Ginn Announces 2,750 Acre Conservation Agreement at Laurelmor Project in NC

Appalachian State University student newspaper reports on Ginn activity in North Carolina

"The Appalachian"

November 1, 2007 – North Carolina – Despite a somewhat rocky start with local conservationists, the Ginn Company’s Laurelmor construction project announced intentions to dedicate the first phase of its conservation easement to the Blue Ridge Rural Land Trust.


“I’m sure you can understand that for a North Carolina conservationist, going to a meeting with a Florida developer is not a feeling you’d really enjoy,” Director of the Blue Ridge Rural Land Trust (BRRLT) James Coman said at a banquet Tuesday. “But after about two and a half hours I thought, ‘We might be able to work with these people.’”


The Ginn Laurelmor project consists of around 6,100 acres of land, 800 acres of which are in Wilkes County; the rest are in Watauga County.


Ginn Laurelmor’s conservation easement will include 2,750 acres, granted in three phases.


The first phase of 600 acres of land includes 64 miles of trout streams, 20 acres of wetlands and a sanctuary for rare plants, birds, reptiles and other wildlife.


Laurelmor project consists of around 6,100 acres of land. Source: Ginn CorporationThe Ginn Laurelmor project consists of around 6,100 acres of land. 


The Ginn Company has over 30 years of experience in creating exclusive leisure lifestyle-oriented vacation destination communities across the United States.


“This is not my first rodeo,” Ginn Resorts Chairman and CEO Bobby Ginn said.


The land in the first phase will be dedicated to the BRRLT, a non-profit land trust that’s mission is to preserve rural communities in northwestern North Carolina.


The BRRLT has had its eye on the property currently owned by Ginn for a long time.


“We didn’t have any luck at all with the previous owners,” Coman said.


The land involved in the first phase of the project surrounds Laurel Creek. The next two phases will cover first the South Fork of Laurel Creek, and then the area around Dugger Creek.


Ginn also used Tuesday’s banquet to announce their status as a “Firewise” community.


Firewise is a national consortium of wild-land fire agencies, working in partnership with local forest services and fire prevention professionals, that helps local communities assess their risk of wildfire and help them make their homes as fireproof as possible.


Laurelmor’s fire defenses include a fire hydrant installed every 1,000 feet, extra wide fire-engine-accessible roadways and turnarounds, easily accessible exits and entrances to the property and a Firewise board.


“We can’t really ask them for anything more,” said Stewart Simmons Fire Department Fire Chief Doug Berry.


The Laurelmor Development will also provide an opportunity for Appalachian State University students to get internships with the Ginn Company.


“Having Appalachian State here was a huge factor in us wanting to build here,” Ginn said.


Interns with the Ginn Corporation will take samples to study the effects construction has on the local environment, among other things.


“This is a real virgin environment,” said H. Doug Miller, a Ginn Corporation employee.


A business intern from Appalachian will create a business plan for a non-profit zero waste group that will work within the Laurelmor community, as well. 

1 reply
  1. Howard Engle
    Howard Engle says:


    Now that we have all the good news about Ginn\\’s progress on Grand Bahama, have you heard any new scuddlebutt on his progress at Laurelmor there in the North Carolina Mountains near Boone and Blowing Rock. There was a few rumors that Ginn may have financial problems with this one and a possible bankruptcy filing. Have you heard anything like this….thanks, Howard Engle.

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