Town News July 2019


Weed Patch Mountain Trail, in the Town of Lake Lure, NC has been recognized as one of the best new trails in the nation. In a ceremony on Capitol Hill, the national Coalition for Recreational Trails announced its annual achievement award in the category of trail design and construction. The award went to Conserving Carolina and to Chris “Shrimper” Khare for their work on Weed Patch Mountain Trail.
Weed Patch Mountain Trail, which opened last year, travels for 8.6 miles through the Town of Lake Lure’s Buffalo Creek Park and connects to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. It offers stunning scenery and back country adventure for both hikers and mountain bikers. It also provides the first access to Eagle Rock, a newly established destination for rock climbers. Its spur trail to Eagle Rock in Chimney Rock State Park passes through a natural rock tunnel.
“This is an outstanding achievement, and I join Conserving Carolina’s members, volunteers, and the surrounding communities in celebrating this honor,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “As an avid outdoorsman, I stand in awe of the spectacular views and natural beauty of NC. I am glad that Conserving Carolina’s hard work, commitment to our community, and thoughtful design has been acknowledged.” Please click here to read more about this award.
The award was presented at the 7/19/19 Town Council Meeting to those photographed, left to right: Commissioner Stephen Webber, Ed Dittmer, Larry Czajkoski, Jim Walters (representing the Lake Lure Parks and Recreation Board). On the far right is Peter Barr with Conserving Carolina.







Carolina Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: CARO) (“Carolina Financial”) and Carolina Trust BancShares, Inc. (Nasdaq: CART), the parent company of Carolina Trust Bank (together, “Carolina Trust”) jointly announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement.

Subject to the terms of the merger agreement, Carolina Trust shareholders will receive 0.3000 shares of Carolina Financial common stock, or $10.57 in cash for each share of Carolina Trust’s common stock outstanding, subject to election and proration such that the aggregate consideration will consist of 90 percent Carolina Financial stock and 10 percent cash.  Based on Carolina Financial Corporation’s closing stock price of $35.62 as of July 12, 2019, this equates to an aggregate deal value of approximately $100.1 million.

Carolina Trust, which is headquartered in Lincolnton, North Carolina, currently operates 11 banking locations and a loan production office in and around the Charlotte – Concord – Gastonia, NC-SC metropolitan statistical area.  As of March 31, 2019, Carolina Trust reported assets of $621 million, gross loans of $474 million and deposits of $523 million.

“This transaction allows for Carolina Financial to deepen its market presence in North Carolina. Carolina Trust represents the best opportunity for Carolina Financial to expand our footprint in these markets and the merger will allow us to execute on many of our publicly stated goals,” said Jerry Rexroad, Chief Executive Officer of Carolina Financial. “We welcome the Team Members at Carolina Trust to our organization.  This partnership is an excellent opportunity to create value for both institutions.” Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company will have over $4.5 billion in assets, $3.1 billion in loans and $3.3 billion in deposits.  This transaction will further solidify Carolina Financial’s position as one of the largest Carolinas-based community banks.

Jerry Ocheltree, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carolina Trust, will be named President of CresCom Bank’s North Carolina Commercial Banking Operations.  “We are excited about partnering with a high-performing company that shares our community banking culture and values like Carolina Financial. We find the strategic fit of the two organizations compelling, especially for our customers that will benefit from the broader array of products and services,” commented Jerry Ocheltree.  “We will leverage the new resources and products available to us through CresCom Bank and are attracted to the opportunity to operate in our current markets with a significantly larger scale.”

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each company.  The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 and is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approval and Carolina Trust shareholder approval.  Upon completion of the transaction, Mr. Johnathan Rhyne, Carolina Trust’s current Chairman of the Board, will be appointed to the Carolina Financial and CresCom Bank boards of directors.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners, LP served as financial advisor and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP provided legal counsel to Carolina Financial.  Raymond James served as financial advisor and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP served as legal counsel to Carolina Trust.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.



Thanks to those who supported the Town of Lake Lure and the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition in the Buffalo Creek Park workday on 7/8/19!  This awesome team removed 2 trees that were blocking the trail and trimmed back some plants and trees that were growing into the trail.  They cleaned out all the drainage ditches on the south side of the trail and created over 20 berms to help divert water off of the trail.





Crews from the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will build a temporary gravel road to serve residents, visitors and businesses using Buffalo Creek Road near Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure. The temporary repairs will re-connect the road damaged by a landslide in January. Employees from the NCDOT’s Rutherford County Maintenance Unit will begin the construction Monday, 7/15/19. It is expected to take approximately two weeks. Crews will grade the roadway and put stone down to re-open it. The temporary repairs will cost approximately $80,000.

