A nonprofit retail outlet on the Blue Ridge Parkway for arts, crafts and homemade jellies relishes and bread from Wilkes, Ashe and Alleghany counties for over 50 years has reopened for the season.
The Northwest Trading Post, a Parkway concessionaire at Milepost 259 in Glendale Springs near the Wilkes-Ashe county line, reopened about a month later than usual on May 15.
Area residents who sell items at the Northwest Trading Post reported that management of the operation told them in April that it wouldn’t reopen this season due to lack of profitability.
Lisa Davis, Parkway concessions management specialist, said the operation was reopened after Parkway officials met with the volunteer board that oversees the Northwest Trading Post.
Ms. Davis said opening of the Northwest Trading Post already was delayed past its scheduled date due to repairs from storm damage this winter and repaving of the parking lot.
Repairs included work on a pump house that supplies the facility with water. Ms. Davis said the nonprofit board’s contract with the National Park Service (NPS) for operating the Northwest Trading Post expired several years ago, but the arrangement that existed under the contract was renewed under a letter of continuation of services signed by NPS and board officials while conditions of a new contract are worked out.
The Northwest Trading Post is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week, remain unchanged. Karen Radcliff is still the manager.
Original article written by Jule Hubbard and published in the Wilkes Journal-Patriot.
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