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View Full Version : Tapoco Lodge is re-opening and is now TRAIL FRIENDLY!



SGT Rock
2015-01-19, 19:52
Friends and neighbors, good news!

Let me back up a bit first and give you some background. Tapoco Lodge has been around since the 1920's and very historical. When Earl Schaffer made his long walk the Lodge was up and running on the original AT and he even mentions walking past it on his way up to Deals Gap. When the BMT opened that section in 2005 it was only 0.5 miles from the BMT and was a good spot for BMT hikers to get a room and some food. The Lodge was closed in 2010 just as I was starting to print my BMT Thru-Hikers Guide which was a darn shame.

But that year it was bought by a businessman from the local area who had gone off to Florida and made his fortune. His vision was a swank mountain retreat for high classed big money spenders and I was warned that they did not include hikers in that list of VIPs. Darn hiker trash! In 2011 I decided to ignore the warning and give the new owner a shot. We went to the restaurant and were enjoying an expensive pizza when a man that introduced himself as the new manager asked me what I thought of the new place and the service. We told him we enjoyed it very much, then I introduced myself as a guidebook writer for one of our nations premier long trails and that this trail came very close to his establishment. I asked him if I could get some information about the Lodge under it's new business plan and include it in the next edition of my guidebook...

And here is the truth I swear: That man looked at my wife and I like a bag of crap someone had lit and thrown on his doorstep. He didn't speak another word, just turned his back and walked away. All I could think was "good luck with this enterprise pal, you will be out of business in a coupe of years with an attitude like that". Turns out it was about 3 years, so I was close. In the intervening years we rerouted the trail so it actually goes right in front of the Lodge now too, so it was a shame that it was a place forlorn to hikers.

So this December the business goes up for auction. I assumed with all the money the last owner dumped into it that we were looking at someone with deep pockets and a similar business plan. I just sort of wrote off the idea of ever getting back in there for hikers. I didn't hear what it sold for, but it did go. Then just a couple of weeks ago I get an e-mail from Dick Evans (Beowulf on the forum) that there is a possibility that we might be approved a reroute of the BMT that would avoid the crossing of Slickrock Creek and would include some of the best hiking in the Wilderness with Bob Bald, Naked Ground, Haoe, the Hangover, etc. At that point I said "if only the Lodge were in the hands of hiker friendly people I'd love to come right off Yellowhammer Gap and go down that old road into their place and cross the street right to our new section". Last week I got another email from him saying the new owners are going to be interested in the "Adventure Traveler" (i.e. bikers, hikers, backpackers, kayakers, etc) and want to talk with us about hikers, their new business plan, and CONNECTING THAT OLD ROAD TO YELLOWHAMMER GAP!

Today I got off work at 0600 after pulling a 12 hour shift and met with the new owners, the manager, the PR rep, and members of the BMTA; and it was a great meeting! I am so excited that I can hardly stand it. Here are some high points:

1. They are opening 11 lodge rooms and 8 cabins with a total of 20 cabin rooms (you share cabins). Rooms start at $100 which is steep. But they said if you put 2, 3, or 4 or whatever number in a room, the price would be the same. So if 4 hikers split a room it wouldn't be that bad.

2. Though they don't have anything now, they were open to the idea of a bunkhouse/hostel sort of place for hikers. I saw a couple of storage buildings that were nice and looked like they hadn't actually been used for much of anything in a while. I think there may be potential here.

3. Showers.

4. No guest laundry now, but they were open to the idea of offering that by putting in machines or possibly with a laundry service for guests.

5. They are going to have a make your own pancake bar for breakfasts. Right on the river!

6. They are going to have a burger, pizza, etc restaurant downstairs so you can get a meal most any time they are open. Also right on the river.

7. They are going to open the dinning room for meals and have a real Chef.

8. They are opening that trail to the gap. I walked up and saw the workers brush cutting and sawing out blow downs. There is about 1/2 mile that needs some sidehill work and it still needs blazing, but it was about 1/2 mile from being open enough to hike when I left today. I'll add that the manager (who is also the son of the new owner) isn't a newb on this. He is a professional trail maintainer for the GSMNP and talks the talk. He had two guys from work that are off now due to the season working with him to open that trail and a network of local trails that are tied into the NFS trails in the Nantahala NF which abuts them on all sides. The NFS rep has worked with them to get this open too!

9. They plan to be open 11 months of the year! January is the only real down month they plan to have. They are planning to only be open on the weekends February and March, but they will still have their property opened to hikers all year round!

10. Mail Drops!

11. Open to the idea of getting someone in the local area for shuttles around the local area. That may mean runs into Robbinsville for supplies.

12. They want to be in the guidebook. But more than that they want to have their own guidebook for the area so guests can have hiking options laid out for them when they get there. They may even employ some of us who already write for the BMTA to create this for them. I don't feel I am the right person for what they want, but our section guide authors are and I have all the trail data they need to offer.

13. They are interested in having a beer fest style fund raiser to help us with the costs of our trail signs necessary for the relocation when it gets approved. I'm in, maybe some of you would join us!

14. The manager and the PR rep are practically my neighbors here in the Walland area. We even know some of the same people.

