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July 24, 2014

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Melissa and Ray Pickett accept the Business of the Year Award for the Blowing Rock Inn from Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Charles Hardin during the chamber’s 27th annual Awards Luncheon at Chetola Resort on Tuesday. Photos by Jeff Eason

Originally published: 2014-02-14 08:49:51
Last modified: 2014-02-14 08:50:37

And the award goes to ...

With the announcement that Cathy Robbins will be the new president of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce this year, an odd circle has become complete.

“My husband’s grandfather, Grover Robbins, started the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce more than 80 years ago,” said Robbins during the chamber’s 27th annual Awards Luncheon, held Tuesday at the Evergreen Room at Chetola Resort.

Two years ago, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce moved back into the old Grover Robbins residence on Park Avenue in downtown Blowing Rock.

“As we all know, Grover Robbins started the chamber in the 1920s and also started The Blowing Rock attraction, Hound Ears and Tweetsie,” said Charles Hardin, executive director of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. “Sometimes, when I am working late at the chamber, I can hear him banging around the building.”

Grover Robbins died in 1975.

Cathy and Chris Robbins are the operators of Tweetsie Railroad and Wild West Theme Park.

Before the awards were handed out at the event, Cathy Robbins unveiled this year’s theme for the Chamber of Commerce.

“2014 is the year of collaboration,” she said. “When we work together, we are stronger than we are as individuals.”

Steve Frank announced the winners of the 2013 Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce awards and Hardin handed them their crystal trophies.

The Blowing Rock Ale House and Inn won the award for Best Commercial Renovation/New Construction. The restaurant and brewery opened last year on the former site of the Maple Lodge on Sunset Drive.

Accepting the award were owners Rob Dyer, Todd Rice and Jeff Walker.
Ensemble Stage Company won the Award for Cultural Enrichment. The stage company put on 11 productions during 2013.

Accepting the award was Lisa Lamont.

Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S. (Children Are Really Extra Special) won the Award for Service to the Community.

Linda Laughter and Misty Watson accepted the award on behalf of Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S.
Mountainaire Inn and Log Cabins won the award for Best Winter Wonderland Lighting.
Accepting the award was owner Deborah McDowell.

Rich Scheurer, bartender at Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub, won the Customer Service Star of the Year. The award is sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation.

Denise Weinkle, Ann Barker and Lori Inman, better known as The Three Musketeers, won the Blowing Rock Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award.

Barbara Wright won the Jerry Burns Ambassadorial Award for 2013.

The annual Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show received an Award of Special Recognition for its economic impact on the region. Burr Collier accepted the award on behalf of the horse show.

The Blowing Rock Inn was named the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year for 2013. Owners Ray and Melissa Pickett accepted the award.
Approximately 150 people attended the event.
For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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