Foggy Rock/Sunny Rock Business of the Year

Foggy Rock and Sunny Rock, sister restaurants on Valley Boulevard., were named 2020 Business of the Year by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.

In a virtual presentation on Feb. 11, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce CEO Charles Hardin emceed the organization’s 34th Annual Awards Ceremony.

After acknowledging the stresses and challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic have imposed on area businesses, Hardin said, “Today is about celebration. It is a celebration of the Blowing Rock vibrant and engaged business community. … It is a time to cheer on our fellow business owners in their pursuit of excellence.”

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System CEO Chuck Mantooth presented the “Business of the Year” award to Foggy Rock and Sunny Rock restaurants on Valley Boulevard. The other nominees were Neaco and Tanger Outlets. On behalf of husband, Burt Myers, and son, Andrew Myers, in accepting the award, Yvonne Myers said, “This year has truly been a challenging one, but without a doubt we owe everything to our great staff. They masked up and have worked through COVID-19 like champs. We also want to thank our wonderful and loyal customers, because without them we could not have succeeded this year.”

Blowing Rock Ale House wins Best Renovation Award

Jeff Walker and Todd Rice, owners of Blowing Rock Ale House, accepted the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce award for ‘Best Commercial Renovation’ in 2020.

Ali Brochardt, general manager of the Meadowbrook Inn presented the first award, for “Best Commercial Renovation” to Blowing Rock Ale House, with owners Jeff Walker and Todd Rice accepting the award, virtually. The other nominees were Holiday Inn Express and Speckled Trout Restaurant and Bottle Shop. In accepting the award, Walker and Rice acknowledged the work of 4 Forty Four Construction and Sketchline Architecture for their work on the renovation project, as well as their customers. “Without our patrons, we would have a reason to embark on this remodel,” said Walker.

Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce board chairman Ronnie Mark, who also is general manager of the Tanger Outlets, presented the award for “Best New Construction” to the Main and Pine Building for short-term rentals and retail. The other nominee was Allen Tate Realtors (the Boone office on King Street). After thanking the engineers, architects and construction professionals who worked on the building, Steve Hetherington, the developer of Main and Pine said, “We had a goal to build something that organically grew in the town of Blowing Rock. I hope that we achieved that.”

The “Best Customer Service” award in the service industry was presented by Karen Diamond of Diamond Properties to First Citizens Bank. The other nominees were the Blowing Rock Medical Park, Skyline/Skybest, and Studio M Salon.

Ronnie Marks returned to the virtual podium to present the “Best Customer Service” award in the hospitality industry to Camp Coffee Roasters. The other nominees were Meadowbrook Inn and Mountainaire Inn and Log Cabins. Alan Monk, manager at Camp Coffee Roasters said, “We try to have everyone come in with a smile and leave with a smile, with coffee in hands!”

Chetola Resort’s Kent Tarbutton presented the “Best Customer Service” for Sales to Monkees of Blowing Rock. The other nominees were Allen Tate Realtors and Village Builders. On behalf of owners Jessica and Ken Wehrmann, Monkees’ Cara Kidd accepted the award.

In presenting the award for, Jim Pitts of Blue Ridge Mountain Club said, “I am never tired of talking about community. Building community for us is a very intentional mission.” He then presented the “Leadership and Service to the Community” award to the Blowing Rock Women’s Club. The other nominees were Tim Hilton and Ronnie Marks. Janet Stout accepted the award on behalf of the Women’s Club. “The club started with a small group of women dedicated to help with and further education in Blowing Rock. In 2019, we opened the Village Thrift Shop on the 321 Bypass. Last year we awarded $32,000 in scholarships to Watauga High School students and we are on track this year to increase that amount.”

Jerry Burns Ambassadorial Award in 2020 goes to Pam Vines of Jenkins Realtors

Pam Vines, co-owner of Jenkins Realtors, was recognized as the Jerry Burns Ambassadorial Award recipient for 2020 in a virtual awards presentation on Feb. 11.

Mayor Charlie Sellers is also the proprietor of The Blowing Rock attraction and presented the Jerry Burns Ambassadorial Award to Pam Vines, co-owner of Jenkins Realtors. The other nominees were David Rogers, Irene Sawyer, and Jim Pitts. In accepting the award Vines said, “I was one of the lucky ones to grow up in Blowing Rock. I worked beside Jerry and know what he meant to Blowing Rock and to think that I am this year’s recipient of an award in his name is rather overwhelming. I love Blowing Rock and being a part of Blowing Rock. May there be many, many more Jerry Burns recipients because he represents the ‘heart’ of Blowing Rock.”

Skyline/Skybest’s Karen Powell presented the “Economic Impact” award to the Village Foundation for its work in launching the Rock United Relief Fund initiative to help area businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic lockdown and stay-at-home orders. Powell reported that the fund gave 33 grants of up to $5,000 each to help save the town’s small businesses. Powell acknowledged the special work of Jim Pitts, Tim Hilton, and John Aldridge in leading the initiative. Hilton accepted the award on behalf of the Village Foundation, saying, “When the COVID-19 situation unfolded, we started thinking about the impact that it might have and has had on the tourism industry. The immediate thought was what would happen to Blowing Rock (because of its dependence on tourism). The Village Foundation was extremely open to the idea of a relief fund and jumped right on it. … It was extremely heartwarming to see the reaction from the community.”

The virtual presentation of the awards ceremony was filmed at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum. Tracy Brown served as videographer with Suzy Barker serving as event coordinator.

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