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2017-18 The High Country is a great place to visit ... and a better place to live! BOONE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE COMMUNITY RESOURCE GUIDE


Recreation ∙ Education ∙ Real Estate ∙ Health Care ∙ Senior Living Arts ∙ Entertainment ∙ Local Food & Drink ∙ Clubs & Orgs & More!


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Boone IS on the map! “The Best Places to Live and Play” – National Geographic Adventure magazine

“100 Best Small Towns in America” – Norman Crampton

“50 Best Small Southern Towns” – Sweitzer and Fields

“10 Best Places to Retire in the U.S.” – U.S. News & World Report

“Four North American Adventure Destinations”

Welcome to Boone

TH E H E A R T O F T HE HI G H CO U NTRY Whether you are a newcomer, visitor, local resident, retired person, business owner or student, there is something for you here in Boone. The High Country offers a quality of life that is unique to many regions in the State of North Carolina. Combined with year-long opportunities for outdoor recreation, our economic viability, technology infrastructure, and diverse business community truly make the Boone area a destination that you can work where you play. Boone: My Hometown will help you get to know us as a community Pictured are (front row, from left) Boone Area Chamber of devoted to our local residents as well Commerce Public Relations Director Wysteria White; President as serving the needs of our guests. and CEO David Jackson; (back row) Member Services Manager The stories in this publication are Natalie Harkey; Membership and Marketing Coordinator Bob prepared by journalists who have Campbell and Chamber Representative Susan Norris. witnessed the growth of our area over generations. Their perspectives will help deliver tales of our everyday treasures in a way that connects to your own perspectives.

– Adventure Sports magazine

We encourage you to visit Boone and enjoy our majestic community. You’ll find streets filled with quaint restaurants, art galleries and retail shops that combine a strong local business spirit with brands that resonate regionally and nationally.

“Best Small Towns – Top 10”

If you need any assistance with your business or family relocation, retirement planning or vacation itinerary, just give us a call—we’re here to make you feel at home in the High Country. If you are a local resident, we thank you for continuing to support business interests that help fuel our community.

– Outside Magazine

“Ranked in Top 10 Tri-Towns” – Triathlete magazine

Together we can continue to experience all that makes the Boone area a great place to work and live while extending a warm welcome to the visitors that will help further grow our economy and notoriety. Enjoy!

David Jackson “10 Great Small Towns with Huge Backyards”

David Jackson Boone Area Chamber of Commerce

– USA Today

34-page profile in US Airways Magazine



Boone Area Chamber of Commerce

Business/Economic Development

Boone/Watauga Tourism

Blue Ridge Parkway

Boone My Hometown

High Country Living

High Country Host

News and Events

4 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18




BERNHARDT FACTORY OUTLET 4916 Hickory Blvd, Granite Falls, NC 28630 828.313.0795 · Hours: Tues – Sat 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

KINCAID FACTORY OUTLET 4930 Hickory Blvd, Granite Falls, NC 28630 828.496.2262 • Hours: Mon – Sat 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. · Sun 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 5


From Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz


PHOTO COURTESY OF WAYFARING WANDERER Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz plays an acoustic guitar at the Boone Heritage Festival.

6 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

id you know that Boone’s elevation of 3,300 feet above sea level makes it the highest town for its size east of the Mississippi River? It is also one of the friendliest and most caring communities that I have ever experienced. Alfred Adams, a prominent banker who spent his entire life in Boone, called it “the Garden of Eden” Brantz because of its beautiful scenery and temperate climate. My wife, Lana, and I have lived in Boone since 1973. Much has changed over the years. Our downtown is more vibrant and attractive, with first-rate restaurants, interesting shops and notable historic sites such as our Jones House Community Center and historic post office. In the evenings, you can now find varied musical entertainment, ranging from “old-time” mountain music at the Jones House on Thursday evenings to jazz and other musical styles at numerous downtown venues. Many visitors pause for a moment downtown to admire the recently dedicated Doc Watson sculpture honoring one of our musical legends. The historic Appalachian Theatre is being revitalized for downtown music, movies and plays. Elsewhere in Boone you will find many citizens visiting the farmers’ market on Saturdays during the summer and fall. For five weeks in the summer Boone’s Southern Appalachian Historical Association presents the “Horn in the West,” the second oldest outdoor historical

drama in the U.S. And throughout the year, there are downtown celebrations from Christmas parades to our Halloween “Boo.” Appalachian State University has grown significantly in the last 44 years, adding enormously to our community with its wide range of cultural, intellectual and sporting events. The 18,000-plus students add energy, enthusiasm, new ideas and considerable public service in our community. As a retired professor of history at Appalachian, I am proud of what Appalachian’s students, faculty and staff have accomplished. Our outstanding schools, efficient municipal government and beautiful greenways and parks also contribute to the unique charm of Boone. In addition, visitors and residents can take advantage of the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, the Daniel Boone Native Gardens and the Tweetsie Railroad theme park. Boone is a very special place, whether you are hiking or rafting in the summer, skiing in the winter or enjoying our small town culture and atmosphere. And while here, you can always count on help from friendly people in Boone if you get lost or can’t find your destination. Information is also available from the professional staff at the Town Hall at 567 West King St. or the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce at 870 West King St., Suite A. I hope you enjoy your stay in “Boone, My Hometown,” and plan to visit us many times in the future. All the best, Rennie Brantz, Mayor of Boone

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Map of Watauga SOURCE: WATAUGA COUNTY GIS This map of Watauga County shows major highways, the town of Boone city limits and other communities and townships within the area.

8 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 9

Publisher Gene Fowler Jr. Editor Anna Oakes Contributing writers Anna Oakes, Kayla Lasure, Thomas Sherrill, Steve Behr, Brian Miller, Lee Sanderlin, Leslie Eason and Rennie Brantz Layout & Design Jason D. Balduf Advertising manager Charlie Price Advertising representatives Bethany Higgins, Mark Mitchell, John Goheen, Ian Broadhead, Nathan Godwin, Trey Fowler, Ron Brown Creative services Meleah Bryan, Kristin Obiso and Brandon Carini

WHAT’S INSIDE Living the Dream in Boone .................................................. 10 Boone enjoys changes of the season ................................. 15 A robust economic environment ........................................ 17 Educational opportunities soar in Boone ............................ 18 App State: A mountain university of higher learning .......... 26 Chamber highlights local leaders ....................................... 30 Curious about real estate in Boone? .................................. 37 High Country Health: A number of medical options ............ 40 Caring for all Ages: Various services for senior population 42 A Recreation Destination .................................................... 44 National superstars and local sensations .......................... 47 Appalachian culture shines through fresh food, craft beer & fine wines ........................................................................... 52 Local agencies & important numbers ................................. 57 Boone clubs and organizations .......................................... 58

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Proudly serving the High Country Since 1915 146 Faculty Street Extension, Boone, NC 28607 Customer Service: 828-264-3671 Emergencies: 828-264-8621







iving the dream” — a phrase often uttered by Boone area residents, and here’s why: They choose to live in the High Country — where countless visitors come to vacation each year. Boone is where a university town — with all the amenities and economic benefits that entails — intersects with a welcoming, rural, agricultural community. It’s where national and state parks, some of the highest peaks on the East Coast and the trout-filled headwaters of four major rivers are merely minutes away. Boone is the High Country’s regional economic center, the home of Appalachian State University, a nationally recognized outdoor recreation destination and North Carolina’s premier mountain town. The town of Boone was incorporated in 1872, acquiring its name from the famous pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, who hunted and camped in the area. According to recent Census estimates, the population of Boone is 18,834, a 10 percent SEE DREAM ON PAGE 12

Above: Boone is home to an active local farmers’ market open every Saturday May through November. Right: Completed in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration, the Post Office in downtown Boone is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 11


By the Numbers


increase from the 2010 Census figure of 17,122. Boone has the highest elevation (3,300 feet) of any town of its size (greater than 10,000 population) east of the Mississippi River. It serves as the county seat of Watauga County, and town limits cover approximately six square miles. Travelers access Boone via U.S. 421, U.S. 321 and U.S. 221, which provide access to interstates 40, 77, 85, 81 and 26. Also nearby is the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic mountain road and national park that traverses 469 miles in North Carolina and Virginia. One of the town’s greatest amenities is the AppalCART SEE DREAM ON PAGE 13

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Boone and Watauga County COMPILED BY ANNA OAKES

The following information is compiled from the U.S. Census Bureau and the town of Boone Police Department crime statistics page.

