At Blue Ridge Mountain Club (BRMC) we realize the importance of community and as such spend a tremendous amount of effort and time promoting the Town of Blowing Rock. As a resort destination, Blowing Rock is fortunate to be in a unique location which directly benefits from its tourism history, elevation, stunning views and charming Main Street. And while tourism oriented, Blowing Rock’s resort destination cache is not by accident. In order to be sustainable and competitive in the resort community industry it must be nurtured by passion, advertised through promotion, and reengineered continuously to respond to changes in the economy and consumer preferences. Even more daunting for a town like Blowing Rock is the engine that makes the community fresh and appealing in the tourism marketplace is more often than not provided by an understaffed Chamber of Commerce and an eclectic collection of willing community volunteers.
The efforts and passions necessary to promote Blowing Rock not only as a fantastic place to live but also as a premiere resort destination by the Chamber of Commerce and a varied collection of willing community volunteers were never more evident than last week when I attended the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Luncheon. There are only about 1,400 permanent residents in the community of Blowing Rock but over 100 assembled on February 7th to acknowledge, reward and congratulate their fellow neighbors on a job well done. The list of award candidates was notable because it becomes clear, very quickly, the crucial role that volunteerism and private contributions have on a community as intimate as Blowing Rock.
At BRMC we call this concept “neighboring.” Appalachia is long known as a place where kinship relations and traditions of neighboring are among the strongest. In a mountain environment this rugged, connections with humans historically represented more than simply friendly neighbors, they were ultimately vital to survival. And while survival today may be defined differently than in our past, the community of Blowing Rock is dependent on the influence and good will of the people who call this place home.
In the spirit of being “good neighbors” I am pleased to report that BRMC made a contribution to the Town of Blowing Rock in 2011. Unbeknownst to BRMC, the Chamber of Commerce had been working for years to find a way to provide free wireless for Main Street patrons. BRMC, independent of the Chamber, conceived of a similar idea. When comparing notes with Charles Hardin, the executive director of the Chamber, I learned of our similar interests and as such, BRMC committed to sponsor and execute the Chamber’s long awaited initiative. The wireless initiative would not necessarily be newsworthy other than to report that on February 7th, during the awards luncheon, Blue Ridge Mountain Club was acknowledged for its contribution and received the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Award for Service to the Community.
We are proud to be a part of the Blowing Rock community and look forward to working together with our neighbors to build an enduring mountain experience.