New hotel brings parking traffic concerns

The construction of Pinehurst Lodge, a 34-room hotel on the grounds of the Pinehurst Country Club, was the subject of a public hearing held by the Village of Pinehurst Council on Tuesday. The reason for the meeting was to consider a zoning change.

No decision was made. Consideration of the zoning change will be continued to a future date to allow for more information to be received and further discussion by the village council. 

During the meeting, council members heard from the petitioner, the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, of ways they intend to handle parking and manage traffic during construction. Council members also saw artist rendering of the new facility and members of the public were allowed to provide their comments during the meeting.

New hotel brings parking traffic concerns

Image provided by the Village of Pinehurst.

“I know parking is a sensitive topic,” said Pinehurst Resort President Tom Pashley. “Let me assure you that providing appropriate and adequate parking is a top priority and is in our mutual best interest.”

Pashley went on to speak of ways to accommodate parking for guests of the new hotel, as well as parking for those playing golf and using the other on-site facilities. 

A total of 80 additional spaces will be created at the Carolina Hotel and another 85 new parking spaces at the Pinehurst Clubhouse. All employees and caddies at the hotel and country club will use off-site parking and be shuttled in, creating parking spaces for guests.

The possible relocation of tennis courts would free up additional parking. At the meeting, mention was made of creating an off-site tennis facility. Also discussed was a possible above-ground parking garage on the site.

During construction, deliveries of construction materials and traffic to and from the site will be tightly managed. The company hired to build the new hotel, Gilbane Construction Company, will only allow deliveries at two controlled gates, minimizing traffic impacts. 

Plans also call for large deliveries of steel and wood to be made from the Aberdeen Carolina and Western Railway line adjacent to the property. All construction workers will park in designated satellite locations and shuttled to and from the site each day.

At the meeting, six residents of Pinehurst, each one living in the area of the Carolina Hotel, spoke about their concerns about parking and traffic.

Kirk Atkins, of Pinehurst, said the Carolina Hotel, Pinehurst Brewery and Manor Inn, all Pinehurst Resort properties, do not have nearly the parking capacity. Atkins said overflow parking can often be seen on neighboring streets. “You have the leverage to demand adequate parking,” said Atkins.

With the United States Golf Association (USGA) designating Pinehurst an anchor site, bringing a U.S. Open to Pinehurst every five to seven years until 2047, the Pinehurst Resort can “stop building temporary facilities and consider permanent facilities that leave a lasting impression,” said Pashley.

“Each time the USGA takes a U. S. Open to a venue, they build a small city designed to meet the needs of up to 50,000 people per day. Designing temporary facilities annually at different venues to meet those needs presents unique opportunities and challenges,” said Pashley.

The hotel will have locker rooms, a fitness area, a modest boardroom and a bar with views of The Cradle. The hotel is intended to support the USGA and is part of the commitment to make Pinehurst an anchor site. It is estimated to cost $16.2 million and be opened in early 2024. 

“We are well aware of the high architectural stakes that come with building a building on our campus,” said Pashley.  “We feel it is the right size in the right space.” 

Last year, the USGA announced it will add four U.S. Open Championships to be played on Pinehurst No. 2 in 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047. They had previously committed to hold the U.S. Open in 2024.

A second USGA headquarters in Pinehurst, to be called Golf House Pinehurst, was part of that announcement. It will include a separate $18 million equipment-testing facility, innovation hub, museum/visitor center and offices by the year 2023. 

Sandhills_Sentinel~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.

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