POPULATION • Population, 2016 estimate: Boone, 18,834; Watauga County, 53,922 • Percent population estimate change from April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2016: Boone, 10.0 percent; Watauga, 5.6 percent • Percent of persons younger than 18 years, 2010: Boone, 5.1 percent; Watauga, 13.8 percent • Percent of persons 65 years and older, 2010: Boone, 6.8 percent; Watauga, 12.4 percent

EDUCATION • Percent of persons 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher, 2015: Boone, 91.4 percent; Watauga, 89 percent • Percent of persons 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 2015: Boone, 48.4 percent; Watauga, 38.4 percent

HOUSING • Homeownership rate, 2015: Boone, 18.6 percent; Watauga, 57.9 percent • Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2015:

Boone, $266,000; Watauga, $231,700

INCOME (WATAUGA COUNTY) • Median household income, 2015: $37,656 • Percent of persons below poverty level, 2015: 31.4 percent * A 2013 report from the U.S. Census Bureau found that the presence of off-campus college students can skew a community’s poverty rates higher

GEOGRAPHY • Land area in square miles, 2010: Boone, 6.13; Watauga, 312.56 • Persons per square mile, 2010: Boone, 2,792.8; Watauga, 163.4

BOONE VIOLENT CRIME REPORTS, ’16 STATS • Murder: 0 • Rape: 4 • Robbery: 2 • Aggravated assault: 4 • Misdemeanor assault: 54 • Arson: 0

BOONE NON-VIOLENT CRIME, 2016 STATS • Motor vehicle theft: 4 • Motor vehicle breaking and entering: 15 • Fraud: 41 • DWI arrests: 51 • Vandalism: 56 • Noise complaints: 230


Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and a variety of CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12 tourist and cultural attractions transit service, which proand businesses, increase the vides free transportation town’s population to an estiaround town, with additional mated 35,000 on a daily basis. routes in the county availBoone residents enjoy health able for a small fee. The syscare services provided through tem’s usage numbers rival the Appalachian Regional those of cities much larger Healthcare System. Watauga than Boone. Medical Center is a 117-bed Town and regional leaders regional medical complex, continue work to make the offering both primary and area more walkable and secondary acute and specialty bikeable, including efforts to care. add more sidewalks and bike The campus includes the lanes. main hospital and centers Hundreds gather on King Street in downtown Boone for the Ap- devoted to care of cancer, sleep Several electric car chargpalachian State Homecoming Parade in October 2017. ing stations are located in disorders, cardiology probtown, including at private lems and wound care. Other businesses, at Appalachian State and in downtown Boone. facilities include a Wellness Center, Rehabilitation Center and a Boone’s location and climate contribute to a strong tourism new post-acute care and rehabilitation center in nearby Blowing base and provide year-round opportunities for residents and Rock. visitors to enjoy a variety of sports and outdoor activities that Boone is also the home of Samaritan’s Purse, an international include skiing, hiking, boating, camping, biking, climbing and Christian relief organization. fishing. Multiple neighborhoods are within walking distance of downAppalachian State University is one of the largest universities town Boone, which offers a vibrant mix of local history, college in the public University of North Carolina system with more town culture, mountain heritage and arts, as well as commerce, than 18,000 students. The university, along with visitors to the with diverse businesses, restaurants, shops and boutiques.

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A spectacular spring sunset decends over Watauga High School’s Jack Groce Stadium.

Boone enjoys

changes of the seasons BY STEVE BEHR | PHOTOS BY STEVE BEHR

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here is no lack of seasons when it comes to living in Boone. Whether it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter, Boone is the place to enjoy all four of the seasons. On average, Boone enjoys 204 days of sunshine with moderate humidity. The average July temperature is 79 degrees. Rarely does the temperature go over 90 degrees, mostly because of the higher SEE SEASONS ON PAGE 15

The leaves start to change color in Boone in October.


elevation. Boone’s elevation is 3,333 above sea level, and the lower temperatures make Boone a popular tourist destination for people who don’t live on the mountain. The average rainfall for Boone, according to the website, is 54.68 inches annually. Boone’s average snowfall is 37.06 inches annually, but that can vary. Some years, the snowfall can be heavy. Other years, it can be moderate or light. The average high January temperature is 42 degrees, according to The average low in January is 21 degrees and 23 degrees in February. The cold temperatures allow local the local ski industry to make its own snow in case the snowfall isn’t what was expected. The temperatures start to rise as spring arrives. According to the website, the average high in March is 52 degrees, the average in April is 61 degrees and the average temperature in May is 69 degrees. It still gets chilly at night, with the average lows being 29 degrees, 37 degrees and 46 degrees in March, April and May respectively. The average highs in the summer months are 76 degrees in June, 79 degrees in July and 78 degrees in August. September has an average high of 72 degrees, October has an average high of 63, November averages 54 degrees for its high and the average high for December is 44 degrees. Boone averages 73.2 days of precipitation, which is below the national average of 102 days. June and August are typically the wettest months of the year. Both months average 5.08 inches of precipitation per year.

Boone is an ideal place to play summer baseball because the temperatures are cooler than they are off the mountain.

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Publix, the area’s newest grocery store, opened in 2017.

A robust economic environment BY LEE SANDERLIN | PHOTOS BY LEE SANDERLIN


King Street, the heart of downtown Boone, is home to many local shops and restaurants. 16 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

olstered by student, tourist and second homeowner markets as well as the presence of Appalachian State University and a strong local business community, Boone’s economy is strongly positioned in Western North Carolina. According to the most recent data made available from the N.C. Department of Commerce, Watauga County experienced growth this year in employment. The county currently employs 27,563 people, up from the 26,745 people employed in 2016. The unemployment rate in Watauga sits at an estimated 3.8 percent, below the most recently reported national rate of 4.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Appalachian State University, the county’s largest employer with over 3,000 employees, plays a major role in driving the Boone economy. Each semester the university increases Boone’s population by an estimated 18,000 students. The proximity of Appalachian State University also contributes to an educated workforce: 38 percent of residents in Watauga County and 48 percent of residents SEE ECONOMY ON PAGE 17


The U.S. 421 corridor in the New Market and Perkinsville CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16 area of Boone is seeing an increase in commercial developof Boone are college graduates, ment with a new apartment comaccording to the U.S. Census plex currently under construcBureau. And businesses have tion in the area. the opportunity to take advanAlong with commercial detage of university expertise and velopment, tourism is a driving services in diverse subjects such force for the local economy, with as information technologies, $248.26 million, a 7.27 percent renewable energy, sustainable increase from 2015, being spent development, business managein the county on tourism and ment, entrepreneurship and life travel in 2016. sciences. The tourism industry is a maThe university is quickly growjor source of employment in the New construction is invisible along the U.S. 421 corridor off ing, having started construction High Country, employing over of Perkinsville Drive. on its newest addition, the Bea2,800 people in 2016, according ver College of Health Sciences, to VisitNC. near Watauga Medical Center. The university also opened its newest Farming and agriculture are important to Watauga County, with education hall, Howard Street Hall. Christmas trees, cattle, nursery products and vegetables as the top The school recently acquired the property that was the former commodities. Watauga High School. No announcement has been made on what Along with tourism, commercial development and national the university plans to do with the property. chains, the Boone economy features a “shop local” initiative highWatauga County, more specifically the town of Boone, continues lighted by the wide range of independent shops and restaurants in to be a hub of new construction and development. Blowing Rock the downtown area. The Boone business community is supported by Road saw two apartment complexes, The Standard and University the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, a group of dedicated local Overlook, open in 2017. A Publix grocery store and a Starbucks also business owners that provide mutual support to one another and opened on Blowing Rock Road in 2017. services to the community.

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Educational opportunities soar in Boone BY KAYLA LASURE | PHOTOS BY KAYLA LASURE


roviding educational opportunities for all of Watauga’s children has consistently been a priority for the com-

munity. Whether public, charter, Montessori, pre-k, homeschool, Christian or higher education, the Watauga community works hard to make sure all children and adults are able to receive an education.

PUBLIC SCHOOL Serving the majority of the students in the county is the public school system, Watauga County Schools. The public schools consist of

Brynn Gould sits among her classmates during the Watauga Hgh School 2017 graduation.



