By Jesse Wood
The Blowing Rock Town council approved an amendment to Appalachian Ski Mtn.’s conditional use permit for the construction of a welcome center at the intersection of U.S. 321 and Edmisten Road earlier this week.
Appalachian Ski Mtn. sought the amendment to increase the size of the welcome center from 960 square feet to 1,547 square feet to accommodate High Country Host, which is in limbo at its current state-owned location near KFC because the N.C. Department of Transportation is in talks with developers to sell the property.
ASM General Manager Brad Moretz said that they are still working on a few details regarding the plans and hope to begin construction “relatively soon.”
“We appreciate the town council’s help all the way through the process, and the Blowing Rock town planning staff has been there with us the whole way,” Moretz said.
When ASM’s 45-year-old leased billboard, which is located right across the street from where this welcome center is proposed, was torn down to build an access road for the new post-acute care facility, Moretz and company proposed building a welcome center and a freestanding sign to advertise the ski resort along the highway.
Not counting this potential modification, Moretz said previously 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.
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