding, so we started having some informal activities with friends coming to visit. The idea just grew and we wanted to accommodate more people because we saw a demand for it.”

Professional instructors offer lessons in all styles of Latin, ballroom and social dancing, including salsa, swing, waltz, tango, foxtrot and many others.

“We are bringing world class dancers from Europe and all around the world to come and visit, dance and lead camps, classes and retreats for dancing,” said Merin.

Sky Retreat is also the only certified paragliding site, school and USHPA paragliding club in all of North Carolina.

“This is something that is enjoyed around the world, but on the east coast there aren’t many places to learn,” Merin explained. “There are other places to fly; but as far as a site where you can do tandem rides or learn to paraglide, we are unique in that aspect.”

The Sazinas team is currently constructing the retreat’s “Cloud Nine” ballroom facility and event space that, when completed, will offer more than 5,000 square feet of open space for weddings, dancing and other programs.

“As far as an open interior ballroom space for weddings, it’s the only one like it in the area that has so much interior space as an elegant venue with an external view. That’s pretty unique and we are excited about it,” said Merin.

Couples opting to say “I do” at Sky Retreat will also enjoy the option to take on-site ballroom dancing lessons, enjoy custom choreography and music selection and even group dance activities for guests.

As the center’s facilities and its presence in the High Country continue to grow, the Sazinas and their team of experts look forward to accommodating more guests, making new friends and living in the glory of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

“The purpose of Sky Retreat has been to create a really unique activity center that’s unlike any other in terms of being a one stop shop for outdoor adventure and the indoor elegance of the arts,” Merin said. “It is a creative blend of those two qualities.”

For more information, visit theskyretreat.com.


Paragliding at Sky Retreat:



Picture 2

Picture 1


Ballroom Dancing:

Merin Sazinas and a guest performer showcase ballroom dancing at Blowing Rocks Symphony by the Lake event in July at Chetola Resort. Photos by Ken Ketchie.