In 2013, Benchmark Planning was engaged by the Town of Blowing Rock to prepare an update to its comprehensive plan. Blowing Rock is an historic mountain resort community that serves as the gateway to the NC High Country, and is the de facto cultural capital of the region. With numerous ski resorts, National and State Parks, and a direct connection to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock is a year-round destination for vacationers. Blowing Rock has also emerged as a highly regarded retirement destination, which has led to significant increases in economic activity in the local healthcare industry.
Benchmark led the community through a year-long planning process, engaging with the community through intensive workshops that were designed to explore different scenarios that could shape the town’s future. Among the focus areas in the plan were downtown development, the ongoing expansion of Valley Boulevard (US 321 Bypass), the redevelopment of the former hospital site and the anticipated growth around the site of the new hospital. The resulting plan that was adopted by the Town Council established a 10 year vision for the community that defines a policy framework that will guide the community toward achieving the vision that it established through the planning process. Benchmark is currently working with the Town to update the Plan.