History of Beech Mountain
Beech Mountain, North Carolina, is eastern America’s highest town. At an elevation of 5506’, this rural Appalachian enclave is home to around 350 full-time residents, who are drawn here by the cool climate and remote natural setting. There are around 2200 second homes which are occupied part-time or used as vacation rentals, so the population on this rugged mountain-top swells to 10,000+ during peak ski season, and 5,000+ during the mild temperatures of summer.
The development of Beech Mountain began in the late 1960’s, when local businessmen Harry and Grover Robbins and the Carolina Caribbean Corporation (CCC) purchased more than seven square miles of high mountain land, divided it into lots and subdivisions, created a ski resort, the Land of Oz theme park, a golf course, pool and tennis facilities, built houses and laid out roads and water and sewer services across the mountain. In 1970, The Beech Mountain Property Owner’s Association (POA) formed to collect assessments for the maintenance of roads and recreation areas, and the organization stepped up when CCC filed for bankruptcy in 1974.
Within three years, the water and sewer systems were purchased from the courts by the Beech Mountain Utility System, a subsidiary of the POA. The following year, they established the Sanitary District, which purchased the water and sewer systems from the property owner’s association. In May of 1981, the Town of Beech Mountain was incorporated by the North Carolina General Assembly.
The Beech Mountain POA re-organized as the Beech Mountain Club and took over management of the golf course and recreational facilities. Ski Beech was purchased by the Costin family in 1986, and later became the Beech Mountain Resort. The Land of Oz, which closed in 1980, is now owned by the Leidy family, and attracts an international crowd to its annual Autumn at Oz and Tours with Dorothy events.
The Town of Beech Mountain continues to grow and thrive, and today is home to nearly fifty businesses, which employ over 700 people. As an economic engine for the area, the Town takes its role seriously, and strives to protect the environment while balancing the needs of the people who live, work and vacation in this tranquil mountain oasis.