For awhile, it looked like it wouldn't happen. As recently as six months ago, the family that had owned Chimney Rock for more than 100 years was asking $55 million. At that point the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation had been negotiating with them for a year. According to the News & Observer of July 19, "Parks officials said they would continue trying to buy the park, but they would not say Tuesday whether they were willing to fork over $55 million."
Let's be grateful for whatever breakthroughs enabled the state to buy the property for $24 million, $2.35 million of which will come from an anonymous private donor.
More info and photos. Some photos may take time to load, but they are breathtaking.
UPDATE: Jack Betts of the Charlotte Observer writes about the negotiations, as well as how the governor's office was scooped on the announcement.