15. A bar!

I'm leaving some other stuff out until it gets approved. You may have already guessed what that could be. I hope to be a very busy guidebook author come this next years update. I'm sure there is also some things I am omitting by accident, but it is all very good news. I'll also say that maybe this is karma, the last owner sunk a lot of cash into the Lodge getting it very nice, and now the new owner got the benefit of all that at auction prices. So we had to put up with a few years of no service but get a super nice lodge and hiker destination RIGHT ON THE BMT!

hikerboy
2015-01-19, 22:14
that is outstanding!! think ill stay there this year when i come thru

SGT Rock
2015-01-19, 22:20
Let me know when you do

Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk

Lugnut
2015-01-19, 22:39
Will there be dancing girls?

SGT Rock
2015-01-19, 22:57
Only if you show up

Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk

Lugnut
2015-01-20, 00:12
That's just wrong! :argh: Maybe Skids can call Hiker Chick. :afraid:

SGT Rock
2015-01-20, 00:27
I just thew up in my mouth a little.

Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk

hikerboy
2015-01-20, 07:32
Let me know when you do

Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk
Starting april 5 or6.Will they be open yet?

SGT Rock
2015-01-20, 09:53
They should be

hikerboy
2015-01-20, 10:18
sounds good

D'Artagnan
2015-01-20, 15:35
I probably shouldn't say this, but it warms my heart when bad shit happens to snooty people.

saimyoji
2015-01-20, 17:08
Shadenfruede

Roche
2015-01-20, 17:37
Gusendheit

SGT Rock
2015-01-20, 18:24
I probably shouldn't say this, but it warms my heart when bad shit happens to snooty people.

Hubris.

Big Mac
2015-01-20, 21:50
Rock - put it out there when you plan the beer fest type fundraiser. It would be good to get together somewhere other than the normal places, and help everyone out at the same time.

sheepdog
2015-01-20, 23:28
Rock - put it out there when you plan the beer fest type fundraiser. It would be good to get together somewhere other than the normal places, and help everyone out at the same time.

I like beer. It makes me a jolly good fellow.

SGT Rock
2015-01-21, 12:37
I will put it out for sure. Maybe some of us would like to hike into the lodge and then I could shuttle them back to their cars the day after the event.

sheepdog
2015-01-21, 21:53
Now you're talking.

john pickett
2015-01-24, 15:15
That's "gesundtheit"

TrailNameNed
2015-05-11, 18:47
I stayed at the Tapoco during my recent hike of the BMT. The staff is super and went out of their way to be helpful. Despite the posh surroundings and clientele, they had no problem with showing me the premises when I showed up after four or five days on the trail. The prices are steep but the service is great. It started with putting a couple of IPAs in a bucket of ice to take back to the room while I sorted through the mail drop and finished with sending home the guest swag that I didn't want to carry. There's a washer and dryer in the men's room near the downstairs bar and grill, a really convenient location. My one (minor) complaint is the grounds are tobacco free and I sure would have enjoyed a cigar while sipping a beer on the patio overlooking the Cheoah.

sheepdog
2015-05-11, 21:46
Welcome to the site Ned.

Superman
2015-05-11, 21:54
Hi Ned

hikerboy
2015-05-11, 22:06
Hi ned.are you rich?

Superman
2015-05-11, 22:10
Hi ned.are you rich?

Are you going to sell him a car?

hikerboy
2015-05-11, 22:14
5817

hikerboy
2015-05-11, 22:16
Are you going to sell him a car?

i'd like to explain the benefits of leasing. this way i sell him a car every coupla years


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR0PQD-7BLw

Kanga
2015-05-12, 09:19
Hey Ned! Thanks for the update!

hikerboy
2015-05-12, 10:33
This was my room at $179/nighthttp://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/05/12/7809e59038ad652ba727102b32431299.jpghttp://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/05/12/266f60f72a45c658f43c5181606e56c6.jpg
It was pricey but the service is outstanding

D'Artagnan
2015-05-12, 12:28
Looks nice. I've paid more for less.

SGT Rock
2015-05-12, 13:18
Thanks for the update. I have suggested we put a hiker register at the Tapoco Lodge so we can capture some of this stuff.

Superman
2015-05-12, 13:22
How much better than the Green Cove Motel could it be?

hikerboy
2015-05-12, 14:53
How much better than the Green Cove Motel could it be?

well it doesnt have institutional yellow cinder block walls.

hikerboy
2015-05-12, 14:57
Thanks for the update. I have suggested we put a hiker register at the Tapoco Lodge so we can capture some of this stuff.

no resupply available as of yet. i was able to do laundry, like nedtrailnamened, and although the wifi is very limited, you can use their computer, which i did to get my smokies permit.very friendly, helpful staff.

Lugnut
2015-05-12, 16:09
At $179 a night you should get a back massage and a girl for the night!

hikerboy
2015-05-12, 16:27
They were friendly but not that friendly

Superman
2015-05-12, 17:04
For $179 I expect sex. Just sayin.

hikerboy
2015-05-12, 17:11
They do offer hand cream and tissues

Crikey
2015-05-12, 17:30
They do offer hand cream and tissues

Well, then, give 'em a hand!

Lugnut
2015-05-12, 17:59
They do offer hand cream and tissues

Did Ned know about that?