After working for 25 years in early childhood education, Owner of Lakeview Putt & Play Leslie Blaylock said she needed a new challenge. After some research into family-friendly businesses, she landed on mini golf.
“I chose mini golf because of its wide appeal to all generations,” Blaylock said. “When I found the lakefront property halfway between Buncombe and Henderson County, I knew it was the perfect place!”
Lakeview Putt & Play, our small business for the month of October, is providing people of all ages with a place to enjoy a round of mini golf, enter a new reality with VR gaming or face-off with friends in a game of laser tag.
Check out our conversation with Blaylock below…
Tell us about your business.
After 25 years in the early childhood education field, I needed a new challenge. I researched family friendly business options and chose mini golf because of its wide appeal to all generations. When I found the lakefront property halfway between Buncombe and Henderson County, I knew it was the perfect place!! We opened June 1, 2018 offering mini golf and virtual reality. Now we offer Outdoor Laser Tag, host birthday parties and we have an agreement with The Hop to sell their ice cream (both dairy and vegan options). We employ 10 people and are open year-round.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, we developed a strategy to re-open safely to the public. We have remained vigilant about maintaining a safe environment for our staff and customers throughout the pandemic. I am very grateful that we have not only remained in business, our sales have actually increased from the previous year.
What little known trivia about your Lakeview Putt & Play?
Just like the golf movie “Caddyshack”, we have resident groundhogs who routinely make appearances and tunnels on our property. Unlike the movie, we love our “whistle pigs” and feed them corn, fruit and vegetables!
What are you most proud of?
We have a wonderful staff that is committed to the business and each other. 6 of our 10 employees have been here since we opened the doors and everyone employed prior to the 2020 shutdown returned to work when we re-opened. I am especially proud of how we have seen our younger employees, including my own daughter, develop some incredible business and customer service skills through their work here.
Best advice you’ve received?
Invest in your business with good marketing strategies and NETWORK! I try to attend as many Chamber events as possible and I am an active member in the Explore Asheville Attractions Group as well as the Fletcher Area Business Association (FABA).
Any tips for other businesses?
Believe in your dream! Surround yourself with talented, hard-working people who will support you personally and professionally.
We just opened our Outdoor Laser Tag Course, the only one in Western North Carolina! Our next project is adding a permanent outdoor covered area to host birthday parties and large group special events.
Here at the Chamber, we believe ‘Together We More.’ What does that mean to you?
No business can thrive without building relationships with staff, colleagues, and the community. As a true native of Buncombe County, I am grateful to be able to live and operate my own business in this beautiful community.