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With Historic Billboard Being Torn Dorn, Appalachian Ski Mtn. To Make Significant Investment With Welcome Center

A artistic rendering of the proposed welcome center and freestanding sign at the corner of Edmisten Road and U.S. 321.
A artistic rendering of the proposed welcome center and freestanding sign at the corner of Edmisten Road and U.S. 321.

By Jesse Wood

Dec. 11, 2014. Come March, the 45-year-old Appalachian Ski Mtn. billboard across the street from the Edmisten Road and U.S. 321 intersection will be torn down for an access road to the future Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s post-acute care facility called Chestnut Ridge at Blowing Rock.

With that in mind, Appalachian Ski Mtn. is preparing to construct a welcome center and a freestanding sign at the northwest corner of the highway and Edmisten Road, which leads to the resort.

On Tuesday, the Blowing Rock Town Council approved a conditional use permit for the proposed project, which is estimated to cost up to $800,000.

Appalachian Ski Mtn. General Manager Brad Moretz said that the costs include 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.

Moretz said this will be an investment that he hopes will drive traffic to the ski resort once the billboard is demolished.

“We are getting ready to lose the double entrance billboard with the development of Chestnut Ridge across the street from us. That sort of leaves us invisible from the roadside,” Moretz said. “It’s an opportunity to potentially influence six million cars a year that go by our entrance.”

Moretz previously leased the billboard from Lamar Advertising.

If all goes as planned, Moretz said that construction should begin after the ski season ends in a few months and end sometime in late summer. Once opened the welcome center will be a nine-to-five operation during the winter seasons, where people can drop in and find out information about the Blowing Rock ski resort and purchase some merchandise, which would offset costs to the new operation.

The welcome is center is proposed to be a 960-square-foot building and 12 parking spaces and three bus spaces would exist on the lot. Plans also call for entrances off of Edmisten Road and U.S. 321. Once the Chestnut Ridge facility is complete, the seasonal traffic light will become permanent at the intersection.

For more information, view information on the proposal here.

For more information about Appalachian Ski Mtn. call 828-295-7828 or click to www.appskimtn.com.

View renderings below:

ski sign 2 SKi Sign