By Jesse Wood
The construction of Appalachian Ski Mtn.’s welcome center at the corner of U.S. 321 and Edmisten Road in Blowing Rock is moving along.
ASM General Manager Brad Moretz said last week that the building has been roughed in and the windows were in the process of being installed.
“We are about to have it totally dried in,” Moretz said. “Our sign is complete, but you know some things like landscaping, paving and curbing won’t be able to be done post ski season because of the weather.”
He expects construction to be complete and to be able to open the facility in six to eight weeks. The sign was designed by Bill Dixon.
The size of the building is 1,547 square feet and the plan is still for High Country Host to operate out of the facility. The location of the building is at the U.S. 321 intersection in Blowing Rock that leads to the ski resort.
Prior to increasing the square footage by nearly 600 feet to accommodate High Country Host, Moretz said last year that the project would cost $800,000 and that the costs included the purchase of the acre and a half property along the corridor, paving of entrance and parking spaces, curbing and gutter, the building and sign, which both match the color and architectural style of the ski lodge and a detention pond to protect the nearby creek. Recently, he just mentioned that the cost of the overall project was a “substantial investment.”
The need for the welcome center came about after an ASM billboard, which stood for 45 years across the street, was demolished to make way for an access road to the new post-acute care facility. The billboard stood for so long it just about became an regional icon in its own right.
The welcome center and freestanding sign will serve to advertise the ski resort. With High Country Host planning to operate out of the facility, the building will also so act as a year-round visitor center for the public.
“It’s going to be beautiful. I think it’s definitely going to present a really beautiful, elegant entrance to the ski area. ” Moretz said. “I think it will be a real asset to the community.”
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