Eric Kuester, originally from Charlotte, was first introduced to the Moore County area as many are, through golf. He came to Pinehurst for The Tour Championship as a kid in 1992, and then again in 1999 for the US Open.
Eric has lived in the Moore County area for the past 12 years, is now raising a family in the ‘nostalgic, idyllic’ Village of Pinehurst and quickly discovered there’s much more to the area than great golf courses.
“Young families thinking about moving to Moore County will be surprised at how cosmopolitan and sophisticated our community is,” Eric said. “Along with young families, we have working professionals, retirees and high-level special forces.”
“I was really enamoured by the uniqueness of the area,” Eric said of his trip to the US Open while he was in school at NC State. His visit sparked an interest in the hospitality business, rather than politics, which he was studying at the time.
After graduation in 2002, Eric passed up opportunities to move to Washington, DC or back to Charlotte and instead settled on moving to Moore County.
“Something about Pinehurst caught my attention,” Eric said.
Eric got his ‘foot in the door’ working the front desk at Pinehurst Resort, where he learned about the hospitality business, the resort itself and connected with senior-level team members like Tom Pashley and Pat Corso
“In hindsight, it was the best opportunity for me,” Eric admits, although he wasn’t crazy about a future in front desk operations at the time.
Eric spent 12 months cutting his teeth in corporate sales working at Pine Needles & Mid Pines. In September of 2004, he was mulling over a return to Charlotte but received a call from the Director of Group Sales at Pinehurst offering an opportunity to return as Executive Meeting Manager. The phone call was timely as it got Eric back to Pinehurst just nine months before the 2005 US Open.
Since 2013, Eric has been Director of Group Sales, a team of 7 sales managers responsible for delivering corporate meetings and events, which accounts for 55-60% of the resorts annual room nights.
Eric Kuester and his wife Katie, both Charlotte Country Day and NC State graduates, were married at The Fair Barn in Pinehurst in 2004 and bought a home shortly thereafter.
Katie and Eric are now raising two boys - Wells, 5 and Ford, 3 - in the Village of Pinehurst, and have found the area to be “very fulfilling from a ‘raising kids’ standpoint.”
“We have been absolutely satisfied with raising kids in Moore County,” Eric said. “Katie and I both had a very charming and traditional upbringing, and it’s what we’re trying to provide for our kids. The school systems, safety and security of being in the Village is perfect for that. It’s idyllic - where we live and the community itself.”
Eric said they also love all the options for youth sports leagues, including soccer, basketball and football, as well as the level of service and quality of care at the state-of-the art Moore Regional Hospital, where both their boys were born.
“From a family lifestyle standpoint, the quality of life that the Pinehurst-Southern Pines area provides for young families is hard to match. Keep in mind, Katie and I both grew up in Charlotte and went to school in Raleigh. We know what you give up when you move from a city to a micropolitan.”
From the affordability of housing and the array of restaurants in all the towns, to the amenities (such as the First Health fitness center) and the long list of private and public golf courses, the community offers a lot more than people outside looking in might realize, Eric explained.
“I’m excited about the growth of the area and the trend of younger people continuing to discover the great way of life this area affords.”