‘Apparent’ Highest Bid for High Country Host Building in Boone Set at $1.34M

Published Friday, September 25, 2015 at 10:51 am
The NCDOT is considering selling property on Pride Drive, which is the home of High Country Host. Photo by Jesse Wood

The NCDOT is considering selling property on Pride Drive, which is the home of High Country Host. Photo by Jesse Wood

By Jesse Wood

A trio of Charlotte developers submitted the “apparent winning” bid for the building housing High Country Host at the corner of Pride Drive and Blowing Rock Boulevard, according to Division 11 Engineer Mike Pettyjohn.

Nash Three, LLC submitted a bid of $1,342,500, and it was the highest of three bids submitted when the bids opened on Tuesday. The sale hasn’t closed yet. Once the property closing takes place, High Country Host will have six months to move out.

The property is owned by N.C. Department of Transportation, which decided to put the property on the market after several developers inquired about the property. The NCDOT acquired the property during the construction of U.S. 321 and has leased the building to High Country Host for no fee since 1985.

High Country Host formed in 1980 to advertise the region in key markets, and after 35 years, High Country Host has become a local institution.

This sale wasn’t shocking to the visitors center as it has known for several months that the building might be sold and it would have to look for a new home.

High Country Host has been in talks with Appalachian Ski Mtn., which is building a welcome center to advertise its business at the corner of Edmisten Road and U.S. 321, where the ski resort used to have a billboard for nearly half a century before that was demolished last summer to make way for the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s new post-acute care facility.

According to tax records with Watauga County at the beginning of the year, the 1.17-acre parcel is appraised at $934,600 and the building has an appraisal value of $182,300.

The property is located directly across from the KFC on Pride Drive and connects to one of the entrances to the vacant Kmart that closed down in September, after it was sold to a developer.

Boone Planning Director Bill Bailey said that the developer looked into realigning Pride Drive to Boone Heights Drive at the stoplight, but that had “fallen through.”

Bailey said that developers were planning on connecting Postal Drive to the old shopping center and that the NCDOT wasn’t opposed to placing a stoplight at that proposed intersection.

In the past, Bailey has said that Publix Super Markets looked like a “good possibility” to move into the vacant Kmart property.

As for the High Country Host building, Nash Three LLC lists Ralph Falls as the registered agent and Steven G. Harris and A. Jordan Washburn Jr. as members. All have Charlotte addresses listed with the N.C. Secretary of State and have been featured together in articles about retail development in Charlotte.

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