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eight schools that are kindergarten through eighth grade and one high school — totaling 4,645 students for the 2017-18 school year. The eight K-8 schools — Hardin Park, Green Valley, Parkway, Valle Crucis, Cove Creek, Mabel, Blowing Rock and Bethel — varied in enrollments, from 169 to 877 during the 2016-17 school year. Watauga County Schools had the highest test scores in the state for seventh- and eighthgrade reading as well as top fives in average end-of-grade test scores in seventh grade and eighth grade overall, seventh- and eighth-grade math and third- through eighthgrade reading. Watauga High School is the home of the Pioneers, which had an overall enrollment of 1,374 students for the 2016-17 school year. The high school saw a new graduation rate record of 91.2 percent in May 2017. Over the last year, the school opened up dual enrollment for home-schooled students who are least half-time students at the high school. For example, students are able to take advanced level science classes or an art class at the high school while taking additional courses in their home school. This also allows the student to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, marching band or the school’s Marines JROTC program. High school age students also have the opportunity to enter into the Watauga Innovation Academy — a cooperative and innovative high school that shares a campus with Watauga High School. SEE EDUCATION ON PAGE 20

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Students are able to take college-level courses offered by Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute — a Hudson-based community college with a satellite campus in Boone. Through the academy, students are able to receive certificates and degrees in computer technology, automotive technology, cosmetology, mechanical engineering technology in drafting and mechanical engineering technology in welding. To learn more about Sophie Dansereau reads a book describing colors and animals to DUAL School students at the Watauga County Schools, visit www.wataugaschools. Children’s Council office. Students photographed are: Malachi Stengele, Yahir Narvaez, Jonathan Silva, Iker Galan, Carson Eggers and Abraham Botello. org.

CHARTER SCHOOL Those looking for a charter school educational environment can apply for admission at Boone’s only charter school — Two Rivers Community School. Two

Rivers — started in 2005 — serves grades K-8 and was founded by a group of local parents and educators. It currently has 178 students enrolled from Watauga, Ashe, Avery and Mitchell counties.

Two Rivers focuses on academics as well as the social and emotional needs of their students, according to Director SEE EDUCATION ON PAGE 22

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David Rizor. The school strives for academic excellence in an environment founded on the Experiential Learning framework, providing hands-on and outdoor activities with an environmental focus. It has been recognized as an N.C. School of Excellence and an N.C. Green School of Quality. Two Rivers accepts applications from April through June for its next school year. To try to enter a student into Two Rivers for the spring, applications are accepted through Jan. 1, Rizor said. To learn more about Two Rivers, visit

MONTESSORI SCHOOLS Boone is home to two Montessori schools. One is Moun-

PHOTO SUBMITTED Two Rivers Community School student Hannah Critcher and science teacher Clint Byers open SEE EDUCATION ON PAGE 23 a package for a mummification experiment.


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tain Pathways, a Montessori school founded in 1987. Mountain Pathways focuses on the nurturing of the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical wellbeing of its students. The model Mountain Pathways uses requires concentration, personal responsibility, respect for self and others and family involvement. The school expects students to fulfill high expectations in character development as well as academics. Mountain Pathways is a private nonprofit, parentowned corporation. The school does offer some tuition assistance. To learn more Little Linguists Language Academy teacher Maria Xique Ortiz helps Ayla Crawley make a craft about Mountain Pathways, out of leaves using only Spanish to communicate. visit history. The second Montessori school — Mary’s tessori School, visit www.marysmontesTo learn more about Grace Academy, Montessori School — is a half-day school visit that uses a curriculum that focuses on senCHRISTIAN SCHOOL home. sorial topics, practical life tasks, self care, Also serving students in the High math, language, art and science. PRE-KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS Country is Grace Academy — a Christian, After serving as a teacher at Mountain North Carolina provides an NC Pre-K classical, college-model school. Grace Pathways, Mary Willis was looking to program for 4-year-olds that typically has serves K-8 grades and has 100 students branch out on her own. Since its start in students attend a full school day — about currently enrolled. 2002, the school has grown to 18 students Classes meet on Mondays and Wednes- six and a half hours — for a full school and three teachers. The school currently year and may be served in classrooms takes in students who are ages 2 and a half days for instruction time. Students have in the public schools, licensed child care the option of continuing work at home to 6 years old. centers or Head Start programs. Five of on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays or Mary’s takes applications at any time Watauga County Schools serve as NC coming in for extended learning for help of the year with openings occuring once on current work. Classes focus on readthe school year has started or at semester SEE EDUCATION ON PAGE 25 ing, writing, Latin, arithmetic and Bible breaks. To learn more about Mary’s Mon-

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Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 23

24 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18





Pre-K facilities: Hardin Park, Cove Creek, Valle Crucis, Green Valley and Parkway through the Lucy Brock Collaborative Classroom program. The Lucy Brock Collaborative Classroom is a laboratory program operated by the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Appalachian State University. To be eligible for the NC Pre-K program, applications need to be sent to the Children’s Council of Watauga County, the contract administrator for the NC Pre-K program. For more information on the Watauga NC Pre-K program, visit html. The Children’s Council also offers a bilingual preschool called Diverse Unified Appropriate Learning School, or DUAL School. The classroom serves 3 to 4-yearolds and has both students who speak English and those who speak Spanish. To learn more about the DUAL school, visit

Little Linguists Language Academy opened earlier this year to offer Spanish and French to children as well as German for adults in the Watauga area. The academy offers courses for toddlers, pre-k, after school, a summer camp and adult or speciality classes. The language is taught in complete immersion without any English spoken. To learn more about Little Linguists, visit

HOME SCHOOL Offering a place for the home-schooled community is Wildwood Agile Learning Community. Wildwood offers collaborative self-directed learning experiences and follows an agile learning model, set by Agile Learning Centers. Wildwood focuses on intention, creation, reflection and sharing, used to help students develop social, cultural and emotional intelligence, motivation, self-knowledge and a sense of purpose. To learn more about Wildwood, visit

The High Country Christian Home Schoolers also offers support to the home-schooling community. To learn more about the High Country Christian Home Schoolers, visit

HIGHER EDUCATION Serving Boone in the community college capacity is the Watauga campus of the Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. Students are able to obtain degrees in more than 100 program areas, including business, health, public services, computer and technology and vocational/trades. The Watauga campus of CCC&TI saw 3,544 students for its fall 2017 semester. For more on Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, visit www. Appalachian State University, founded in 1899, is the area’s state university with 18,811 students enrolled for the fall 2017 semester. App State is one of 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system and offers 150 undergraduate and graduate majors. For more information on Appalachian State University, visit

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The “Touchdown Yosef” statue on the corner of Rivers Street and Stadium Drive.

Appalachian State A mountain university of higher learning BY THOMAS SHERRILL | PHOTOS BY THOMAS SHERRILL

estled in downtown Boone, Appalachian State University has become the everyoung pulse of culture and growth of the Boone community. App State provides a dream-like setting in which to study, work and visit. The 400-acre main campus with 30 academic buildings, 20 residence halls, three dining facilities and 11 athletics facilities offers mountain views that are green in the spring and summer, multi-colored in the fall and white in the winter. Nestled among the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the main features


26 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

to the north is Howard Knob, where views of ASU and Boone are available duringg the spring, summer and fall. Campus members can often be spotted relaxing and recreating in ASU’s Durham Park, on open lawns such a Sanford Mall, in hammocks and on slack lines in the trees. Whenever class is in session, the campus is always a scene of SEE ASU ON PAGE 27

The 200,000-square-foot Belk Library and Information Commons, which is open to students and community members alike.


beauty and vibrancy.

HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION — IN YOUR BACKYARD Founded in 1899 as the Watauga Academy, the school that started in one building has grown into a regional university with six undergraduate colleges and one graduate school offering over 150 majors. In total, ASU has a fall 2017 enrollment of 18,811 students, up from 18,295 in 2016. Despite its steadily growing enrollment, ASU provides an intimate learning experience with a student to faculty ratio of 16:1 and an average class size of 27. The annual tuition of $14,416 for in-state students, including room and board, rank among the most cost-efficient options among the University of North Carolina’s institutions. Appalachian alumni can be found far and near. Although most alums reside in the greater Charlotte area than any other area, alums can be found in all 50 states and several foreign countries.

ECONOMIC IMPACT ASU is the biggest employer in Watauga County with around 3,000 employees. An analysis by Economic Modeling Specialists Internation in 2012-13 concluded that $355.3 million in payroll and operations spending of ASU, combined with its construction spending and the spending of students, visitors and alums, created $1.7 billion in added state income. This equates to 0.4 percent of the total gross state product of North Carolina and 28,035 jobs.

