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Equestrian Lifestyle Destination, Tryon Resort, Launches

TRYON, NCMark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners, plans to create a new equestrian lifestyle destination in conjunction with Sheila C. Johnson’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which will assist in the development and management of hospitality and golf operations.

Tryon Resort will be a 1,400-acre retreat that features the Tryon International Equestrian Center in the foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountain Range. According to the company, Tryon Equestrian Partners already has built five riding arenas, 500 permanent stables, laid more than seven miles of fiber optic cable, created walking and bridle paths, installed utilities and built more than 20 permanent structures, including several homes in the resort’s new Log Cabin Village.

“Our goal is to create a special place that focuses on the passion and love for both horses and horse sport,” stated Bellissimo. “We intend for individuals and families, whether they are participants or spectators, to enjoy a broad range of activities while also maintaining the area’s rural character and honoring its long-standing equestrian tradition. We believe the resort will be a major job engine and contribute to the community’s economic recovery. Working with Salamander Hotels & Resorts, we aim to create a destination that equestrian, leisure and group travelers from all over the world will visit.”

When complete, the equestrian facility will feature up to 10 riding arenas (including one with stadium seating for 6,000), 1,000 permanent stalls, elevated and shaded viewing decks, a large covered riding facility and the Tryon Sports Complex, which will include a health club, game room, kid’s camp, sports bar, children’s playground, tennis courts, mountain bike park, climbing walls, basketball court, and a large pool with private cabanas for participants’ families.  

Tryon Resort will feature numerous accommodations for guests, competitors and spectators. The Log Cabin Village includes new 2,600-sq.ft., three-bedroom vacation rental cabins that feature laundry rooms. The resort also offers private, multiple-bedroom, luxury homes for rent and an RV park.

A 150-room hotel slated to open in 2016 is being developed by Salamander Hotels & Resorts and designed by AW Architects. It will feature suites, a restaurant and bar with views, retail shops, market, indoor and outdoor heated pools, fitness center, event space for weddings and meetings,  stone terraces, and a 5,000-sq.-ft. entertainment pavilion with views of the countryside.

Additional plans call for a spa, dining and conference space, Arnold Palmer Signature Design golf course and construction of luxury homes that will be available for purchase and participation in the resort’s rental program. Each of these components will be managed by Salamander, which also serves as the resort’s design architects.

In August 2013, Salamander launched the equestrian-inspired Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, VA. The 168-room property features an equestrian center, riding trails, spa and dining options.

“There is tremendous synergy between our Middleburg resort and Tryon Resort, which provides Salamander another unique opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in the luxury resort market,” stated Sheila C. Johnson, founder/CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which has Prem Devadas as president.