Chetola Sporting Reserve in Blue Ridge Mountain Club Open for Shooting and Gathering

Published Monday, May 15, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Chetola Resort hosted a ribbon cutting for the Chetola Sporting Reserve, a private club on a 67-acre tract within Blue Ridge Mountain Club. Photos by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

On 67 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, Chetola Sporting Reserve is a private club open to those with memberships and guests staying at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock.

Chetola Resort celebrated the opening of the Chetola Sporting Reserve last Thursday with a ribbon cutting at the reserve’s 1,784-square-foot clubhouse. Nearly two years ago, Chetola Resort purchased the property after management of Blue Ridge Mountain Club heard through the village grapevine that Chetola’s owners were looking for property on which to shoot guns.

“From our standpoint, we were tickled to death to find they were looking for land,” said Reggie Bray, director of marketing and sales at Blue Ridge Mountain Club. “We respect the owners of [Chetola Resort], and how they do business is so well known in this business community. For us its co-branding and we felt it actually improved our brand to be associated with them and we hope it will be a reciprocal arrangement in the future with them as well.”

Kent Tarbutton, owner of Chetola Resort, recounted a story of his brother, Greg Tarbutton, field and stream director at Chetola Resort, looking at ridge-line properties north of Boone for sport.  

“When you are hanging out over ridges, you are sending your blast to all your neighbors. He showed me a place out at Meat Camp, and I said, ‘Greg, they’d start shooting back after about two weeks. We can’t build out here. We’ve got to get somewhere private,” Tarbutton said.

The facility is located about six miles as the crow flies – or 20 minutes along winding country roads – from Chetola Resort. The property narrowly escaped the Horton Fire last November. In a promotional pamphlet, The Chetola Sporting Reserve property is described as “67 acres of rural rolling terrain, among towering pines, red maples, and mighty oaks, and surrounded by the incredible Blue Ridge vistas in the heart of the gated Blue Ridge Mountain Club.”

The private club features rifle and pistol ranges, a sporting clay course with 13 stations, a 5-stand clay station, an archery range, Orvis-endorsed lodge and guides and more. While Chetola Resort’s professional half and full-day wade-and-float trip adventures for fly fishing are located off site, a complimentary catch-and-release pond is located on the reserve.

The archery course is outfitted with 5, 10 and 20-yard targets and participants can use traditional longbows and compound and wooden arrows. You can bring your own equipment and must be 6 years old to participate.

The sporting clay course is located on 20 acres within the reserve and the 5-stand, which is so named because it can accommodate up to five shooters at the same time, is “a cross between trap, skeet and sporting clays with the advantage of accelerated pace and diverse crossing, flying and dropping patterns.” You can bring your own guns or choose from the reserve’s Ceasar Guerini and Beretta 12, 20, 28 and 410 shotguns. Ammo and clay must be purchased from the Chetola Sporting Reserve.

National Rifle Association-certified instructors specialize in particular disciplines and lead with Churchill-style instruction. Jake Salthouse is the head-shooting instructor at the Chetola Sporting Reserve. Featuring NRA certification, Morgan Tarbutton, who is NRA certified, will manage the facility.

At the media reception on Thursday, Greg Tarbutton noted that the demand for a sporting reserve was evident from its clients in Blowing Rock.

“We have the opportunity to introduce people to nature. We’ve had questions like, ‘How do you fish?’ or ‘How do you load a shotgun?’” Tarbutton said. “And for me I am like, ‘What? You don’t know.’ But we do have a lot of clients that don’t and we also have a lot of clients from overseas and they’ve never had the opportunity to hunt or to be out in nature like this – a lot from cities like Beijing and from South and Central America. So we tried to make the place where they can experience the country and see as much native and North Carolina wildlife.”

The clubhouse can sit up to 40 people and an adjacent tented area can accommodate up to 150 people. The reserve is open to groups for team building activities, corporate retreats, celebrations and weddings with all catering provided by Timberlake’s Restaurant.

“A 1,784-square-foot clubhouse is the property’s classic centerpiece, outfitted with Bob Timberlake’s elegantly rustic furniture, artwork and accessories. Relax by the stone fireplace with a game of backgammon, partake in a fine selection of food and beverages at the clubhouse bar, or unwind on the observation deck of the adjacent five-stand,” according to a Chetola Resort promotional.  

