Blowing Rock and North Carolina’s High Country

June 13–16, 2021

Discounted hotel rooms available to members June 10, 11 and 12 and June 16, 17 and 18

Named one of the South’s Best Mountain Towns by Southern Living, the town of Blowing Rock is a year-round mountain destination in North Carolina’s High Country known as the “Crown of the Blue Ridge.” The town sits in the shadow of The Blowing Rock, its namesake rock formation, at 4,000 feet in elevation.

Set off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock has been welcoming visitors since the 1880s. It has a charming downtown with locally owned shops, art galleries, and restaurants. The quaint area is the backdrop for Jan Karon’s hit Mitford book series. Activities such as hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, mountain and road cycling, rock climbing, fishing and hunting are close at hand, along with skiing in the winter.

Blowing Rock is a two-hour drive from both Charlotte and Asheville, North Carolina, each home to the two closest airports, and five hours from Atlanta, Georgia. Visitors can travel by car via US Highway 64 or the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.

Blowing Rock’s COVID Precautions


Meadowbrook Inn
The Meadowbrook Inn, the chapter meeting’s host hotel, is at the center of all there is to see and do in North Carolina’s High Country—just a short walk to downtown Blowing Rock and a quick drive to all of the area’s major attractions. A boutique hotel located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the inn features 62 cozy yet spacious rooms and suites furnished in traditional mountain décor that creates a unique guest experience. The Meadowbrook Inn is a two-time recipient of the Readers’ Choice Award from Convention South for its meeting and event space.

Hotel Info

Meadowbrook Inn COVID policies


Core Meeting

June 13–16, 2021

Registration Fee, All Members: $25

Hotel Room, Conference Events and Most Meals*

Active: $350
Associate: $450
Emeritus: $500
Room is inclusive of breakfast; Wi-Fi and parking are complimentary; there is no resort fee.

One-day meeting fee: $125 (June 14)
Includes Marketplace, lunch and professional development (parking is complimentary)

Pre-Meeting Hotel Add-On
June 10, 11 and 12
Rate is $99 per night plus tax on weekdays and $184 per night plus tax on Fridays and Saturdays (breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking are complimentary; there is no resort fee) based on availability

Post-Meeting Hotel Extension
June 16, 17 and 18
Rate is $99 per night plus tax on weekdays and $184 per night plus tax on Fridays and Saturdays (breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking are complimentary; there is not resort fee) based on availability.

*All conference attendees must stay in conference hotel, with the exception of one-day meeting attendees.


The following events, meals and admissions will be available to each member registered*

  • SATW Eastern Chapter Welcome Reception June 13 on The Terrace at Meadowbrook Inn with beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres
  • Daily complimentary breakfast at Meadowbrook Inn (included in room rate for all guests)
  • One admission to the following attractions
    • Grandfather Mountain
    • The Blowing Rock
    • Mystery Hill and Native American Museum
    • Doc’s Rocks and Fossil Museum
    • Blowing Rock Art and History Museum
    • High Gravity Adventures Ropes Course and Zip Lining
    • Complimentary Beer Tasting at Blowing Rock Brewery
  • One $25 Gift Certificate per registered member to each of the following restaurants
    • Bistro Roca
    • Foggy Rock
    • Twigs
  • Welcome gift (one per room)
  • SATW Closing Reception

*Note that guests are not permitted to attend any SATW events, nor will they receive complimentary admission or any meals beyond those that are included in the room fee for any hotel guest.


The following events, meals and admissions will be available to each member registered for the entire chapter meeting.*

Sunday, June 13
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Arrival, check-in and self-guided tours of area
6:00–8:30 p.m. Welcome reception for SATW members on the Terrace at Meadowbrook Inn (members only)

Monday, June 14
7:30 –9:00 a.m. Complimentary breakfast on own at Meadowbrook Inn
8:00-9:00 a.m. Marketplace setup
9:15–10:45 a.m. Marketplace for SATW members
11 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Professional Development for SATW members
12:30– 1:30 p.m. Lunch at Meadowbrook Inn for SATW members
2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Professional development sessions for SATW members
Evening Time on own for touring the area and dining at local restaurants

Tuesday, June 15
7:30–8:30 a.m. Complimentary breakfast on own at Meadowbrook Inn
8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Free time to tour on own
6:00–7:30 p.m. SATW Closing Reception (members only)
7:30–9:00 p.m. Dinner on own at local restaurants

Wednesday, June 16
Complimentary breakfast on own at Meadowbrook Inn
Departures throughout day

Times subject to change

Professional Development

Keynote Address


Pitch to Payment at Roadtrippers: Successful Storytelling and Travel Trends

Our keynote speaker will take you on a backstage tour of the editorial process at these thriving online travel brands. She’ll share actionable tips for successful pitching for both Actives and Associates, as well as some pet peeves that her editorial team would prefer you avoid. Stephanie will talk about the types of stories that are trending during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the content her team believes will engage travelers through 2021 and beyond.


Stephanie Puglisi

Head of content for Roadtrippers and Togo RV

Stephanie Puglisi is the head of content for Roadtrippers and Togo RV and co-host of The RV Atlas podcast. She has authored the bestselling See You at the Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors and Where Should We Camp Next: A 50 State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and Other Unique Outdoor Accommodations. Puglisi squeezes in as much travel as possible—in between baseball tournaments and band camps—with her husband and three ‘energetic’ sons.

Sustainability in Tourism

Sustainability within the context of travel can mean many things. From the destination and business standpoint, it might include adopting environmentally friendly practices or providing all workers a fair living wage. From a visitor standpoint, it may mean traveling with a code of ethics in mind and investing in local businesses to curb economic leakages. Generally speaking, we can all approach sustainable travel when we adopt efforts to maximize the positive impacts of tourism and minimize the negative impacts. This talk will outline some of the key factors, as well as more nuanced elements, to consider in determining what is sustainable travel…and what isn’t.


Carol Kline

Associate Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Walker College of Business, Appalachian State University

Carol Kline’s teaching and research interests have historically focused broadly on tourism sustainability, including topics such as foodie segmentation, craft beverages, agritourism, tourism entrepreneurship, and tourism in developing economies. She now gears her research solely on animals and teaches a course called Animals, Tourism, & Sustainability. She is part of the Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism (RESET) initiative, which includes animals within the study of social equity. Kline is founder of Fanimal Inc., a nonprofit that helps individuals find animal-focused careers.

North Carolina’s High Country: Home to Eastern North America’s Most Significant Summits

Of course, the highest peak in the Eastern U.S. is here in North Carolina (6,684′ Mount Mitchell), but Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina is the most ecologically significant summit in the East, with a storied past, spectacular setting and famous humanlike “old man” profile that makes Grandfather the true “Old Man of the Appalachians.” Grandfather defines the appeal of the entire area. Presenter Randy Johnson will mix nature and history in a way that puts a face on this special place (pun intended).


Randy Johnson

Travel Author/Editor and Trail Management Specialist

Randy Johnson’s writings are synonymous with the Southern Appalachians. His book Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon won the 2017 bronze medal in travel from the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and was nominated for a Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. The new 4th edition of his book Hiking North Carolina recently won a bronze award in the Travel Book or Guide category of the North American Travel Journalists Association competition.

Johnson, a member of SATW, is a Lowell Thomas Award-winner and for nearly twenty years was editor of United Airlines Hemispheres magazine (named “world’s best inflight magazine” in 2007).

He moved to North Carolina’s High Country in the 1970s to launch the trail management program that reopened public access to Grandfather Mountain’s wilderness after overgrown trails and hiker deaths had closed it. Today, he’s the task force leader for the Grandfather section of North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail.