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March - April 2013 A Publication for Balsam Mountain Preserve Members

INSIDE Meet Mike Romero, Balsam’s New Director of Hospitality

Photo by Michael Skinner


W

e are excited to welcome Mike Romero to the Balsam Mountain Preserve team. As Director of Hospitality, Mike will have primary responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Boarding House Restaurant, the Ruby Valley Pavilion, and the Equestrian Center. Mike has over ten years of experience in the hospitality and luxury real estate industries, and we are confident his presence will greatly enhance your membership experience at Balsam.

INTRODUCING

Mike began his hospitality career in his hometown at the world famous Delano Hotel, located in the heart of Miami’s South Beach. He started out as a bartender and quickly worked his way into a variety of front of the house responsibilities. From there Mike moved to Boston and served as the General Manager of two successful upscale restaurants in the high-end neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, Armani Café and Aquitaine. During this time Mike gained tremendous experience in menu planning, hospitality management, and special event planning and execution. Mike’s final stop in the hospitality industry was with Legal Seafood, one of the most successful seafood restaurant concepts in the United States. Mike served as part of an elite management team that focused exclusively on ensuring consistently excellent food and customer service quality. During his time with Legal, Mike traveled to nearly all of their restaurants on the East Coast, spending 2-3 months at each location fine-tuning their individual operations and working with managers, servers, and kitchen staff to improve their individual performance. For the past several years Mike worked at Southcliff, one of Asheville’s most successful upscale gated communities. His broad array of responsibilities there included virtually all aspects of their operation, from real estate and community development to ensuring owner and resident satisfaction. Mike lives in Asheville with his wife and four children and has made a commitment to raise his family here in Western North Carolina. His dedication, collaborative management style and attention to the most minor details has ensured his success everywhere he’s been, and we know Balsam Mountain Preserve will be no different “We could not be more excited to have Mike on our team,” said Balsam’s President Jimmy McDonnell. “Balsam continues to grow and Mike will be instrumental in taking our Club Operations to the next level”.

Mike Romero Director of Hospitality Balsam Mountain Preserve “Throughout my years in the hospitality industry, I have learned that above everything, people deserve impeccable service and personal attention to detail. “I truly understand the importance of the Member experience and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this fantastic team and beautiful property.”


WELCOME NEW OWNERS

Have you heard the good news? Four new families have purchased at Balsam Mountain Preserve.

Dave & Sheri Straw, Charlotte, NC Rey & Kathy Velez, Washington, DC Paul & Sharon DeBacco, Philadelphia, PA Rory & Cynthia Gallinger, Waynesville, NC Discover more ways to enjoy your Membership. Explore the Balsam Mountain Member Website for an online directory, calendar of events and more.

Sightings…

on the

PRESERVE

Visit the Nature Center to share your latest sightings at Balsam Mountain Preserve! In February, visitors recorded seeing     

A strutting turkey on Preserve Road (pictured on cover) Goldfinches and Red-Breasted Nuthatches at the Nature Center bird feeders A female Hairy Woodpecker at the suet feeder A male Eastern (Rufous-sided) Towhee, and A bright red cardinal on the Trust’s black truck

We want to know what you have spotted on the Preserve this month! Visit the Nature Center or please send pictures to administrator@bmtrust.org.


O

nce again Asheville, North Carolina has been recognized as the #1 area in Top Retirement's 100 Best Places To Retire In 2013. As has been the case since TopRetirements published its first list in 2007, the Asheville area continues its reign as the most recommended retirement spot. Western North Carolina’s reputation as a whole is one of a great place to retire, and it’s only getting better and better. With our beautiful mountains, four season climate, and recreational and cultural opportunities, we have become the standard that all other retirement areas aspire to! We set out this winter to share this news with other parts of the country, taking Balsam Mountain Preserve’s story on the road! We participated in the winter Ideal Living real estate trade shows in January and February, visiting Long Island NY, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Bruce Fine, Vice President

This ambitious offsite plan combined with our other marketing activities will bring prospective purchasers to the mountain this year like never before. And for the first time in many years, Balsam will have a prominent ad in A Look At Asheville, a hardbound book that is distributed in virtually every hotel room in the Asheville area, including the Grand Bohemian, Hilton, Indigo, and Renaissance hotels. 2013 is off to a great start with real estate sales! In January our sales team brokered a resale listing of 9 lots and sold a resale lot on Preserve Road to a couple we met at the Washington D.C. Ideal Living trade show last year. In February we sold a developer homesite to a great couple from Houston who was referred to us by a Balsam property owner. Additionally, there have been two outside broker sales in Balsam so far this year. We currently have 5 additional couples in our universe that are very close to making a decision to join us as owners. This time of year is usually quiet, so it’s great to see so many people leaning forward! As always, keep your referrals coming! We appreciate your confidence and your enthusiasm for sharing Balsam with your friends and recommending them to us. If you have a property here to sell, no other team has the pipeline of prospective purchasers that we do, which ensures your listing will get maximum exposure!