LIFELONG LEARNING & COMMUNITY OUTREACH A town with a large, regional institution of higher learning has advantages in the form of lectures, readings, forums and SEE ASU ON PAGE 28

Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 27


other educational events that are open to the public, many of which are free of charge. Such events includes the University Forum Lecture Series, the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series, Diversity Celebration and many more events on historical and current events, organized by faculty and students on a regular basis. The 210,000-square-foot Belk Library and Information Commons is open to the regional residents and visitors with public access computers and library cards available. Regional residents benefit from Appalachian’s commitment to community outreach. Over 100 programs at ASU focus on community outreach, including support for families of children with special needs, arts education, swim and lifeguard classes, technical assistants to starting a business, the Communication Disorders Clinic, fitness testing, summer camps for children, trail upkeep and maintenance, public viewing nights at the

28 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

Appalachian State University has students and alums from countries all over the world.

Dark Sky Observatory and after school programs. In additions, area nonprofits and service-focused businesses benefit from countless volunteer hours contributed by ASU students, faculty and staff.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT ASU offers a plethora of arts and entertainment opportunities, including exhibiSEE ASU ON PAGE 29

By the Numbers Appalachian State University The following information is provided by Appalachian State University. For more information, visit www.

• Student/faculty ratio: 16 to 1 • Average class size: 27 • Colleges: 6 undergraduates, 1 music school, 1 graduate school • Undergraduate and graduate majors: more than 150


• Total: 18,811 • Undergraduate: 17,017 • Graduate: 1,794 • In-state students: 17,126 • Out-of-state students: 1,685 • Living alumni: 120,000


• 1,200 acres, with 375

developed • 30 academic buildings • 20 residence halls, housing about 5,600 students on campus • 3 main dining facilities • 11 recreational and athletic facilities






• Varsity sports: 20 • Club sports: more than 20 • Intramural sports: more than 80 Undergraduate costs, 201718 academic year (includes tuition and fees for 12+ credit hours, standard option meal plan, standard room and board, and most textbooks): • $14,645 in state • $29,452 out of state

tion programs and workshops in the visual arts; a performing arts series featuring world-renowned visiting artists; theater productions at one of several campus venues; concerts and recitals by Appalachian’s highly acclaimed Hayes School of Music and Department of Theater and Dance; programs supporting student authors or poetry, fiction, plays and creative nonfiction; presentations and workshops be renowned authors; a popular craft enrichment series offering workshops for all ages; a nationally recognized summer arts festival; and a student-run programming series featuring a mix of artists and entertainment. Sports fans can find teams to

root for in ASU’s athletics programs, with 20 NCAA Division I varsity sports and 450 studentathletes. The Mountaineers field one of the most successful DI football teams in recent times, who won three straight Division I Football Championship Subdivision National Championships from 2005 to 2007 and have won two straight Raycom Media Camellia Bowls since moving up to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision in 2014. Kidd Brewer Stadium, home of the Mountaineers football team, has seen crowds of 35,000 to see games versus ACC opponents Miami and Wake Forest and is recognized for its game-day atmosphere. For more information about Appalachian State events, resources and opportunities for the broader Boone community, visit www.

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PHOTO BY KAYLA LASURE Left to right: Wysteria White, Gillian Baker, Wendy Patoprsty and Susan Jones share a hug after Patoprsty is presented the Baker-Jones Woman of the Year Award.

Chamber highlights local leaders T

he Boone Area Chamber of Commerce this year recognized local emerging and veteran leaders at the 68th Annual Membership Meeting of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce in August 2017 and the inaugural 4 Under 40 Awards in May.

68TH ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING AWARDS Wendy Patoprsty of Blue Ridge Conservancy was presented the inaugural Baker-Jones Woman of the Year Award. The award was presented by Appalachian Regional Healthcare

30 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

System and Blue Ridge Energy in honor of longtime employees Gillian Baker and Susan Jones. Both have served as Board Chair of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce and have a long history of leadership and volunteer service to the organization. The project director for the Middle Fork Greenway, Patoprsty serves as the lead fundraiser and public relations officer for an effort that’s currently creating a 6.5-mile greenway trail connecting Boone and Blowing Rock. A graduate of the University of Georgia, she moved to the SEE CHAMBER ON PAGE 31


The local physician helped organize High Country RecreCONTINUED FROM PAGE 30 ation, a local nonprofit aimed at improving recreational opportuarea with her husband in 2000. nities in Watauga County for all While working with the Watauage groups. Organizing numerga and Avery County extension ous community information offices, she completed a master’s sessions, St. Clair was the public degree at Appalachian State in face behind the organization’s geography with a focus on water support of the recently funded resource management. Watauga County Recreation Patoprsty’s grant writing and Complex project. High Country unique fundraising work helped Recreation will have representaraise over $1 million in project tion in planning meetings and funding last year, while identifyfocus groups to help identify ing opportunities for further key needs for the complex as it PHOTO BY KAYLA LASURE moves into the design phase. economic development along Walter Kaudelka (left) accepts the Alfred Adams Award for the projected pathway. Under After growing up in Atlanta, Economic Development on behalf of Hospitality Mints from her leadership, “Round Up Dr. St. Clair first moved to Wysteria White (middle) and David Jackson. for the Greenway” started as a North Carolina during college, project to allow local businesses receiving a bachelor’s in political to ask customers to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar science from Duke University. He earned his MD from the Medical as a donation to the Greenway fund. Over 50 local businesses have College of Georgia and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha pledged to be a part of a monthlong fundraising campaign set for Medical Honor Society. He completed his pediatric residency at July 2018. the Children’s Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was The Dan Meyer Partnership Award was presented to Dr. voted most outstanding senior resident. Dr. St Clair’s special interScott St. Clair of Blue Ridge Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. ests include pediatric asthma and children with special needs. He The award honors former Boone Area Chamber of Commerce SEE CHAMBER ON PAGE 34 President/CEO Dan Meyer and was sponsored by LifeStore Bank.

Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 31

32 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 33


and his wife, Cameron, have lived in Boone since 2002 and have three children. The Sue W. Wilmoth Award for the Advancement of Tourism was presented to Michelle Ligon of the Boone and Watauga County Tourism Development Authorities. The award was presented by the Watauga County/Boone TDA. Ligon serves as director of public relations and social media and has worked to enhance the online penetration of the brand. Using targeted marketing campaigns throughout the Southeast U.S., the website has become one of the most visited travel/tourism sites promoting the area. Ligon is responsible for site content as well as maintaining a detailed listing of events in the area, which is annually the top traffic producer on the site. She has also worked to expand numerous tourism engagement programs and has assisted in the planning of area festivals. A graduate of Appalachian State, Ligon has served the Southern Appalachian Historical Association as a board member and

34 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

event planner for more than a decade. She also works extensively with the NC Daniel Boone Heritage Trail. Winding through 11 counties in Western North Carolina, the trail connects historical markers and known stops frequented by the legendary pioneer during the mid-1700s. The everGREEN Award for Leadership in Sustainability was presented to F.A.R.M. Cafe. The award was presented by Mast General Store and seeks to honor businesses or individuals who have committed to sustainable methods in their business model. In its fifth year serving the High Country, F.A.R.M. Cafe provides meals for patrons on a pay-as-you-can basis. Located in the heart of downtown Boone, the organization provides an atmosphere of inclusion to those who may be experiencing food insecurity. F.A.R.M. Café repurposed space inside a 100-year old building once occupied by Boone Drug Downtown, an iconic soda fountain and drug store that was a social gathering place for residents of all ages. The staff has established farm-to-table relationships with numerous area growers in an effort to locally source as much

of the food as possible. Their “Buy Boone Lunch” program allows businesses the unique marketing opportunity of paying up front for the meal and operating costs for the day. This allows funds collected at the register to go directly to the F.A.R.M. Café operating budget. F.A.R.M. Cafe strives to be an all-inclusive cafe, serving people from all walks of life with dignity. With a 90 percent volunteer staff, anyone can work an hour in the cafe in exchange for a meal. In addition to volunteers, “pay-it-forward” patrons can pay more than the suggested donation for their meal, which helps cover the cost of those who cannot pay at all. The Ben Suttle Special Services Award annually celebrates volunteer leadership. The Blood, Sweat and Gears Organizing Committee was presented the honor for their work in running one of the most popular cycling events in the Southeast United States. Just over 1,200 riders participated in the 19th annual installment of the event, which includes over 8,000 feet of cumulative elevation climb over its three-county route. SEE CHAMBER ON PAGE 35


The group coordinates logistics and volunteer efforts throughout the year and on race day to support the event. Split into 50- and 100-mile courses, riders travel an area that spans four counties and two states. Volunteers operate water stations, first-aid stations and recovery vehicles throughout the course in addition to staffing a massive start/finish line operation. Net proceeds from the event benefit numerous nonprofit organizations throughout the area. As the event has grown over the years, new opportunities have emerged to assist the community with basic needs. The annual Winter Warmer project is a clothing drive driven by BSG volunteers, who collect and distribute clothing to persons of all ages. Event sponsors have contributed socks, thermal underwear and other winter necessities to the project. Fundraising from past participants that simply want to donate to the cause have exceeded $15,000 in annual money that is donated back to local area nonprofit outreach businesses. The award was sponsored by Greene

