Village of Roan Mountain undergoing changes

Published 2:19 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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By Buzz Trexler

Star Correspondent

The scenery in Roan Mountain has been changing, and it’s not just due to the arrival of spring: New businesses are sprouting up, others are moving, and some favorite tourist spots are closing for the summer.

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Visitors returning to the village, and residents as well, are most certainly wondering about the vacant lots where Bob’s Dairyland and Pit Road Tire used to stand. Bob’s Dairyland closed in March 2023 and owner Joseph Miller sold the property to JBA LLC, a corporation formed by Jordon Baker, owner of Roan Mountain Pharmacy, in April 2023, for $250,000. Kenneth Johnson, owner of Pit Road Tire, sold the property to Jordon Baker Acquisitions Inc., which was formed by Baker in December 2018, for $250,000.

Baker said in an email on Saturday the sites are still being evaluated to determine the size of the building and what commercial space is available.

“The building we are currently occupying was built in 1898,” Baker said, “so I sort of feel like we deserve a new building. I also think it’s probably best to get in compliance with the modern needs of today’s world since we are a healthcare provider. Things like handicap accessibility, a drive-thru, men’s and women’s public bathroom access, and aisles wide enough for handicap access are things the new building will have so that more access is available for patients.”

Here are other Roan Mountain developments:

Dollar Tree/Family Dollar

A Dollar Tree/Family Dollar store is under construction at 8171 U.S. 19E and has progressed to the point that there is a building with signage and a newly paved and striped parking area on the lot where Roan Mountain Motel once stood. The motel closed in the early 1990s and the lot was most recently the location of The Snack Wagon, which is now found a little further east on U.S. 19E.

According to a commercial real estate website, the 10,500-square-foot building and property are valued at $1.755 million, and there is a 10-year lease with four, five-year options to extend.

Attempts to contact Dollar Tree Inc. regarding a projected opening date for the store have not been successful.

Puerto Escondido

What was Roan Mountain’s only Mexican restaurant, Puerto Nuevo, 8162 U.S. 19E, closed in February but the building has undergone something of a facelift and was set to reopen this week as Puerto Escondido. A worker was outside painting the deck on April 1 and when asked about the new sign and reopening, the worker called Jame Bohorquec, who identified himself as the business owner. “Same food; new owner,” Bohorquec said, adding that he was expecting to open early this week.

Americano Steak House and Wine Bar

The award-winning Americano Steak House and Wine Bar, 8362 U.S. 19E, has been teasing on social media that there is a “big announcement” coming at the end of the month. When contacted by phone on Monday, owner Troy Boane was not able to share the particulars of that announcement but did say the restaurant would be closed May 13-19 for a “massive renovation.”

“We’re going to close for a week, and I’ll probably get about 80 percent of it done,” Boane said, adding that the renovation will include a patio area out front.

Roan Mountain Closures

Summer tourists could find some of their favorite spots in Roan Highlands inaccessible. The U.S. Forest Service last month announced the Roan Mountain Recreation Area will be closed this summer as it undergoes a major renovation funded through the Great American Outdoors Act.

The areas to be closed during repairs include the Rhododendron Gardens, Roan High Bluff, Cloudland parking area, and Cloudland Trail. Carver’s Gap and the Appalachian Trail will remain open, but there is limited parking at Carver’s Gap.

Nonetheless, the 77th Annual Rhododendron Festival, sponsored by the Roan Mountain Citizens Club, remains scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 23-24, at the Roan Mountain State Park amphitheater area, according to the club’s website. The festival proceeds are used to support the community through various organizations, activities, and local student scholarships.