During the media reception, Bryan Moore, director of sales and marketing, said this facility will compliment the services Chetola Resort offers in Blowing Rock, which promotes the following tagline, “Gather here.”  

“One of our big tag lines at Chetola is called ‘gather here.’ But it’s way more than just gather: celebrate, bond, create, learn, strategize, explore, rest, honor and share. We want you to do it here and we want our guests to come here to do that,” said Bryan Moore, director of sales and marketing at Chetola Resort.

Membership to the Chetola Sporting Reserve is capped at 250 members. In addition, guests from Chetola Resort receive a limited membership and the opportunity to participate in the activities at the reserve, which is open year round from 10 to 6 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 10 to 4 on Friday through Monday.

For more information or to join, call the Chetola Resort at 828-264-55000 or the Chetola Sporting Reserve at 828-295-5500. Membership forms are also available at the front desk of Chetola. Click to www.chetola.com or www.chetola.com/recreation/sporting-reserve.

The grand opening celebration of Chetola Sporting Reserve started with a presentation at Chetola Resort. 

Bryan Moore, director of sales and marketing, at Chetola Resort leads the presentation and introduced members of the Chetola Resort staff. 

The trip included a stop at Blue Ridge Mountain Club where ongoing construction of recreation center was featured to the group with a presentation by Reggie Bray, director of marketing and sales at Blue Ridge Mountain Club. 

 

The clubhouse adjacent to the fitness center is planned to be completed by the end of the year. 

Famous North Carolina painter Bob Timberlake (left) attended the celebration. Chetola Resort named the inn and restaurant after Timberlake.  Timberlake stands with Reggie Bray, director of marketing and sales at Blue Ridge Mountain Club. 

The Chetola Sporting Reserve clubhouse has a “fine selection of food and beverages at the clubhouse bar.” 

Greg Tarbutton, Morgan Tarbutton, Bob Timberlake, Jeremiah Tarbutton, and Kent Tarbutton pose for a photo after the ribbon cutting ceremony

Shooting range staff on hand to assist guests. 

Kent Tarbutton stands in front of the stone fireplace at Chetola Sporting Reserve clubhouse. 

Painter Bob Timberlake and Chetola owner Kent Tarbutton

A woman is instructed by Grayson Jones in the five-stand clay station. 

Instructor Grayson Jones. Chetola Sporting Reserve instructors are all NRA certified. 

Blowing Rock Tourism and Development Authority Executive Director Tracy Brown instructed on the firing range by Grayson Jones. 

The five-stand clay station.

Morgan Tarbutton shows off her shooting skills. Tarbutton is the Chetola Sporting Preserve manager and is NRA certified. 

Morgan Tarbutton shows off her shooting skills. Tarbutton is the Chetola Sporting Preserve manager and is NRA certified.

The sporting clay course features 13 shooting stations on 20 acres of the 67-acre Chetola Sporting Preserve. 

Trails to the shooting stations lead from the clubhouse. 

Morgan Tarbutton shows off her shooting skills. Tarbutton is the Chetola Sporting Preserve manager and is NRA certified.

No hunting is allowed on the facility. Participants shoot skeet. 

The skeet throwers are programmable for pace and flying patterns. 

Skeet thrower

From left: Kent Tarbutton, Jeremiah Tarbutton, Bryan Moore, Morgan Tarbutton, Susan Metts, Grayson Jones, Chuck Melman, and Greg Tarbutton at the ribbon cutting of Chetola Sporting Reserve at Blue Ridge Mountain Club.

From left: Kent Tarbutton, Jeremiah Tarbutton, Bryan Moore, Morgan Tarbutton, Susan Metts, Grayson Jones, Chuck Melman, and Greg Tarbutton at the ribbon cutting of Chetola Sporting Reserve at Blue Ridge Mountain Club.

From left: Jeremiah Tarbutton, Kent Tarbutton, Morgan Tarbutton (in front), Susan Metts, Greg Tarbutton and Chuck Melman. 

Bryan Moore, director of sales and marketing, of Chetola Resort holding a shotgun.

Shooters in the five-stand clay station await the skeet thrower. 

And they aim and shoot. 

Kent Tarbutton, Morgan Tarbutton and Greg Tarbutton look on. 

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