Construction Inc. in honor of Ben Suttle, a former local merchant, chamber volunteer and longtime member of the Boone Town Council. The Wade Brown Award for Community Involvement was presented to Matt Vincent of VPC Builders. The award has been given annually since 1979, and was presented by Boone Golf Club in honor of Wade Brown, a longtime community pillar and nonprofit advocate. A graduate of Appalachian State, Vincent holds an Accredited Builder Designation through North Carolina’s Builders Institute and has earned a Renewable Energies Diploma from the North Carolina Solar Center’s Diploma Series. His focus on sustainable development technologies has helped establish VPC Properties as one of the region’s top green project developers. A generous nonprofit supporter, Vincent helped raise over $9,000 for this year’s Big Kahuna fundraiser for the Watauga County Habitat for Humanity. The home will be constructed in the eco-friendly GreenWood neighborhood. Through his work at VPC Builders, Vincent has been an adamant supporter of Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit business

that works to provide housing solutions for service connected disabled veterans. He has served leadership roles with numerous area nonprofit businesses, including Wine to Water, Children’s Youth Network and the Watauga County Habitat for Humanity. A lifelong resident of the High Country, Vincent has emerged as a key figure in the local landscape. He is an active board member of the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority. He was also recognized as a nominee for the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce 4 Under 40 awards, a program that highlights emerging leaders in the community. Hospitality Mints, Watauga County’s largest manufacturer, was presented the Alfred Adams Award for Economic Development. The company produces 1.6 billion mints per year for distribution in the United States and abroad. Hospitality Mints has called Boone home since 1976 and consistently ranks as the area’s top employer among manufacturers, according to the chamber. Presented by Wells Fargo Bank N.A., the award honors Alfred Adams, a local pioneer in the bankSEE CHAMBER ON PAGE 36

Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 35

Watauga County, Count North Carolina • Breathtaking mountain scenery and 4 seasons of exciting outdoor recreation opportunities • Appalachian State University, award winning public schools, highly educated work force • Entrepreneurial culture and a tradition of innovation

Take your business to

higher ground.

PHOTO BY KAYLA LASURE Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Jackson (middle) presents the 4 Under 40 Education Award to Caleb Marsh (left) with fellow nominee Preston Clarke (right).


ing industry and one of the charter members of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce.

4 UNDER 40 AWARDS Four emerging leaders and a community-minded mentor were honored during the inaugural Boone Area Chamber of Commerce 4 Under 40 Awards luncheon on May 17. More than 30 nominations were submitted by local community members, and 16 finalists were recognized during the event. Jennifer Warren, executive director of Western Youth Network, received the award in the nonprofit business


category. Grant Seldomridge, owner of River & Earth Adventures, won in the business owner category. Winner in the education category was Caleb Marsh, an instructor at the Watauga Campus of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, and Anthony Brumfield, assistant general manager of Hampton Inn & Suites, won the award in the rising star category. Erich Schlenker, managing director of the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship at Appalachian State, was presented the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Respect Your Elder award for his efforts as an advisor and mentor to aspiring business professionals.

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Curious About Real Estate in Boone?



oone and the overall Watauga County real estate market exhibit a very wide diversity of home types and styles. From student condos to log cabins to estates, there is something for everyone. Boone has a high percentage of second homes, although not as high as other parts of the High Country. The Boone market is up 6.7 percent over last year, despite slightly fewer property sales. This is due to a higher average sales price, up 13.8 percent (see chart). PRICING: Average and median sale prices have increased over last year. This is in part because the inventory of lower priced homes has been reduced significantly and buyers are Leslie Eason coming in at higher price ranges. It does not necessarily mean that individual properties have increased as much in price. INVENTORY: The Boone and overall High Country real estate market is unique and appealing to buyers in that there is always an inventory of homes and land. This differs markedly from larger cities, where home inventory is scarce. This is because there is not a significant amount of industry in this area creating “necessary relocations,” and a large proportion of homes are vacation homes. This results in a longer purchase cycle and a long pipeline of homes on the market. Average time on market is about six months. Inventory is much lower for homes under $200,000 and this year for student condos. TIMES OF YEAR TO LOOK: Traditionally the “season” for Boone real estate sales has been May through October. However, in recent years, sales have begun to even out across the entire year. While there are more homes on the market in the summer, in fall and winter sellers are taking price SEE PROPERTIES ON PAGE 38

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APARTMENTS AND RENTAL PROPERTIES The rental market in Boone is dominated by student rental apartments and condos and generally follows the period of Aug. 1 through July 31. There is not a very strong selection of rental homes for families, although they can be found. Most rental properties are available through property management companies. The best bet for anyone looking for a rental property is to use these three sources: 1. Search ‘Long Term Rentals Near Boone’ on your Internet browser. All of the property management companies will appear in the search. 2. Look in the classifieds section of the local papers, which are also available online. The largest classifieds section is in The Mountain Times and Watauga Democrat. 3. Look on Craigslist Boone: Even the rental companies post their listings there. Just be aware that there are many scammers on Craigslist. If it looks too good to be true, it likely is. Never send a deposit to someone without seeing the property inside in person.

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reductions and keeping homes on the market all year. CONDOMINIUM MARKET: In 2017, condominiums represented 27.8 percent of all homes sold in Boone. This amount has been rising in recent years as buyers increasingly prefer lower maintenance and more amenities. Echota Condominiums, a development with pools and clubhouses in the Foscoe area, had 46 sales so far this year versus 30 last year. Additionally, the growth in ASU student population increases the demand for student condos. FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS: Banks and lenders are currently offering special loans for first time homebuyers. Many of the lower priced homes are found farther away from town. SECOND-HOME BUYERS: There are several areas that appeal to second-home buyers, including neighborhoods toward Blowing

Rock and gated communities such as Hound Ears. Many second-home buyers purchase homes they can also rent out to vacationers as a way of defraying costs. Visitors to Boone often wonder where to find the homes they see online and in magazines. A large portion of the homes in Boone are tucked away in small subdivisions and neighborhoods. With the mountain terrain and numerous back roads, it is difficult to really know where to find many of these homes. If you are interested in purchasing a home and want to get a feel for these

neighborhoods, your best bet is to contact a local Realtor. The seller pays the Realtor’s commission, so there is no cost to you.

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PHOTO SUBMITTED Angie Shoemake works to make cancer patients comfortable at the Seby Jones Cancer Center in Boone.

High Country


ith an everchanging list of medical challenges, Boone is staying one step ahead in offering rural community health care options. Home to a regional health care system, several community care options and a district health department, Watauga County has a plethora of options for those seeking care. According to the annual County Health Rankings, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Watauga County ranks fifth out of 100 N.C. counties in health outcomes (length and quality of life) and seventeenth in health factors (health behaviors, clinical care, social 40 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

Boone offers a number of medical options


The main entrance to the Watauga Medical Center and in the background to the left, a crane assisting in the construction of the new Appalachian State University Beaver College of Health Sciences.

and economic factors and the physical environment). Sitting on the top of the hill in the Boone Wellness District is the Watauga Medical Center, a 117-bed regional referral

medical complex, oering both primary and secondary acute and specialty care. The Watauga Medical Center is one of 11 centers in Boone that are a part of the Appa-

lachian Regional Healthcare System. Located adjacent to the medical center is the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer CenSEE OPTIONS ON PAGE 41

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ter and the Cardiology Center. Across Deerfield Road is the Harmony Center for Women and close by is the Outpatient Imaging & Lab Center, as well as the Wilma Redmond Breast Center of ARHS. On Blowing Rock Road a block away from Watauga Medical Center is the AppUrgent Care Center, which provides walk-in care to patients with non-life threatening illness or injury such as sore throats, strains, sprains, fever, flu and more. FastMed also offers urgent care services in Boone. Along State Farm Road, other ARHS services include Boone Urology, AppOrtho as well as the Wellness Center and Rehabilitation Center on Boone Heights Drive, all within a mile of the Watauga Medical Center. Down U.S. 321 in Blowing Rock, ARHS recently opened the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge. The 87,500 square-foot facility replaced Blowing Rock Rehabilitation and Davant Extended Care Center (formerly Blowing Rock Hospital)

in 2017. With 112 beds, the health care facility serves as a cost-saving alternative for patients healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital (post-acute), but not quite ready to safely return home. Along with ARHS, community health options for the uninsured are also available. High Country Community Health and the Community Care Clinic provide affordable primary care, behavioral health and dental services. AppHealthCare, formerly Appalachian District Health Department, provides many services such as clinical care, nutrition services, services for women, infants and children, community health services and environmental health services. You’ll also find a number of alternative and holistic health services in the Boone area, including acupuncture, massage, Chinese herbal medicine, chiropractors, laser therapy and more. Besides people, pets need routine and specialty medical care, too. In the Boone area, there are several veterinarians offices and an emergency veterinary care clinic, as well as several pet boarding options. Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 41

PHOTO BY KAYLA LASURE Rosalee and Melvin Norris, married 72 years, were crowned king and queen of the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center Valentine’s Day party, Feb. 14.



oone encompasses many services for the senior citizens of the community. Those who are classified as seniors are usually age 65 or older. It often also applies to the age at which pensions, Social Security or medical benefits become available. To accommodate and celebrate the area’s seniors, Boone offers senior centers, assisted living and long-term care as well as various other services.