I N L I K E A L I O N.

2013 GOLF TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE SATURDAY, APRIL 13TH – MASTERS M ATCH-UP TOURNAMENT TUESDAY, APRIL 16TH - AERIFICATION SATURDAY, M AY 11TH - 1-DAY MEMBER-MEMBER/GUEST FRIDAY-SUNDAY, M AY 24TH- MAY 26TH – MEMBER/MEMBER MONDAY, M AY 27TH – MEMORIAL DAY SCRAMBLE TUESDAY, JUNE 11TH – SPIKING AND TOPDRESSING GREENS JULY 1ST – AUGUST 31ST – SUMMER MATCH PLAY THURSDAY, JULY 4TH – FLAG DAY SATURDAY-SUNDAY, JULY 6TH-7TH - RUBY VALLEY CUP SATURDAY, JULY 20TH – 1-DAY MEMBER-MEMBER/GUEST SATURDAY-SUNDAY, AUGUST 3RD-4TH, CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY, AUGUST 17TH – 1-DAY MEMBER-MEMBER/GUEST SUNDAY-MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH-9TH – MEMBER/PRO TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH – AERIFICATION THURSDAY-SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10TH-12TH – MEMBER/GUEST SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26TH – 1-DAY MEMBER-MEMBER/GUEST

PLEASE VISIT THE MEMBER WEBSITE FOR A COMPLETE LISTING OF EVENTS.


The Nature of Things – A Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside an Enigma

I

recently read about a (successful) major undercover wildlife operation that involved both state and federal wildlife agencies. Code-named: Operation Something Bruin (see, even wildlife officers have a sense of humor). The operation may net as many as 80 violators who may incur as many as 900 violations between them. The range of laws broken is between misdemeanors and serious felonies. It’s probably not a stretch to consider why anyone would wander down the criminal path but we’ve historically never meted out serious punitive consequences for wildlife violations. That’s begun to change. As the economy has petered out, some of our more resourceful citizens have ‘taken to the streets’ in order to make ends meet. Couple that with the (in some cultures) ubiquitous and pervasive belief in what some of our natural resources can do for one’s libido, brain function, etc., it’s not surprising at all that so many of our gifts have gone missing (forever) or, are on the verge of doing so. I would suggest, that if we had a plant or animal which had the common moniker of, oh, I dunno, let’s say, “curly-tailed placebo,” it would have gone extinct immediately after having ‘cured’ its first generation of human Would the wild ginger found on the Preserve be at patients. What might be more interesting is whether or not a risk from poachers if it were the best accompaniment to sushi? Probably. The best Monsanto, or another of its ilk, was around to clone the critter, course we can take with any of our natural resources is to use them wisely and manage them patent its panacea gene and go on to establish the largest correctly. selling drug in the history of the world. The point here is that we humans are putting a tremendous amount of pressure on the natural resources we have on this planet. As the penultimate predator (I won’t confuse you with the other) we have lauded ourselves as the one creature able to consciously steward the many ‘goose that lays the golden egg’ critters so amply available to us. And what is heartening to anyone working in the field of natural resource conservation is that we seem to be getting the point – at least in some places. With that then I would like to invite anyone reading this to take a walk with us into the woods to see the remarkable ‘geese’ all around us. You might just be able to take your piece of the puzzle, place it in the proper spot and enjoy the results of a complete picture. We think we’ll be able help solve the riddle… by Michael Skinner, Trust Executive Director www.bmtrust.org


TALK TRUST Trust Talks take place, unless otherwise noted, at the Nature Center. Member gathering starts 5:30pm. Talks begin promptly at 6:00pm. May 30th: June 6th: June 13th: June 20th: June 27th: July 4th: July 11th: July 8th: July 25th: August 1st: August 8th: August 15th: August 22nd: August 29th: September 5th:

Becoming Bear Aware Artist in Residence – Luke Allsbrook Taste of the Wild! Ms. Ila Hatter, gatherer of wild edible and medicinal plants shares a few Appalachian botanical secrets Rock the House with Mike and Carol Green Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the On-going Story, Greg Kidd Permission to come Aboard, The Admiral Restaurant, That Is Abita Springs Beer Brewery CFO Troy Ashley Coyotes – Myth and Biology, Lynda Doucette Artist in Residence – Jo Ridge Kelley Wed Woof Weecovery with Allison Ballantine, Animal Curator with the Western North Carolina Nature Center SNAKE, Rattle and Roll: Prof. Ron Davis and Trust Director Michael Skinner Wild Mushrooms of WNC which we have caught, identified, eaten and survived – or so say David and Melody Dickson There’s Gold in them Thar Hills…or Rubies…or State of the Union Address – only Different Artist in Residence – Linda Fraser

Please contact the Balsam Mountain Trust if you have questions, ideas, or would like to see a particular program type offered. If you are not signed up on the Trust website for BMP Member Access please contact Dawn at administrator@bmtrust.org or 828.631.1060.


