About Skyline Village Inn:
The Skyline Inn Has been a landmark adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway for 70 years. In 1938 John Greer bought the land next to the Parkway and started making Moonshine in a cavern just off the road on what is now NC226 Alt. The US Government had begun construction of the Parkway only 3 years prior and had plans to construct a bridge over NC 26 (now 226 A). John made plans to construct a gas station and store alongside the Parkway. He funded these plans with the money he made selling moonshine.
By 1942 John had completed building the store, gas station and a residence on the southeast side of the Parkway on a very steep incline falling sharply 2000 feet over 4 miles. The views were great and the state of North Carolina had committed to buying the part of NC26 that was a private toll road from Big Lynn Gap to Gillespie Gap.
After completing his residence and gas station, John was ready to start excavation for his most ambitious enterprise yet: Building the Skyline Inn across the street from the residence/overlook and gas station. According to John’s nephew, Joe Turbyfill , John made a deal with the state that if the state paid for the excavation for the hotel he would concede the right of way. The only problem: John did not want a state contractor discovering his still operation. So John stipulated that his cousin would get the contract.
The following picture was taken in 1942 of the excavation crew. John is on the left. Next to him is Tom Cox, John’s cousin. I know this because I received a phone call one day from a gentleman who introduced himself as Tom Cox’s nephew. He was looking at the picture below as it was on my web site. He told me basically the same story I had heard from Joe. But he told me more about Tom. Tom had been a supervisor for the Clinchfield Railroad and had been involved with the excavation for the 14 tunnels built for the ”Clinchfield Loops” through North Cove, Alta Pass, around the 2 ridges below the Skyline we call the “Dolly Parton” mountain. Surely Tom was well qualified!
So they began the project in 1942 just after the beginning of WWII when many supplies for materials were seriously short and many times restricted from purchase or rationed. This probably slowed Johns progress, but it did not stop him. He was determined to finish what he started. Steel rebar for example was in short supply, so John substituted what he could find available: Railroad tracks! We have come across several of these in the building walls while doing renovations.
Another Story related to building materials surfaced one day when a man named Lee Waycaster came in and introduced himself. In 1947 he was working for John. Lee was 15 years old at the time. John was trying to decide what kind of building materials he was going to use for the floors and walls in the downstairs restaurant , lobby and store. The American Thread Plant located in the Woodlawn area on the way to Marion was being built at the same time. Lee said one day John told him that he had been told that the construction company building the American Thread Plant might have extra East Tennessee marble they might be willing to sell. John had another idea: He sent Lee to negotiate a deal to trade moonshine for the marble. Lee managed to negotiate the deal and said he made more than a dozen trips up and down what is now NC 226A taking moonshine down and bringing marble back up!
The Greer family suffered the tragic loss of John’s first wife Eva in 1947 when she was struck by lightning while bathing in the second story apartment under the overlook. John continued the building project and opened the inn for business in 1948. Following is a postcard from 1948 showing the gas station and overlook/apartment on the south side of the road.
When completed, the Skyline had 32 rooms. Some of the rooms shared a bathroom. All the rooms were small. Some had no windows and therefore no ventilation. The inn had oil fired radiator heat in the winter and of course no air conditioning until much later! The restaurant was opened with the rest of the business. John had to move the still because he was venting it from the cave under what was now a busy parking lot.
A few years ago I had a visit from one of John’s nieces and her teenage grandchildren. I showed them around pointing out some of the wood inlay furniture and the paneling that John had made. I hadn’t mentioned the moonshining. But one of the kids picked up a postcard with the picture from 1948. The postcard had been inscribed with “Skyline Inn 1948. Built on moonshine money”. They read this and their grandmother said “Yes. Uncle John was known for his moonshine!” I then asked if she would like to visit the cave where the shine was made and she said “sure”. So we showed the kids the cave and I told them John had closed the cave and moved the still when he opened the hotel. She said: “Well that’s not quite right.” She said further: “ He continued making moonshine here for several months and covered the vent hole with a rock around check in time each day!” I stood corrected.
John expanded the store and gas station business across the street in the early 1950’s while his brother, Cecil, built the Mountain View Motel on the next hill over to the east of the Skyline. This property is now the Mountain View Restaurant.
John erected a 3-story brick building from 1953-1955 on the steep incline dropping down to NC 226 that had been built around 1950 as a short cut to Spruce Pine. This reduced the number of miles traveled from 13.5 to 5.5 between Gillespie Gap and Highway 221. The foundation used for building this expansion was not as failsafe as the one used for the hotel. Further complicating the matter was the precipitous drop to NC 226 and a geological fault between the Skyline and the Mountain View. In the 1960s a slight earthquake cracked the building. The crack was not fixed and grew worse in time. Finally in the 1990s it was taken down by the previous owners. The good news is that taking down the building restored the tremendous view of the valley and surrounding mountains from the Skyline!