PROJECT ON AGING Serving as the focal point for aging services for the area, Watauga County Project on Aging offers two senior citizen centers — the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone and the Western Watauga Community Center in Sugar Grove. For entertainment, the centers provide 42 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18


activities such as arts/crafts, live music, field trips, bingo/card games and a lending library for books/audio books and DVD/ VHS. They also have bocce, croquet, horse shoes, corn hole and table tennis. Offering opportunities to socialize, the centers host support groups, volunteer opportunities, meals and monthly parties and social events. To ensure seniors stay healthy, the centers offer home delivered meals, inhome aid services, transportation services, periodic health fairs, yearly flu shot/ pneumonia clinics, exercise/rec rooms, health assessments and medical equipment lending. The centers also want to make sure the seniors are taken care of financially and legally. Seniors can take advantage of services like Medicare counseling, tax prep-

aration, clinics on wills and power of attorney paperwork, as well as resources and referral information for various programs and services for seniors and caregivers. The Project on Aging also arranges for seniors to receive transportation services through the local community bus system — AppalCART. In order to qualify, seniors must be at least 60 years old and must prove a need for the service. Eligible participants may ride at no charge two days each week and may pay a fee to ride additional days when AppalCART is in their area, according to Project on Aging. For more information on Project on Aging, visit App_Pages/Dept/Aging/home.aspx. For more information on the seniors, contact the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center at SEE CARE ON PAGE 43


(828) 265-8090 and the Western Watauga Community Center at (828) 297-5195.

RESIDENTIAL AND SHORT-TERM CARE SERVICES The Boone area offers a range of residential offerings and short-term and long-term care services. Appalachian Brian Estates offers private apartments for independent living while accessing amenities such as cable tv, housekeeping, meals and scheduled daily activities. Appalachian Brian Estates — located at 163 Shadowline Drive in Boone — offers both annual and short-term leases. Residents are also able to enjoy 24-hour staffing, an emergency call system and scheduled transportation. Additionally, Appalachian Brian Estates invites physical, occupational and speech therapy providers to work with residents as needed. Activities provided by Appalachian Brian Estates include physical/fitness activities, seasonal events, nature outings and visits from local schools.

For more information on Appalachian Brian Estates, visit or call 828-264-1006. Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living has been named “Best of the Best” by readers of the Watauga Democrat for the past five years. Assisted living facilities typically provide personal care support services such as meals, medication management and transportation. Deerfield offers a 24-hour pharmacy service, geriatric physician services, home health services, podiatry services, beauty/ barber services, respite care and memory care. For more information on Deerfield, visit deerfield-ridge-assisted-living or call (828) 264-0336. Offering rehabilitation services as well as long-term care is Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation. Glenbridge offers in-house rehabilitation in physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as access to respite and hospice care. For more information on Glenbridge, visit or call (828) 264-6720. In nearby Blowing Rock, the 112-bed Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge serves as a cost-saving alternative for patients healthy

enough to be discharged from the hospital (post-acute), but not quite ready to safely return home. Residents and patients benefit from on-site physicians, short and longterm care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation services, memory support, assisted living and palliative care. In addition, the Chestnut Ridge campus is home to the Harriet and Charles Davant Jr. Medical Clinic and Boone Drug’s Village Pharmacy. There are also a number of home care and hospice care services available in the High Country.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES For the past 15 years, the Adult Services Coalition of Watauga County has hosted an annual Adult Services Expo in May. The expo services as a way for the community to about service available to seniors in the area. Locally, there are many workshops, lectures, readings and classes offered through Appalachian State, the community college and local arts programs that provide educational opportunities for seniors. Appalachian also provides the Appalachian Senior Companion Program and the Appalachian Foster Grandparent Program.

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PHOTO BY KRISTIAN JACKSON Silas Jackson and Jude Jackson take on mountain biking trails at Rocky Knob Park.


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hroughout the Southeast and even across the nation, the Boone area and greater High Country are well regarded as a veritable year-round outdoor recreation playground.


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The High Country region of North Carolina is home to many parks and dedicated green space areas, from national parks to privately run community parks. Passing just south of Boone is the Blue Ridge Parkway — the most-visited national park in the country, providing access to 469 miles of scenic beauty, overlooks, trails, campgrounds and other facilities across the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. Two parks that are part of the Parkway system include the beautiful Moses Cone estate and Price Park, offering miles of trails, horseback riding, a campground, canoe and boat rentals, picnic areas and more. In addition, just south of Boone and Blowing Rock, citizens can access the federal lands of the Pisgah National Forest, providing opportunities for hiking, camping, backpacking, fishing, hunting, climbing and swimming. The Pisgah National Forest includes the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area — affectionately known as the SEE RECREATION ON PAGE 45


Deerfield Road and the former Watauga Humane Society parkCONTINUED FROM PAGE 44 ing lot on Casey Lane. From there, the trail can connect with “Grand Canyon of the East.” Brookshire Park north of U.S. State parks in the region 421 via New River Hills Road include Grandfather Mountain and a highway underpass. State Park, Elk Knob State The Middle Fork Greenway Park, New River State Park and is a paved hiking and biking Mount Jefferson State Natural trail that will eventually link Area. These parks offer opporBoone to Blowing Rock along tunities for hiking, picnicking, the Middle Fork tributary of the camping, backpacking, canoeSouth Fork New River, providing, kayaking, tubing, ranger-led ing connections to downtown programs and special events. Blowing Rock, the Blue Ridge PHOTO BY CAROLINE LAWSON Parkway, the Mountains-to-Sea Community and local govThe Greenway is the perfect place for cycling, walking and running. ernment-operated parks in the Trail and the Boone Greenway Boone area include Brookshire Trail. Park, Jaycees Park, Junaluska Park, Howard Knob Park, Durham The Parkway’s Moses Cone Memorial Park also offers an extenPark, Valle Crucis Park, Memorial Park in Blowing Rock, Green sive gravel trail system that is beloved by the area’s many running Valley Park and many others. The parks’ amenities vary, including enthusiasts. green space, picnic areas, covered shelters, playing fields, playCYCLING & MOUNTAIN BIKING ground equipment, walking trails, stream access and more. The Boone area provides varied terrain and scenic views for WALKING AND BIKING TRAILS amateur and competitive cyclists and is home to several major The Boone Greenway Trail offers several miles of paved trail in road events, including the Blood, Sweat and Gears Bike Ride in town limits for transportation, leisure and exercise. Access points June, a fundraiser. include the Watauga County Recreation Complex and ClawsonBurnley Park off of State Farm Road, beside the Moose Lodge on SEE RECREATION ON PAGE 46


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Rocky Knob Park is a destination mountain biking park located on the east side of Boone, with several miles of intermediate to difficult trails.

off N.C. Highway 105 Extension offers a driving range and golf instruction for all levels of ability. There are also two other public golf courses close to Boone. The Willow Creek Golf Club is located in Vilas and the Sugar Mountain Golf Club is located in Sugar Mountain.

SKIING AND SNOW SPORTS During the winter months, the ski industry is often the first place tourists and local residents alike look for adventure and fun. Just 15 minutes south of Boone just off of Highway 321 is Appalachian Ski Mountain. Appalachian Ski offers ski and snowboarding trails for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. The resort also has ski and snowboarding rentals for those who don’t own their own equipment. Ski or snowboarding lessons are available through the French Swiss Ski College. Appalachian Ski Mountain also has an ice rink, a restaurant and lodging. In addition, Sugar Mountain Resort and Beech Mountain Resort are both located about 30 minutes from Boone close to nearby Banner Elk. Sugar Mountain also has tubing and ice skating. It also has a restaurant, lodging and shopping available. Beech Mountain Resort is located just beyond Banner Elk. Its summit is 5,506 feet and the resort offers rentals, lessons, lodging and trails of various difficulties. Hawksnest in Seven Devils offers snow tubing in the winter and ziplining in the warmer months.

