The Skyline has
been an area landmark for lodging and hospitality on the
Blue Ridge Parkway for over 50 years. John Greer started
construction in 1942. The property was purchased from the
Ballew family. Ed Ballew had childhood memories of waiting
for the school bus by the mouth of a cavern on the property.
It was an ideal spot because it was warmer in the winter and
cooler in the summer
Greer embarked on an ambitious plan laboring 6 years to
complete the Skyline. The Inn boasted beautiful marble
floors, 22 kinds of hardwoods and tables made of thousands
of inlaid pieces of wood using a technique called marquetting.
remained in the hands of the Greer family until 1997 when it
was sold to Alan and Cathy Schabilion. Alan and Cathy
decided to devote their time to their real estate business
in Little Switzerland and sold the Skyline to Michael
and Lynn Thrift who have resided in Charlotte NC for the
past 22 years. The Thrifts are now dedicated to preserving
the history of the Skyline as well as enhancing its hotel
and restaurant services, making it the premiere hospitality
venue of its kind in the area.
and story of the
Over the past year, we have embarked on major renovation and
building improvement projects: The outside of the building
has been repaired and painted.
DINING: We have an outdoor dining area on the second
floor veranda. This has been an instant success as it has a
great view and atmosphere. Weather permitting we
occasionally have live acoustical music. It is one of the
premiere views on the Blue Ridge Parkway making it a great
atmosphere for dining in casual comfort.
We demolished 4 rooms on the second
floor to build a Meeting Room/Banquet facility. This
facility is about 1350 Square feet and
has attracted events like Trade Association meetings,
banquets and private parties. To the surprise of no one we
found Bootleg liquor in the walls dating back to 1970. We
also came across several other artifacts: A can of Bohemian
Beer from the 1940ís that is shaped like a brake fluid
container, a Ballantine beer can opener at least 30 years
old and several other items of interest.
ROOM RENOVATION: We have been going through the rooms and
planning certain updates. We totally renovated all rooms
on the third floor, tearing out the walls and plumbing, then
restoring them. In some of these rooms we pulled out
the old doors and replaced them with doors with highlights
at the top to allow more light to pass through. We installed
storm doors so the door can be left open to enjoy the view.
The bathrooms were completely remodeled so that they have
New furniture has been purchased and placed in rooms and
areas throughout the building. Most notably we have new
balcony furniture that is both comfortable and attractive.
IMPROVED KITCHEN FACILITY: Behind the scenes, we have
updated the kitchen facilities with a new gas stove,
salamander and fryer. New tables and sinks have been
purchased and installed.
WINE & BEER STORE: Our wine and beer store has been expanded
even further. We had the best selection in the area last
year. According to our suppliers we now have the best
selection of wine and beer on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
WIRELESS INTERNET: We have wireless internet connection
available on premise. You just need a wireless card in your
laptop and you can access the internet and check your e-mail
most anywhere in the building!
CELL PHONE RECEPTION: We have some of the most reliable cell
phone reception in the area. Most of the local workers drive
to our overlook area to make phone calls when they have to
have good reception.
MOTORCYCLE FRIENDLY: We are motorcycle friendly and feature
parking behind the building on the third floor as the
Skyline is built into the side of the mountain. The parking
area is not visible from the road and therefore is more
secure than most stops. We now offer covered motorcycle
parking on a concrete parking lot.
DONíT DRINK & DRIVE: The Skyline has a license to serve and
sell beer & wine on and off premises. This is important to
know because we are located in the middle of 3 dry counties:
Mitchell, McDowell and Yancey. When you drink a beer or 2
you donít have to worry about riding back to your motel when
you stay with us. Instead you can safely walk straight up to
your room, relax on our Balcony and enjoy the view before
you turn in for the night. Not only do we offer some of the
best room accommodations at competitive prices, we have the
best selection of wine & beer on the Blue Ridge Parkway and
the surrounding areas of Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland.
Skyline is Motorcycle Friendly:
We offer Group Rates to touring Bikers. We do the same for
bicyclists and hikers traveling the Parkway. Motorcycle
groups are some of our best customers. Once they visit the
Skyline and experience our hospitality, the great view, the
clean rustic rooms, the balcony and the dining they are
hooked. Not only are we located on the Parkway, we are in
close proximity to the popular Watauga Loop and the Murder
Mountain Loop rides. We are located on the "Diamondback"
motorcycle and sports car route.
Come see for yourself.
MOTORCYCLE LOOP RIDES: We are adjacent to the Blue Ridge
Parkway 200 feet from the ramp at milepost 331 Since we are
half way between Asheville and Blowing Rock we are a
convenient stop over for the night for Parkway travelers.
Two of the most popular Loop Rides can easily be
accomplished on day trips from our location: The Watauga
Loop and Murder Mountain Loop can be combined into one very
scenic day trip for you and your group! Recently some local
effort has been made to promote what was called the Little
Switzerland Loop in the Hawk Hageback book "Motorcycle
Adventures in the Southern Appalachians" . It is being
promoted as the "Diamondback". We are located on the Little
Switzerland Loop and can show you many of the great riding
opportunities available in the area.
Following is a map of the Murder
Mountain Loop Ride which we sponsor on
Go to Murder Mountain Ride Map/font>
BICYCLING: Practically everything we have said about
Motorcycling also applies to bicycling. It would be hard to
find a place more conducive to a restful and welcoming stay
over than the Skyline. We have hosted many bicyclists and
have helped them when they were seeking shelter from bad
weather, needed directions or information or just a place to
eat before heading on. We love to talk to such visitors and
share stories and information with them.
Skyline Brewmasters Beer Club:
Late last year we decided to form a beer club. The idea was
to allow more people to taste selections from other regions
and from around the world. We meet each Monday night at the
Skyline and taste test 6 different beers and have a contest
to see who can guess which beer is being tasted. It is a lot
OUTDOOR HIKING ADVENTURE: For those who like hiking and
cycling we are a great place to stay. We are located
equidistance between Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell
and Roan Mountain. The Appalachian Trail meanders along the
NC-TN border at Roan Mountain and The Trails in the Black
Mountain Range at Mt. Mitchell offer very challenging hiking
opportunities. Linville Gorge Wilderness area is only 16
MOUNTAIN BIKING: The NC Mountains to Sea Trail has several
trailheads of entry within a few miles and Mountain Biking
is popular on the trail in the Woodlawn section where there
is a plethora of logging roads as well as the thru trail.
BICYCLING THE PARKWAY: We are conveniently located 200 feet
from the Parkway ramp at milepost 331. Our rooms are clean,
comfortable, affordable and offer a great view.
KAYAKING, CANOEING & TUBING: Our area is one of the great
undiscovered marvels of whitewater sports activities. We
partner with Loaferís Glory Campground near Bakersville.
Mica, emeralds, gold and other
minerals can be found in these waters.
At the Skyline we can get you in touch with the right people
and places in the area to make the most of your vacation. We
want you and your group to consider us the next time you
plan a trip to the area.