NCDOT engineers are exploring long-term solutions, which include options that are the most fiscally responsible while minimizing the impact to the community as much as possible. Plans will be shared with the community upon completion, which is expected later this year.






If you have been attending the monthly Town of Lake Lure, NC Council Meetings, you are aware that the Town is working to implement a land-based, low-pressure sewage collection system.
  • As a part of this effort, the Town has consulted Bunnell-Lammons Engineering, Inc. (BLE).
  • BLE will be in Town starting Tuesday, (7/9/19) to begin a geotechnical exploration of Town roads.
  • You may see BLE trucks in your neighborhoods as they conduct a reconnaissance of the Town to estimate the rock quantities in our area.
  • This process may take place throughout the month of July.

If you have any questions, please contact 828-625-9983 or attend the Town Council Meeting on 7/9/19 at 5:00 in the Lake Lure Municipal Hall at 2948 Memorial Highway. This meeting is open to the public.




• JUNE 2019 MEETING SUMMARY: Please click here to review a summary of the June meeting.  

• JULY 2019 MEETING HIGHLIGHTS: Please click here to download the meeting packet. The following is a synopsis of the meeting.


1) A presentation by Conserving Carolina – Weed Patch Mountain Trail National Award: Weed Patch Mountain Trail has been recognized as one of the best new trails in the nation. Conserving Carolina partnered with the Town of Lake Lure to create the Weed Patch Mountain Trail in only one year in 2017. In addition to designing the trail, the land trust helped fund the project through private donations to supplement the Town’s Recreational Trails Program grant. It also facilitated the creation of the Town’s 1,500-acre Buffalo Creek Park through which the trail traverses, and its permanent protection via a conservation easement.  Weed Patch Mountain Trail travels for 8.6 miles through the Town of Lake Lure’s Buffalo Creek Park and connects to Chimney Rock State Park. It offers stunning scenery and backcountry adventure for both hikers and mountain bikers. It also provides the first access to Eagle Rock, a newly established destination for rock climbers. Its spur trail to Eagle Rock in Chimney Rock State Park passes through a natural rock tunnel.  

“This is an outstanding achievement, and I join Conserving Carolina’s members, volunteers, and the surrounding communities in celebrating this honor,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “As an avid outdoorsman, I stand in awe of the spectacular views and natural beauty of North Carolina…”  

2) Town Manager Communications: Shannon Baldwil provided updates on the following areas Lake Lure Dam, Sewer System, Downtown Wi-Fi, Lake Patrol, Dredging, 2019 Fireworks Events 

3) Public Hearings:

A. Ordinance 19-07-09, an ordinance allowing permitted mobile food vendors to operate during town-sanctioned special events in areas specifically designated outside of town owned property or the GU zoning district.

B. Ordinance 19-07-09A, to amend § 92.101(D) of the Zoning Regulations, “Non Conforming Structures. 

4) Council Liaison Reports and Comments 

5) Public Comment: The public is invited to speak on any non-agenda and/or consent agenda topics. Comments should be limited to less than five minutes.

Ms. Pat Buede spoke with Town Council regarding her concerns for the budget and potential increased taxes.

6) Consent Agenda: 

A. Adoption of the June 11, 2019 Regular Town Council Minutes, the June 21, 2019 Special Town Council Minutes, and the June 26, 2019 Special Town Council Minutes

B. Request from Amy Wald to waive the Peddling Ordinance for the Lake Lure Art Show on November 9, 2019

C. Resolution No. 19-07-09 Intent to Reimburse  

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:00 PM. 




Please click here to view Fireworks from the 7/3/19 event.






Lake Lure was recently listed as one of Ten Best Lake Towns in North America on SmarterTravel.  (SmarterTravel provides independent expert advice and unbiased reviews for the best travel deals, destinations, and money-saving travel tips.) You may click on the link above to read the entire article or read the reference for Lake Lure below.

At the edge of the Blue Mountains, the scenic town of Lake Lure was the film set for the 1987 blockbuster Dirty Dancing. Several locals were extras in the movie. Each summer, residents relive the magic at the Dirty Dancing Festival with a “Baby & Johnny lake lift” competition.

This lake town is an adventurous getaway less than an hour’s drive from Asheville. There are bumper boats, water cannons, waterslides, and certified ski and wakeboard instructors ready to pull you behind their boats. Sunsets are especially spectacular here and best enjoyed by paddleboat or pontoon cruise.

