Thursday, March 06, 2008

The sad decline of Afton Mountain....

Updated 5-26-08: A bicyclist agrees with sad decline of Afton Mountain....

An arson fire in 2004 caused damage to old motor inn structures
that still stand with blackened interiors and and caved-in roofs.

The mountainside has burned-out units still standing.

Old Howard Johnson's Restaurant on left with Afton Inn
(formerly a Holiday Inn) on the hill.

Afton Inn is still in use but has seen better days.

Looking over Afton area from Afton Inn with I-64 in background.


This structued was once a gift shop.

Former gift shop now stands neglected.

Rockfish Gap Tourism Visitor Center is in middle of run-down buildings....


Afton Mountain is in sad decline especially after a 2004 arson fire burned motor inn units on the mountainside. Owned by Charlottesville businessman Phil Dulaney, there have been rumors for years of revitalizing the area.

At the juncture of the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, tourists pass by throughout the year. The Skyline Drive has a reported 1.5-2 million visitors annually. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the most visited national parkway in the country with over 17 million visitors.

Tourists see burned and abandoned buildings on Afton when they come through this area of Virginia. With the tourism office located behind the abandoned former gift shop, there is no way someone passing through looking for travel information would miss the sad decline of Afton Mountain.

5 comments:

James Atticus Bowden said...

Let's buy it, fix it up, and live there a while. I love that location - have since I was a little kid.

Mark R said...

I biked up to Afton today- it is awful, I would have paid for a coffee and cookie- alas- no stores were open.

Mark R said...

Bike May 25 2008

I biked out Garth Rd to White Hall.
http://www.whitehallva.org/

South to Crozet then Jarman’s Gap Road (by sniper house)

People were picking strawberries at Chiles,
http://www.chilespeachorchard.com/

Into Nelson county

Ascent Afton Mtn- past Veritas Vineyards,
http://veritaswines.com/

Past June Curry, the cookie lady- she was talking with some bike campers- I waved.
http://milepostzero.homestead.com/cookielady.html

The climb is grueling- 1000 ft elevation in just over 2 miles

Parkway- went up farther.

Sadly- all the shops at top of Afton are burned out or closed
http://swacgirl.blogspot.com/2008/03/sad-decline-of-afton-mountain.html

Turned around and headed home.

tandcmedia said...

Phil Dulaney inherited the top of Afton Mountain from his father. I remember the thriving business up there from the late 70's and early 80's. There was even a Hardy's Resturant, the building with the orange roof.

I have read over and over that business's moved out because after Phil inherited the land the Inn at Afton became in such decrepit shape that they were ashamed to be associated with it so they packed and moved on.

The fires, I don't know... maybe insurance reasons.

All I know is I have been to Swannanoa many times and I watch a mansion deteriorate. The art and sculptures are gone and missing, the walls and roof is falling in, the Carriage House is full of trash from the motel and Customers Credit Card information from the Inn at Afton from the year 2000 and upward are all there.

Ben Schumin said...

I did a photo set on the mountaintop back in 2003:

http://www.schuminweb.com/schumin-web/photography/2003/afton-mountain-1.php

Then I shot another photo set in the same area on May 19, 2011. The passage of eight years has not been kind to Afton Mountain, and it looks worse than it ever has. Sad...