By Nathan Ham
The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce was able to put together its first Business After Hours event of 2020 at the Green Park Inn, dividing things up into two different sessions to be able to meet all social distancing and group gathering protocols.
“Business After Hours at the Green Park Inn was a very nice event. We had less than 25 guests in each of our sessions,” said Suzy Barker, the Event and Communication Specialist for the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. “Typically we see anywhere from 60 to 100 people to attend a business after-hours event, but this was a much smaller, intimate gathering of people and I think we enjoyed the ability to talk to everyone there. It was nice to connect.”
The first session took place from 5-6 p.m. and then the second session happened from 6-7 p.m.
“This is the first Business After Hours that the chamber has hosted. Charles Hardin (Chamber President/CEO) shared that this is just dipping our toe in the water to get out and be with people, do business, and host events,” Barker said.
The event went smoothly and the chamber is planning on hosting the next Business After Hours at SouthMarke on Tuesday, August 18. Barker said there will be a similar RSVP scenario to register for the first or second session.
The Green Park Inn is one of the most iconic spots in Blowing Rock and they were happy to be a part of the first Business After Hours of the season.
“We were really excited to host the chamber’s after-hours event. I know people are wanting to get more back to normal. We were just excited to be able to host it and be a part of that,” said Kerry Hines, Event Coordinator at the Green Park Inn.
Overall, Hines said business has been strong despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Things have been going really well, busier than we were expecting it to be. I think our restaurant is busier now than it was before,” says Hines. “I think people don’t want to go to many places so once they settle in here they decide to just eat here.”
The staff at the Green Park Inn is taking a lot of extra precautions that are not necessarily mandated by any of Governor Roy Cooper’s executive orders for operating a hotel.
“We are holding the rooms for 24 hours between occupants and we use these UV light sanitizers in the room so it should kill anything in the room,” said Hines.
As for dining, Chef Ricardo is there to take care of your food needs. He moved to the area from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is thankful for the fresh mountain air and some great selections on his menu.
“Overall, the Chestnut Grille menu is good, I recommend everything on the menu,” Ricardo said.
Some of the main courses he highlighted include the trout, salmon, filet tips, and roasted chicken with a variety of different sides for each main course. The dining room is open and reservations are recommended.
From Thursday through Sunday the Chestnut Grille is open from 6-9 p.m. and Monday through Sunday the Divide Tavern is open from 5-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and open until 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Pictures from the Green Park Inn After Hours Event