Real EstateAcquisitionsIndigo Road Hospitality Group Acquires Snowbird Mountain Lodge

Indigo Road Hospitality Group Acquires Snowbird Mountain Lodge

CHARLESTON, South Carolina—The Indigo Road Hospitality Group (IRHG) has acquired Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville, North Carolina, and assumed management of the property. IRHG partnered with Madison Capital Group, LLC, a private investment and advisory firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, and JPW Development, a private real estate firm based in Asheville, North Carolina, specializing in the acquisition, renovation, and preservation of historic properties. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Accompanying Skyline Lodge and The Flat Iron Hotel, Snowbird Mountain Lodge marks Indigo Road’s third property in North Carolina,” said Larry Spelts, president of Lodging & Lifestyle Adventures at The Indigo Road. “As we grow our portfolio of unique, experience-driven properties, we are particularly drawn to those where we believe we can add value and deliver our high-touch hospitality. Snowbird was spellbinding from the moment we saw the historic lodge and its majestic views of the Smokey Mountains.”

Designed by Asheville architect Ronald Greene, the Main Lodge was built in 1940–1941 for Arthur Wolfe, a travel agent, and his brother, Edwin, a realtor and builder. Over the years, Snowbird has had 10 owners. Before selling the property to IRHG, Robert Rankin, and his wife, Mandy, owned the property and completed many of Snowbird’s upgrades and additions.

Since its inception, the Main Lodge has undergone several renovations, including the addition of a new heating and air system, new windows, new wiring and plumbing pipes, new exterior siding, the dining terrace, and bathroom upgrades. Several cottages have been added to the property over the years, including Wolfe Cottage, which offers a shared front porch with rockers and private individual back decks with a two-person hot tub on each room’s deck, and Chestnut Lodge. The Forest Chapel, Snowbird’s newest building, is designed for the privacy of two or to share a celebration with up to 60 people.

“Snowbird is a remarkable place offering guests the chance at an intimate stay in a 1940s mountain lodge amid gorgeous natural surroundings,” said Philip Woollcott, founder and managing principal at JPW Development. “As a Western North Carolina native, I jumped at the opportunity to become a steward of Snowbird. Having collaborated with Indigo Road on Skyline Lodge in Highlands, North Carolina, and the current redevelopment with them of the historic Flat Iron building in Asheville, it was a perfect fit.”

Located in North Carolina’s Great Smokey Mountains, Snowbird has views of the Nantahala National Forest and Lake Santeetlah. The U.S. Forest Service also provides swimming, camping, picnicking, fishing, and boating facilities at the lake.

“I have wanted to be in the boutique hospitality space for quite some time and this partnership presented the perfect opportunity to work with a great operator, and in our own backyard,” said Ryan Hanks, founder and CEO of Madison Capital Group. “We are looking forward to a long-term relationship with Indigo Road and are optimistic that this partnership will be the first of many joint projects together. When Indigo Road presented this opportunity to our team, we knew it was the right one for us. The property speaks for itself.”

Snowbird’s culinary team works with local farmers to create seasonal menus. In addition to the property’s indoor dining room, The Fireside Bar has a selection of handcrafted beers ranging from local brews to spirits and wine selections.

“Nothing can prepare you for the beauty and serenity of this special place,” said Steve Palmer, founder and chief visionary officer of The Indigo Road. “From the moment I stepped foot on the property, I knew that I wanted to be a part of continuing Mandy and Robert’s 30-year legacy at Snowbird. While we do have exciting plans for the future, our most important guideline is to be thoughtful and deserving stewards of this sacred place.”