“It’s a beautiful day at Mountain Air.”
That’s the traditional greeting at this unique private community in Western North Carolina, and it’s difficult to argue with the sentiment. Nestled atop Slickrock Mountain at nearly 5,000 feet,
Mountain Air combines exquisite natural beauty with a gracious lifestyle accentuated by an energetic club offering unparalleled amenities, as well as the highest private runway east of the Mississippi. And the true long-range mountain views and delightful temperatures are difficult to top.
But it’s another element that truly sets Mountain Air apart. “The camaraderie and welcoming spirit shared by the people here is remarkable,” explains a long-time owner and club member. “You can immediately feel the sense of community and respect for the natural setting, as well as a family orientation that’s very different from many private clubs. This is a laid-back, unpretentious place that attracts people from around the country seeking a peaceful mountain retreat.”
In essence, this is a mature, multi-generational community that’s member-owned and firmly established, with fully complete and meticulously maintained infrastructure and amenities. Visitors often point out the quality of the roads, which sweep gently upward, and the attention to detail found in the lush landscaping and general care of the property that encompasses more than 500 acres. The 24/7 security further adds to the peace of mind.
The heart of Mountain Air is Slickrock Village Green, with an award-winning clubhouse that serves as the central gathering spot for residents and offers farm-to-table dining. Steps away are the golf shop, a lodge offering guest suites and a market that stocks the necessities. Just across the putting green is Chautauqua, which houses a fitness center and spa, movie theater, game room, and crafts and activities center for children. Orville & Wilbur’s, an open-air bar and grill, is a favored spot to eat, drink and enjoy spectacular sunsets.
Adding to the community’s fun factor is a heated pool, tennis courts and a highly regarded mountaintop golf course designed to capitalize on granite outcroppings and verdant forest, leading Links Magazine to describe it as “one of the most dramatic and naturally conceived courses in the country.”
Another distinctive feature of Mountain Air is the Outdoor Discovery Center staffed by a full-time naturalist who coordinates a wealth of year-round nature-based activities on the mountain and outside the gate. The center’s team helps arrange fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, bird and wildlife watching, horseback riding, camping and sporting clays. Families also explore nature on over six miles of hiking trails and within the sanctuary of six parks.
Of course, pilots and their families appreciate the ease of access provided by the 2,875-foot runway on top of the mountain, making this a true fly-in community. Depending on the type of aircraft, most locations in the eastern United States are no more than three hours away. This convenience provides flexible work and travel opportunities.
“We love being able to leave our home in Florida and land a couple of hours later at Mountain Air for a long weekend,” says one resident pilot. “It’s particularly nice when it’s stifling and hot to find yourself quickly enjoying cool mountain temperatures and low humidity, along with great friends.”
Certainly one of the key attributes of Mountain Air is the seclusion that makes it a quiet and peaceful spot for relaxation and decompression. But it’s also nice to be close to the action when you’re ready for art, music and entertainment, cultural activities, dining, outdoor activities and more.
Mountain Air is an easy 30-minute drive from Asheville, the eclectic city that has something for virtually everyone and has become one of North Carolina’s best-known destinations. Just minutes away from Mountain Air is quaint Burnsville, offering pleasant small-town access to shopping, supplies and services.
Yancey County, which is home to Mountain Air, offers one of Western North Carolina’s most unspoiled settings. With the state’s highest average elevation, it has six of the tallest peaks east of the Mississippi, including Mount Mitchell, which soars to 6,684 feet.
In addition, Yancey and neighboring Mitchell County have more working artisans and studios than any other location in North Carolina. Outdoor events and festivals held throughout the year highlight the area’s arts, crafts and music.
One of the benefits of a well-established community is the selection of available homes and condominiums. The move-in convenience of an existing property makes embracing the Mountain Air lifestyle almost effortless. Homes in varying sizes and styles are beautifully sited around the mountain, while condominiums offer easy living with virtually every aspect of maintenance taken care of by active property owners associations. And there also are home sites for the discerning individual desiring to build that custom mountain getaway.
Architectural standards in place since the community’s founding have ensured that homes respect the natural settings, and reflect styles and finishes in keeping with mountain traditions, particularly stone and natural woods. One distinct advantage of virtually every property having been designed to maximize the amazing vistas are the open and light-filled living areas that enhance contemporary lifestyles. Another key element is the attention to outdoor spaces that enables residents to embrace the surrounding beauty -- porches with outdoor stone fireplaces are particularly popular.
Plus, prices at varying levels make life at Mountain Air enticing and readily accessible, while Mountain Air Country Club offers membership options to satisfy virtually any desire.
“This is truly a special place,” says another member. “Virtually everyone who comes here is impressed by the natural beauty, the friendly people, the easy lifestyle, and the charm and quality of the homes. And while there’s always plenty to do, this also is a tranquil refuge where you can relax, decompress and just relish the moment.”