Patrick Stoyer and Donna Huston knew one thing for sure: they wanted rolling hills and mountains for their retirement home.
The couple had spent the last three decades in Miami, which, in addition to the bustling city vibe and famous coastline, is uniformly flat. “There are many things we love about Miami,” Donna says, “but we were ready for a change. The heat and humidity, along with the lack of variety in the landscape was getting old. We wanted something completely different for our retirement home.”
That “something else” turned out to be the storied mountains of Western North Carolina. Patrick and Donna had visited the area for years, particularly the Asheville area and points of interest nearby. “In the early 2000s,” says Patrick, “we had an airplane. Donna and I would fly up to the North Carolina and Virginia mountains often, checking out new areas, staying at various resorts and locales. So when we were ready to make the move, we had a good idea of what we wanted in a mountain home.” The two actually looked far and wide before settling on French Broad Crossing, which, to both Patrick and Donna, really stood alone in terms of its scenic beauty and outdoor lifestyle.
A Premier Mountain Setting on the French Broad River
For Patrick it was the mighty roar of the French Broad and the train track that followed the bend of the ancient river. For Donna, it was the rolling, winding mountain roads, forested on either side with lush rhododendron, mountain laurel, and towering hardwoods. This is what immediately attracted Patrick and Donna to French Broad Crossing. That, and the panoramic views, which are at once familiar yet singular in their majesty. “When we stood on the ridgeline, where the Lodge is today, and looked down on the river below and across to the mountain on the other side, it was just spectacular. It really grabbed us. From that moment, we felt like French Broad was the place for us. No other community we looked at compared to this. It just had that mountain magic we were looking for. We actually got married here – in 2009, at the Lodge. We couldn’t think of any place more special to our hearts.”
Timeless Beauty Preserved for the Ages
Scientists say that the French Broad is one of the oldest rivers in the world – over one billion years. And the Blue Ridge Mountains which envelop the region are even older. These two natural wonders give French Broad Crossing a timeless quality. The low-density community is committed to conservation, residing on vast acres of protected land that will remain in tact, in its pristine form, for generations after generation. “It was important to us to find a community that focused on preserving the land and the natural wonders that abound here,” says Patrick. “It’s a beautiful place, and there are so many ways to get out and enjoy nature here – rafting on the river, fishing on the banks, hiking through virgin wilderness, watching the sun set over the ridgeline. That’s the stuff that we love, and we want to make sure it is here for our children’s children to enjoy long after we’re gone.”