In 2011, Collin O’Berry and his wife were looking for a change. Though living in Athens, Georgia, at the time, the young couple felt the urge to head to Brevard and start a new chapter at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest.
“We loved the mountains and the outdoor lifestyle. In terms of a great place to live, Western North Carolina checks off every single box when it comes to raising a family and creating a bountiful life for yourself,” O’Berry said. “And just the overall culture of this area. Between the people and the recreational activities, we’ve found something here you just can’t find in any other place in the Southeast.”
Alongside some like-minded business partners, the couple launched Pilot Cove. Consisting of 128 acres bordering Pisgah National Forest (and within a stone’s throw of the U.S. 64/276 intersection), the “forest lodging” property is home to 15 luxury rental cabins. Each is aesthetically pleasing and seamlessly tucked into the tranquil landscape.
The cabins are located just down U.S. 64 from Downtown Brevard. The location is another aspect to Pilot Cove that complements the vision and efforts put forth by the company.
“Brevard is tied right into the rising tide in Asheville, Waynesville, Hendersonville, and greater Western North Carolina,” O’Berry said. “What we’re seeing is a complete reinvention of not only the economy here, but also the type of people who are here. People come here to attain an ideal life of adventure and work with passion, all while immersing themselves in nature.”
With a few dozen additional cabins planned for Pilot Cove, the property is also aiming to construct a “glam ground” (luxury camping). Last year, the business celebrated the opening of its picturesque amphitheater, which holds up to 350 attendees. The space is perfect for weddings, social gatherings, or intimate live music experiences (hosting local, regional, and national acts).
“Having all the cabins centrally located to the amphitheater creates such an ideal wedding destination,” O’Berry said. “And for those here to partake in the outdoor activities—fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, swimming—you can simply head right out of Pilot Cove and immediately enter Pisgah National Forest.”
Although Pilot Cove is about escaping into the great outdoors, O’Berry noted the proximity of key amenities for visitors and guests.
“We want to, and have, established great partnerships with several local businesses. Two of the finest bike shops in the country are at the base of our property. Plus one of the best craft breweries is right across the street,” O’Berry said. “There are 10 great restaurants within walking distance from us, too. And if you’re looking for outdoor guiding services, there are several businesses within a quick drive.”
The word is out about the beauty and serenity of Pilot Cove. So now, O’Berry and his team are seeing the fruits of their labors. Seemingly every cabin is rented during the popular spring and fall months, with the increasing demand of summer and winter getaways now making the region a year-round tourism economy.
“We really want to create such a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere,” O’Berry said. “And it really means a lot to us when we see people come and stay here. It’s about having fun and making memories with loved ones.”
This post is adapted from our annual Welcome to Western North Carolina magazine. Click here to read more online, or click here to request your free copy.