John Greer entertained some distinguished guests from over the state in the 1950s. The following photograph was taken by Hugh Morton, a well-known photographer and owner of Grandfather Mountain. The photograph is a dinner for some Democrat state officials including Luther Hodges , the governor of North Carolina from 1954- 1960. Hodges went on to become Secretary of Commerce under John Kennedy. He must have known something about commerce if he knew John. We figure these connections had a lot to do with the fact that John was never prosecuted for his moonshining and boot-legging activities.
John Died of Leukemia at Duke Hospital in Durham in 1962 at the age of 59. His son, Hubert, inherited the business. From what we are told, Hubert discontinued making moonshine, but bootlegged whiskey from ABC stores in Hickory and Asheville until he was finally able to obtain a license to sell beer. The licensing came about sometime in the 1990s. While renovating we actually found a couple of bottles of Hubert’s bootleg whiskey hidden in a firebreak in a bathroom wall. The bottle was a pint of Jack Daniels dated 1966. The other bottle was dated the same year but was 175th anniversary Jim Beam.
Hubert passed away in 1995 and his wife Lettie then sold the business to a local family in 1997. They sold the business to us in 2004.
The business was in disrepair when we purchased it. We have updated almost everything about it and we try to bring it up to date without harming the character of the building, which we cherish. We have built a sewer line from the hotel to 1.5 miles down NC 226 at Wal-Mart in Grassy Creek. We have renovated each room and tried to use materials that match the character of the building. We completely rebuilt the plumbing system using modern material such as Pex to ensure there is no rust or other remnants of outdated plumbing. The water system is state of the art, using a series of filters and an Ozonater to purify the wonderful mountain water. We look for ways to continually improve and upgrade the facility. Two years ago we replaced the flat roof with a pitched roof. This was probably our biggest project yet.
Enjoy a bit of history with a touch of modern hospitality. We offer lodging, accommodations, dining and a great wine and beer selection at milepost 331 of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland and near Spruce Pine NC. The Skyline Village Inn has one of the most beautiful views in the North Carolina Mountains.
We are midway between Boone and Asheville areas making this an ideal spot from which to visit and roam the mountains. Close to hiking for Mt. Mitchell, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Roan Mountain, Grandfather Mountain, Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Area and the iconic Appalachian Trail. The facility consists of a 13,000 square foot inn with 16 guest rooms. Each room has wood paneling made from 22 different varieties of native wood. The rooms each has its own bath, LED TV, Cablevision, mini refrigerator, AC & heat, coffee maker and 4 station USB recharger for your devices.
Our water system is state of the art with North Carolina EPA approval. It is fed by both undergound well water and spring water which are filtered through 5 filters for particulate removal, then Ozonated with a 15,000 volt Ozonator then injected with a very small amount of chlorine that is not even tasted. This produces the most awesome water found anywhere and is exclusive to the Skyline where we have 8,000 storage so we won’t run low.
Additionally we have invested in plumbing upgrades found nowhere else in the area including tankless, instant on demand hot water heaters throughout the building. These tankless systems provide continuous delivery of hot water to meet your needs. They also provide the water with no energy wasted in delivery because it is on demand and not stored in heated tanks. The original galvanized water supply lines have all been removed and replaced with rustless materials such as pex, pvc and copper making the delivery of our great water impeccable.
In 2016 we replaced a flat roofing system with a completely redesigned pitched roof. The new pitched roof sets on a 2 foot high knee wall on scissored trusses with the center rising to 12 feet in the middle completing the European Alpine Design. The roof is a beautiful copper metal color and can be seen from points in Marion 10 miles away. It cantilevers over the balcony and the back of the building providing even greater shelter from the elements. This fourth story is covered on the outside with Hardieboard staggered shingle planking providing even more Old-World effect with outstanding state of the art protection from the weather that can rage at these altitudes.
The rooms are very welcoming and homey with hardwood floors, comfortable beds and many rooms have built in furniture made from a variety of local woods. If you get a balcony room facing the Catawba Valley it is a special treat to wake up gazing at sunrise coming up over Linville Mountain in the distance. So grab a cup of coffee get out on your Adirondack chair and enjoy!