GOLF There are also several golf courses within the town of Boone. The Boone Golf Club is a public 18-hole golf course with a practice green and a restaurant and clubhouse. The Mountaineer Driving Range and Golf Center located 46 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES The High Country is also known for top-notch rock climbing opportunities; caving; river sports such as fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking and tubing; and even hang-gliding and paragliding. There are a number of local outfitters who can help guide you on these adventures, including River & Earth Adventures, Wahoo’s Outdoor Adventures, Rock Dimensions Climbing Guides and River Girl Fishing. Guides such as VX3 Trail Rides offer horseback riding excursions, while Hawksnest and Sky Valley Zip Tours will take you on a zipline adventure.

YOUTH AND ADULT SPORTS The Watauga Parks and Recreation Department offers several recreational activities for youth and adults in and around Boone. The department sponsors youth football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball. The Recreation Complex is on nine acres of land and includes baseball and softball fields, an indoor swimming pool, four tennis courts, an outdoor basketball court, a playground, three picnic shelters and restroom facilities. The county is currently planning the construction of a new indoor recreation center. In addition, Optimist Park is home to two baseball fields, and the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex has two full-length soccer fields.

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48 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

PHOTO SUBMITTED The talented dancers of Ailey II make their way to the Schaefer Center Stage in October 2017

National Superstars and Local Sensations Boone’s arts and entertainment scene has it all



lthough it’s a small town, Boone has made a name for itself through the arts and entertainment industry, bringing in nationally acclaimed musicians and artists consistently through the years to complement the local talent that truly makes the culture one-of-a-kind. Boone is home to many arts venues, including music stages, theaters, bars, clubs and galleries, each providing a variety of opportunities for audiences both young and old to enjoy.

PERFORMANCE VENUES AT APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts The Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts continues to bring well-known acts from around the world to the campus of Appalachian State. The nearly 2,000-seat auditorium featuring orchestra and balcony level seating hosts high-profile acts from musicians to dancers to acrobats. The university’s performing arts series, “The Schaefer Center Presents,” has recently featured acts such as Taj

Mahal and Keb’ Mo’, the SteelDrivers and Jessica Lang Dance. For more information, visit Holmes Convocation Center The Holmes Convocation Center, best known as the home for Appalachian State sporting events including basketball and volleyball, has the ability to transform into a more than 5,000-seat concert venue when big-name acts roll through town. Complete with concessions, general admission standing and reserved seating, a wide variety of acts have rolled through the Holmes Center in the recent past, including hip-hop legend Lil Wayne and classic rock icons YES. For more information, visit Legends On a smaller scale for your more up-and-coming type acts, Legends, an intimate concert venue and club on the campus of Appalachian State, is appropriately named. When walking into Legends, SEE ARTS ON PAGE 50

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guests will find old posters promoting acts such as Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer and Jimmy Fallon scattered upon the walls as as a reminder of the superstar acts that came through the venue before hitting it big time. Aside from nationally touring acts, Legends also provides a space for local artists and students to take the stage. For more information, visit Valborg Theatre and I.G. Greer Studio Theatre Used primarily for theatre and dance productions, both the Valborg Theatre and I.G. Greer Studio Theatre at Appalachian State University bring anything from student productions to professional performances to the stage. The Valborg Theatre is host to more high-end productions, but still maintains an intimate setting. According to the Valborg Theatre website, the furthest seat from the edge of the stage is only 40 feet away. For more information, visit

PERFORMANCE VENUES IN BOONE Harvest House Harvest House of Boone is home to a state-of-the-art performance stage, hosting theatre, dance and musical performances regularly. The facility features two prominent Boone series — Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music, a locally focused concert series that highlights the best old-time music in the region, and the Red, White and Bluegrass Jam, an open jam for the public to either participate in or listen too. In addition to providing a stage, Harvest House has a recording studio available for local use.

PHOTO BY MARIE FREEMAN Carl Palmer showcases his talent on the drums with his ELP Legacy as one of the opening acts for YES at the Holmes Convocation Center in August 2017.

Located at 247 Boone Heights Drive. For more information, visit www.boonevenue. com. Jones House Cultural and Community Center You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better haven for bluegrass and roots music lovers than at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center. The Jones House lawn holds free outdoor concerts in the summer featuring bluegrass bands, but also talents ranging in genres from jazz to the blues. In the cooler months, visitors can enjoy a small, 40-seat indoor venue for special concerts and various musical workshops. In addition to the tunes, the Jones House is also home to permanent and temporary art collections from local and regional artists. Located in downtown at 604 West King Street. For more information, visit www. Appalachian Theatre (future venue) With the addition of the Appalachian Theatre, which is currently being renovated, Boone will have yet another venue

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to bring large-scale attractions to the area. The Appalachian Theatre project is the restoration of the 1930s-era Appalachian Theatre in downtown Boone. Once restored, the venue will be capable of hosting a variety of events including lectures, meetings, films, concerts and theatre and dance productions. Located in downtown Boone. For more information, visit .

MAJOR FESTIVALS IN THE AREA MerleFest (Wilkesboro) In nearby Wilkesboro on the campus of Wilkes Community College, MerleFest is a nationally acclaimed bluegrass and American roots music festival. Crowds typically exceed 75,000, making it one of the largest music festivals in the United States. MerleFest was hosted by the High Country’s own Doc Watson prior to his death, and is named in memory of his son Eddy Merle SEE ARTS ON PAGE 51


Watson. The festival, which takes place the last weekend in April, boasted top-notch headliners in 2017 including The Avett Brothers and Zac Brown Band. For more information, visit Woolly Worm Festival (Banner Elk) The town of Banner Elk celebrates the coming of snow season during the third weekend in October each year with its annual Woolly Worm Festival, an event that attracts more than 15,000 people. The main event is a series of races in which the winning woolly worm becomes the official winter weather predictor based on its color configuration. Brown segments represent mild weeks of winter and black segments represent colder, snowier weeks. Guests to the festival can also enjoy crafts, food vendors, live entertainment and more. For more information, visit Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (Linville) The annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is recognized as one of

the nation’s premier Scottish games, taking place over a long weekend each summer. The festival’s mission is to foster and restore interest in traditional dancing, piping, drumming, athletic achievement, music and Gaelic culture, and to establish scholarship funds to assist students from Avery County High School to study at American colleges and universities. For more information, visit www.gmhg. org. An Appalachian Summer Festival (Boone) Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming. An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music series, and retains strong roots in classical music, combined with a variety of other programming geared to almost every artistic taste and preference. The festival has risen in stature to become one of the nation’s most highly respected summer festivals, acclaimed for the breadth and quality of its artistic

programming. For more information, visit Other smaller-scale festivals in Boone include the Village Vision Festival, Boone Film Festival, Banff Mountain Film Festival, High Country Beer Fest and Boone Heritage Festival. Other area festivals include the Valle Country Fair (Valle Crucis), Oktoberfest (Sugar Mountain) and WinterFest (Blowing Rock).

ART GALLERIES Boone’s beautiful landscapes serve as inspirations not only for local artists, but for artists from all over the world as well. As a result, local art galleries are flooded with an immense range of works and styles from a wide variety of artists and backgrounds, including media from pottery to paints to sculptures and more. Art galleries in Boone include the Watauga County Arts Council’s Blue Ridge Art Space, Doe Ridge Pottery Gallery, Hands Gallery, Mazie Jones Gallery, Nth Degree Gallery and Smith Gallery and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University. Close by is the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum.

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othing speaks culture quite like food, and Boone’s unique touch of Southern comfort in its local cuisine creates a dining atmosphere that can’t be replicated. From casual eats to fine dining, the town’s local food scene has a little something for everyone’s taste. At the core of the cooking is fresh, homegrown ingredients, that many restaurants take directly from local food producers, making meals incomparable and refreshing. Not to mention, the area’s several breweries and wineries make great additions to any well-rounded meal.