It’s not often that

BALSAM Experiences The MAJESTY of new fallen

SNOW but on February 6th

SHORT TIME the Mountain

for a

was blanketed with

HEAVENLY

WHITE.

Photo captured by Kirk Bowden


Calling all social butterflies Twitter chit chat >

YouTube broadcast >

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HELP SUPPORT WCU FRIENDS OF THE ARTS The Second Annual Western Carolina University FRIENDS OF THE ARTS Silent Auction will be held April 11- 14 in conjunction with Western Carolina University’s performances of the Tony Award winning production of ‘The Drowsy Chaperone.’ This year’s auction adds a layer of fun to the production which will be directed by Broadway star, Terrence Mann. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the College of Fine and Performing Arts at WCU. If you are on the mountain during April 11-14, plan to enjoy an evening of beverages, bites, Broadway, and bidding while you peruse the exceptional and varied items offered at the auction followed by the hilarious musical presented by the WCU School of Stage and Screen Musical Theatre. WCU Friends of the Arts

Tickets are available at the WCU Box Office.

CLICK HERE or call 828.227.2479.


Classic southern Pecan Pie. There's nothing like it. Try Chef Jay Horton’s recipe below for this nut confection favorite.

Ingredients 1 - 9” pie shell 3 eggs ¾ cup light or dark corn syrup ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup melted butter 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1 cup raw pecans, lightly crushed

Method Mix all ingredients well except for the pecans. Place pecans in an even layer on the bottom of pie shell. Pour in wet mixture. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until pie is nicely browned on top. Cool at room temperature for 1 hr. before serving.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. by Jay Horton, Executive Chef


Balsam Mountain Preserve

OUTSIDE THE GATES March 2013

WELCOME SPRING As we anxiously await a fun-filled season of activities at Balsam Mountain Preserve, there are plenty of events going on this month in our neighboring cities. Head outside the gates with your friends and family this month and enjoy all that this beautiful region has to offer.

28TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS March 21st Biltmore Estate Thousands of tulips across the estate celebrate the legacy of Biltmore’s master horticulture planner. Restaurants will feature special menu items, with the Winery offering a commemorative Festival of Flowers wine and wine seminars.

ASHEVILLE SYMPHONY: THE AMERICAN FOUR SEASONS March 16th Asheville

WINTER FARMERS MARKET Saturdays in March HART Theater, Waynesville Vendors will offer cold-weather and greenhouse grown produce, baked goods, home goods and more.

HEALTHY YOU 5K RUN/WALK March 19th Buncombe County Sports Park Track, Candler


Club Hours of Operation Pro Shop: Beginning April 1st, 9:00am to 5:00pm, closed Tuesdays. Tee times begin at 10:00am. Practice Park: Opening April 1st. 9:00am to 5:00pm Trail Rides Opening May 1st. Pavilion: Open 24 hours. Fitness Center: Open 24 hours. Pool: Opening May 1st. Tennis Courts: Opening April 1st (weather permitting) Turnhouse: Open 11:00am to 3:00pm Saturdays and Sundays during April. The Boarding House Restaurant: Light Continental Breakfast: Mon – Thurs, 8am – 10am Breakfast: Fri – Sun, 8am – 10am Lunch: Wed – Mon, 11:30am – 2pm Dinner: Fri – Sun, 6:30pm – 9pm *Reservations Requested The Nature Center: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily

Club Staff and Contact Information Administration: 828.631.1040 Jimmy McDonnell: President Bruce Fine: Vice President Mike Romero Director of Hospitality Tina Jones: Business Manager Member Services: 828.631.1000 Amy Coggins: Manager Balsam Care (Maintenance & Cabins): 828.631.1000 Pro Shop: 828.631.1009 Drew Marshall: Head Golf Pro Activities: 828.631.1063 Stables: 828.631.1066 Security / Main Gate: 828.631.1011 Main Gate Emergency: 828.508.0116 Sales: 828.631.1001 Joe Dellinger: Bill Minus: David Huffman: Jamie Aquino:

Sales Executive Sales Executive Sales Executive Marketing Assistant RIDGE Lines Editor

Nature Center / Balsam Mountain Trust: 828.631.1060 Michael Skinner: Executive Director Blair Ogburn: Sr. Naturalist Dawn Williams Tox: Administrator www.bmtrust.org

The Reserve at Lake Keowee Contact Balsam Member Services at 828.631.1000 for all Activities and Reservations. www.reserveatlakekeowee.com

Grand Harbor Golf & Yacht Club Contact Balsam Member Services at


Balsam Mountain Preserve | 81 Preserve Road | Sylva, NC 28779 866.452.3456 www.balsammountainpreserve.com


RIDGELines | Mar-Apr 2013