Single Rooms: $104 + tax ($116.22)
Double Rooms: $124 + tax ($138.57)
October, Peak Season, Weekend & Holiday Rates:
Single rooms: $117 + tax ($130.74)
Check in: 3PM /Check-out: 11 AM
Our office is located in our Gift and Wine Shop on the first floor. Check in time is 3:00 PM- 6:00 PM. If arrival is going to be after 6:00PM please let us know in advance. We are a family run inn. We do not have late shift employees. We cannot accept arrivals after 10:00PM.
During our season the restaurant (exclusively for hotel guests) is open from 8 AM- 9 AM for breakfast. It is open for dinner 6 PM – 8 PM Thursday- Monday unless otherwise announced.
Out of season the restaurant is closed except for pre-arranged parties and events. We can serve breakfast anytime in the off-season on request unless circumstances such as lack of supplies or help ,prevent us from doing so.
We offer discount packages for multi night stays and group stays. We also offer discounts for Military, Corporate and Business stays, Triple A and Old Fart Discounts, (Don’t get offended, I’m an Old Fart too), but you must call. Please understand that we can not discount the rates obtained through Expedia, Booking.com etc. because we are already paying a commission. You can save money by going directly to our website if staying multiple nights. And you can save if you are an old fart, Triple A member, veteran if call us direct on an overnight stay.
Please keep in mind that we are a seasonal business and our cancellation policy is 7 days. We must have seven days notice or we must charge a minimum of one night’[s stay. If cancellation is mad 3 days or less of check in the liability is for the entire length of the stay. If you object in any way to this policy don’t reserve a room here.
We do our best to make certain that our rooms are kept in excellent condition and are cleaned and resupplied before guests arrive. If something is not right we will do our best to correct the problem. But we will not accept petty grievances as a pretense to disavow responsibility for payment.
Behaved Pets are welcome.
There is a $20 charge for pets for the length of the stay per pet. Please be sure the pet is housebroken and well behaved.
Motorcycle Friendly! Motorcycle Rentals available!
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 Snake and the Murder Mountain Loop rides. The "Murder Mountain Loop Ride" as described on the Blue Ridge Motorcycling website starts and ends at our driveway. We are located on the "Diamondback" motorcycle and sports car route. Yes, our parking lot and driveway empty into the Diamondback. You cannot get here without riding on it. These are just some of the reasons you need to visit to check out the excellent area motorcycling opportunities.
In 2014 RoadRUNNER, a premiere motorcycling touring magazine, did their Shamrock Tour for the April issue from here in Little Switzerland, NC. Check out the article and maps of the 4 routes they did from this location by clicking here.
Motorcycle Rentals now available at the Skyline!
We work to take our Motorcycling commitment to a new level: We can now rent 7 Motorcycles: We chose mostly the dual sport bikes to complement and enhance your stay in the mountains: Ride your touring or sport bike up to the mountains. But we know you don't want to take them on gravel and dirt. So, on your next visit you can take our bikes to these areas and create a new adventure for yourself and friends.
We now have 1 Honda Shadow 600, 2 BMW F650 GS's, 2 BMW 650 GS, Yamaha TW200 and a Yamaha XT250 in our garage and ready to take you into the Blue Ridge mountains for a great motorcycling adventure. These nimble but robust bikes can be rented by the day for a very reasonable price. We have a great insurance plan to go with it delivering a very cost-effective way to a good time cycling in some of the most beautiful areas of the world. We can assist in providing you with a route to many miles of great off pavement riding in National forest area and outstanding OHV trails. We can introduce you to friends in these areas where you can pick up a lunch and maybe rent a tube to float the river while out on your ride. Or, for a reasonable fee, we can guide you to these places to optimize your time and further enhance your day!
Still another advantage of staying at the Skyline came from adding our Dual Sport Rental Service. We had to add a garage area with tools and equipment to do maintenance and minor repairs. So as a guest you now have these assets working for you if you need them! Further, if a member of your group has a major mechanical problem we have a means of helping them get to a shop for repair with our bike trailer. While the bike is being repaired why be grounded and miss the riding? Rent one of our bikes and don't miss out on anything!
Go to our Motorcycle Rentals for more information.
Furthermore, we can help you plan the routes you will be taking. I ride them myself on a BMW650 GS. In our store we feature America Rides Maps by Wayne Bush. Wayne has ridden all these and made excellent maps.
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.
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. Many 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 now being promoted as the "Diamondback." We are located on the Diamondback and can show you many of the great riding opportunities available in the area. We love motorcycles. I own 7 of them and have started a rental business here.
Ready to book with us? Have a question about our rooms or services? We'll be happy to help!
Po Box 37, Little Switzerland, NC 28749, us
6:30am - 5pm
Be the first to hear about local events and new amenities.