According to the Associated Press, the venerable Chimney Rock Park, on top of which one can overlook Lake Lure (see photo) and where "Last of the Mohicans" was filmed, is for sale.
Owner Todd Morse says his family is asking $55 million for the 1,000-acre tourist destination, famous for dramatic views and the elevator ride to the top of the signature Chimney Rock. The asking price is believed to be the highest ever for a piece of private property in North Carolina.
Morse says the sale is being prompted by rapid changes occurring in the area around the park, including the state's acquisition of land for a park in nearby Hickory Nut Gorge.
Chimney Rock Park opened in 1902, after it was first developed by Morse's great-great uncle Lucius B. Morse. It served as the setting for some scenes in the 1992 movie "Last of the Mohicans."
I sincerely hope that a foundation or an organization steps in and purchases and PRESERVES the park. Chimney Rock Park is a state institution. I had the pleasure to enjoy its breathtaking vistas just a few months ago (see some of the photos). I had no idea that, if things go a certain way, that couldn've been my last opportunity to see the park. Here's to hoping that that's not the case. But it's hard to begrudge someone for wanting to insure his family's financial security for a long time, if not forever.