By Jesse Wood
The Waterfront Group celebrated its grand opening of the Eagles Nest Marketplace on Friday. The event included remarks from elected officials, Banner Elk Mayor Brenda Lyerly, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, N.C. Rep. Josh Dobson and N.C. Sen. Deanna Ballard.
The Waterfront Group bought The Lodges at Eagles Nest, a 1,700-acre gated community near Banner Elk, in foreclosure several years ago and has since invested millions of dollars to resurrect the resort. One of these investments include the former Sunrise Shopping Center, a 20,000-square-foot facility that has been renamed the Eagles Nest Marketplace.
The facility is located at the base of Beech Mountain Parkway and on the outskirts of downtown Banner Elk. Eagles Nest Realty Office is the first tenant operating out of the shopping center. While the second tenant, Bodegas Kitchen and Wine Bar, isn’t opening until mid-November, owner Paul Alcazar was on hand to provide samples of the establishment at the ribbon cutting.
The renovations at the Eagles Nest Marketplace were estimated at roughly $1 million. More tenant announcements are in the works, according to staff with the Waterfront Group.
Mayor Brenda Lyerly thanked the Waterfront Group staff for being “wonderful neighbors” to Banner Elk. “We love having you here and love this new venue you are celebrating today, the Eagles Nest Marketplace.”
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx said she’s been up to The Lodges at Eagles Nest before. The development spans from home and rental sites along the Elk River to nearly mile-high ridges on par with Beech Mountain and down into the valley known as the Western Bowl on the backside of Beech Mountain.
“It’s an absolutely beautiful development and I encourage folks to visit it. It’s done extremely well and I just want to congratulate everybody involved with what’s going on today for this refurbished facility and to say, ‘I wish everybody the best,’” Foxx said.
N.C. Rep. Josh Dobson, who grew up in Avery County, thanked the Waterfront Group for the investments it has made in the region. He noted this development has created jobs and attracted visitors to the area.
“What we have here with the Waterfront Group and all of the businesses making investments here is tremendous … What it does for Avery County as a whole, meaning the revenue that it generates for the county to allow county commissioners to invest in the infrastructure to make Avery County, Banner Elk and Beech Mountain great. It’s really an honor to be here,” Dobson said.
N.C. Sen. Deanna Ballard said she used to drive by this facility as a kid growing up in Lincoln County when her family would make trips to Beech Mountain to go skiing in the winter.
“It’s very exciting to see it refurbished, rebuilt and being filled with tenants again,” Ballard said.