If you go: Spend some time exploring the Blue Mountains foothills that surround the lake. Chimney Rock State Park is the main attraction. From mountain biking and hiking trails you can take in views of Hickory Nut Gorge and see one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. There’s also an area where kids can learn to rock climb.




Buffalo Creek Park, including Buffalo Creek Park Loop Trail and Weed Patch Mountain Trail were temporarily closed following significant rains in the area.  The trail reopens 6/13/19.  

We close these areas for the safety of our users and for the protection of our trail tread.

Your ongoing respect and protection of the trail is greatly appreciated.


The 1ST Lake Lure Olympiad Open Water Swim Event ”Lure of the Lake” was held 6/8/19 at the Lake Lure Beach. The event was a huge success with 97 swimmers from 5 states participating in the swim. Swimmers competed in a 1.5 mile swim or a 3.0 mile swim, coordinated by the ‘Set Up Events’ team from the Carolina Swim Series. SPECIAL THANKS to all those who volunteered at the event! We appreciate all those who came out to support the swimmers, the Lake Lure Olympiad Committee, and local charities who benefited from proceeds from the event. Beneficiaries include the Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach and local first responders in the Town of Lake Lure, NC.
Photo of swimmers in action on 6/8/19 is courtesy of John Kilby. Please send your photos to and we will look for opportunities to share these.






The small but mighty Lake Lure Racing team, led by Wade Oppliger and Leslie Rowland, took to the water for the first time on Saturday, 5/25/19 at the Dogwood Regatta in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. They dedicated their first race as Lake Lure Racing to the memory of Mayor Kevin Cooley--who so enthusiastically embraced their request to become part of the Lake Lure community.
We are proud to share their results: Three race entries. Three Gold Medals!
CONGRATULATIONS! Please click here to learn more about Lake Lure Racing.




The Town of Lake Lure would like to provide a Mayoral update as we continue to keep the Cooley family in our thoughts and prayers.  

John Moore is the Mayor Pro Tem for the Town of Lake Lure and as such, he serves as the Acting Mayor.  Mayor Pro Tem Moore will continue to serve in this capacity until the Lake Lure Town Council determines another plan. 

The Town of Lake Lure Management Team listed below is working closely with Mayor Pro Tem Moore, Town Council, and our Town staff to continue the important work that is underway.

•    Shannon Baldwin, Town Manager

•    David Arrowood, Public Works Director

•    Brad Burton, Community Development Director

•    Dean Givens, Parks, Recreation and Lake Director

•    Sean Humphries, Police Chief

•    Sam Karr, Finance Director

•    Laura Krejci, Communications Specialist and Events Coordinator

•    Dustin Waycaster, Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator

For additional updates and information, visit the Town of Lake Lure’s Website under Town News. 

Please join our next Lake Lure Town Council Meeting scheduled for June 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm for additional details about the continuous improvements being made in the Town of Lake Lure.



Visitors and residents of Lake Lure had a great time at the 2019 Spring Arts & Crafts Festival May 25-27, 2019.

The Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach raised funds through booth rentals, parking donations and raffles sales. This year the funds raised doubled previous years and 100% of these funds will be allocated to helping Outreach clients.
Special thanks to all the Outreach volunteers, as well as others that helped out, giving so selflessly of their time to cover shifts at the Outreach Booth and assisting with parking during the Festival. Thank you also to those that provided raffle prizes. This is a team effort in our community and Hickory Nut Gorge has a great team!



The Town of Lake Lure honored all those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U. S. Military during a Memorial Day Program on May 27, 2019 at the Veterans Memorial Kiosk. 


Thank you to all those who came out to participate in the program, especially all those who made the program possible including: The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and SpaLake Lure Tours, Master of Ceremonies - Capt. James Walters, USN (Ret.), Pastor Alex Heafner from Chimney Rock Baptist Church, Posting of the Colors - Henderson County Honor Guard, National Anthem - Ms. Johanna Khalafalla from Lake Lure Classical Academy, Special Reading - Command Sergeant Major, Stephen M. Webber, USA (Ret.) and Town of Lake Lure, NC Commissioner, Laying of the Memorial Wreath - Captain Ed Dittmer, USN (Ret.) and Bill Pressley (Marine), Bagpipe Recessional - Mr. Ken Potter, and the Town of Lake Lure, NC.
Please send your pictures to and we will look for opportunities to share them.