By Jesse Wood
On Tuesday, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce held its “Business After Hours” event at The Blowing Rock, which is North Carolina’s oldest travel attraction, and owner Charlie Sellers and staff continue to impress with the improvements since taking over the family enterprise at the beginning of 2014.
“Charlie is doing a really great job out there,” said Terry Moberg, owner of The Inn at Crestwood and member of the chamber.
Moberg said she was a bit embarrassed to tell Sellers that she’s lived in the area for more than three decades and never attended the attraction, which was founded by Sellers’ grandfather Grover C. Robbins in the ‘30s.
“However when I got there [yesterday] I was absolutely overwhelmed with how beautiful the place is. It’s like a hidden gem of a place that can really show the beauty of Blowing Rock,” Moberg said, encouraging other people to check it out.
More than 180 people attended the “Business After Hours” event at the attraction, which is the most for the recurring chamber event that is held at different businesses in Blowing Rock throughout the year.
Chetola Resort assisted with the catering, as Tim Knight and Charlie Hope held the famous oyster roast. Blowing Rock Brewing Co. provided beer, and Blowing Rock Market assisted with the wine. The Harris Brothers provided the entertainment.
In addition to the sightseeing of The Blowing Rock, which offers views of Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock and the John’s River Gorge all in one swoop, a raffle drawing was held with winners receiving gift cards from Chetola Resort and the Blowing Rock Market and items from The Blowing Rock gift shop.
“It was a pretty day and a lot of good people were there,” Sellers said. “I feel like from my perspective it went very well … Like Terry said, there were a few people that had never been to The Blowing Rock and they were very pleased.”
At yesterday’s event, Sellers also gave those in attendance an update regarding improvements to the property. Sellers said he continues to enhance the grounds with additional shrubs and additional plantings in the garden area.
He’s also working on renovating the lower section of the annex building to open it up as a photo gallery to showcase historic photos of the area plus new ones. This should be ready to open in June.
Sellers noted that numerous weddings and special events are already booked for the upcoming year, and that the second annual The Blowing Rock Music Festival is scheduled for Sept. 19.
For more information about The Blowing Rock, which is steeped in Native American lore and was once a trash dump before Robbins turned into a tourist site, read a prior HCPress.com story here.
Entrance to the Blowing Rock costs $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and military, $2 for kids 4 to 11 years of age and free for children 3 and under. Group discounts are available as well.
Operating hours are as follows:
January through March (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Thursday through Monday (weather permitting, call ahead)
April and May (8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
June through October (8:30 a.m. to 7p.m.)
November and December (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Open Daily (weather permitting, please call ahead)