828-264-5406 52 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

Boone is known for its fantastic barbecue, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy — you name it. Southern comfort may better be described as breaded, fried and buttery, so if you want a true dose of Appalachian culture, you might have to consume a few extra calories. Aside from Southern-style foods, Boone is packed with an SEE CULTURE ON PAGE 54

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eclectic variety of cuisines, ranging from Mexican to Italian to Chinese to Japanese to Indian. Of course, visitors won’t be hard-pressed to find classics such as pizza, steak, burgers and burritos as well. Local bakeries are also in abundance in the area, with some of the region’s finest breads, cookies, cakes and more. Eating at local restaurants is a testament to the town’s support of area farmers and fresh ingredients, but Boone still offers a number of chain and fast food restaurants that offer a wide variety of dining options.

COSTS AND ATMOSPHERE The Boone dining atmosphere ranges anywhere from quick eats to fancy threecourse meals, so depending on one’s schedule or financial capabilities, there are opportunities for anyone. Downtown is known for its local restaurants, all of which are within close walking distance of one another. The options are plentiful and include a range of breakfast, lunch and dinner items.

Daniel Krontz, MD

PHOTO BY KAYLA LASURE Booneshine’s 3150 Ale is one of the beers you can purchase at its next door partner restaurant Basil’s Fresh Pasta and Deli.

Whether you’re looking for a sandwich on the go or a fine dining experience, downtown has it covered. Outside of downtown, countless other local restaurants are spread throughout Boone, as well as chain and fast food res-

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WCEA continues to offer a full spectrum of ophthalmic services including routine eye exams along with the following more specific exams, services and treatments:

Permanent Makeup (eyebrows, eyeliner, lipliner and color) • Juvéderm® Injections Botox® (migraines and cosmetic purposes) • Corneal Transplants Cataract Removal (using a no-stitch, no-patch procedure) • Glaucoma (treatment and surgery) Lid Lesions • Plastic Surgery • Diabetic Eye Disease • Macular Degeneration Lasik Evaluations and Follow-up • Drivers License Exam

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610 State Farm Road, Suite A | Boone, NC 28607 | 828.264.0042 183 Doctor’s Park Drive | Jefferson, NC 28640 | 336.717.1147 3990 NC Hwy 105 S, Suite 4 | Banner Elk, NC 28604 | 828.898.7770 54 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18


food trucks. Some trucks travel to new locations in town on a regular basis, while others have set spots, but one thing is for certain, they are multiplying quite rapidly, and for good reason. The foods are unique and delicious, ranging anywhere from seafood to tacos. With simplified menus and a fun way to grab a bite to eat, food trucks add to the already diverse food culture.

BREWERIES AND WINERIES There is no better way to wash down a great meal than with a cold, locally crafted brew, or a nice fine wine. Boone has seen a recent uptick in craft breweries and wineries lately, resulting in some of the best adult beverages not only in the High Country, FILE PHOTO but in the nation as well. Some locations spread a little ways The Watauga County Farmer’s Market features locally grown prooutside of town, but it’s worth the extra drive. duce, homemade crafts and other goods. High Country breweries and wineries include: Watauga County — Booneshine Brewing Company, Apwhich features locally grown produce, homemade crafts and palachian Mountain Brewery, Lost Province Brewing Company, other goods at 591 Horn in the West Drive. The market’s misBlowing Rock Brewing Company, Bethel Valley Farms. sion is to encourage and promote local agriculture, horticulture Avery County — Flat Top Brewing Company, Beech Mountain and craft industries in Watauga County, and to provide producBrewing Company, Blind Squirrel Brewery, Grandfather Vineyard ers a site to market their goods directly to the consumer. and Winery, Banner Elk Winery, Linville Falls Winery. The Watauga County Farmer’s Market has kid-friendly activiAshe County — Boondocks Brewing, Molly Chomper Hard Cider. ties, live music and various other special events throughout the FARMER’S MARKET season. Hours are from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday from Boone is home to the Watauga County Farmers’ Market, May through November.

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Stay with us on your next visit to the High Country



Fairfield Inn & Suites 2060 Blowing Rock Rd. Boone, NC 28607 828-268-0677

Comfort Suites 1184 Highway 105 Boone, NC 28607 828-268-0099 56 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18

Local agencies & important numbers (ALL NUMBERS ARE WITHIN THE 828 AREA CODE) • FIRE, RESCUE OR POLICE IN AN EMERGENCY — 911






The success of your business requires skilled talent. It also drives the local economy. We’ll connect you to the right people for your business to grow and succeed.

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Boone area clubs and organizations CIVIC CLUBS & INTEREST GROUPS American Legion Post 130 post130/post130.htm Appalachian Chorale Appalachian Shrine Club Book Bunch Club Boone Area Cyclists Boone Area Lions Club contact.php Boone Optimist Club cfm?club=44030 Boone Running Club Boone Service League

PHOTO SUBMITTED Matthew Harris, Tyler Moffatt, James Milner, Brian Greer and Jeremy Bertrand pose for a photo at the High Country Young Professionals’ Summer Rooftop event in SEE CLUBS ON PAGE 59 September 2017.

Edmisten Heating & Cooling, Inc. Located in Boone, NC • Over 40 Years of Experience 828.264.0130 •

58 | Boone My Hometown 2017-18


Carolina Fly-Wheelers Civil Air Patrol (336) 877-7405 Daughters of the American Revolution Daniel Boone Chapter Disabled American Veterans Chapter 90 Green Drinks Boone groups/48771471053/ Junaluska Heritage Association Military Officers Association of America (High Country Chapter) High Country Recreation High Country Torch Club (828) 295-8917 High Country Vegans

PHOTO BY KAYLA LASURE Terri Lockwood speaks at the High Country United Way awards breakfast in September 2017 alongside HCUW Executive Director Gary Childers. Kiwanis Club of Boone Loyal Order of Moose 1805 Boone Sunrise Rotary Club SEE CLUBS ON PAGE 60

MONDAY - FRIDAY: 7:30 am - 5:30 pm SATURDAY: 7:30 am - 1 pm / CLOSED SUNDAYS

Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 59


Toastmaster’s Club Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7301 post7031 Watauga Book Brewers

ers-114139625412661/ Watauga Community Band aspx Watauga County Community Foundation nccommunityfoundation. org/watauga Watauga County Historical Society wataugacountyhistoricalSEE CLUBS ON PAGE 61

Voted Best of the Best in Watauga County



Automotive Glass Repairs & Replacements Oil Changes: $30.00



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PHOTO BY ANNA OAKES From left, Boone Service League members Leah Grove, Kathleen Haynes, Emily Wilson and Susan Phipps serve homemade lasagna for dinner at the Hospitality House homeless shelter in January 2015.

CLUBS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 60 Watauga Gun Club Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge womensfundoftheblueridge. org

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Boone Independent Restaurants Downtown Boone Development Association High Country Association of Realtors High Country Home Builders Association High Country Host High Country Young Professionals High Country Writers http://highcountrywriters. Watauga County Association of Educators Watauga County Beekeepers Association Watauga County Cattlemen’s Association (828) 264-3061 Watauga County Christmas Tree Association (828) 264-3061

828.264.2762 142 Doctors Drive | Boone, NC 28607


NONPROFITS American Red Cross (Blue Ridge Chapter) (828) 264-8226 Appalachian Voices Blue Ridge Conservancy SEE CLUBS ON PAGE 62


276 WATAUGA VILLAGE DR. • BOONE, NC 828-264-4524 Boone My Hometown 2017-18 | 61


Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Children’s Council Community Care Clinic Habitat for Humanity High Country Caregiver Foundation High Country Pathways High Country United Way Hope Pregnancy Center Hunger and Health Coaltion Mountain Alliance OASIS Inc. Resort Area Ministries (828) 264-6605 Samaritan’s Purse

PHOTO BY ANNA OAKES Pictured at the April 21, 2016, Kiwanis Boone meeting, from left, are Eric Brown, Kathy Boone, Les King, John Thomas, Clem Harper, Sara Mylin, Rick Looper, Leah Moretz, Lisa Adams, Oakley Fungaroli, Amanda White, Tom Trueman, Susan Jones, Janet Richardson, Mike Varner and Gerry Staninger. Southern Appalachian Historical Association Watauga County Arts Council Watauga County Humane Society

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Watauga Opportunities, Inc. Western Youth Network W.A.M.Y. Community Action Wine to Water

Open year around rain or shine, Closed Christmas Day, September through May 9am - 5pm June through August 9am - 8pm

Gift Shop, Mystery Platform, Mystery House, Hall of Mystery, The Appalachian Heritage Museum, The Native American Artifacts Museum, Jams and Jellies, Minnetonka Moccasins, Tee Shirts, Signs, Old Time Photos, Knives and Cabin Rentals 129 Mystery Hill Lane Blowing Rock, NC 28694

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(828) 264-2792

North Carolina’s Premier Geology Education Center

Geologists on staff

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Boone My Hometown 2017-18