PARKING ROW: The Asheville Foundry Inn property backs up to the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church parking lot, where the hotel leases 75 spaces. Photo by Leslie Boyd

Mt. Zion must wait to build new education facility

Relations between Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and its new neighbor, Asheville Foundry Inn, have been strained since construction began on the inn two years ago. A judge has now issued a temporary injunction to block the church from commencing construction on a new education building and parking lot improvements, which the hotel says would deprive it of the use of 75 parking spaces it is leasing from the church.

PARKWAY PRESERVATION: A total of 5,329 acres in the area of Waterrock Knob will be conserved, the largest addition to the Blue Ridge Parkway in 60 years.  Photo courtesy of the Blue Ridge Parkway/National Park Service

Waterrock Knob expansion brings together stakeholde­rs, public

The highest peak in the Plott Balsam Mountains, Waterrock Knob encompasses a unique ecosystem. The Blue Ridge Parkway will now conserve 5,329 acres of this irreplaceable landscape thanks to recent land and financial gifts by a network of conservation groups and private donors. The public is invited to weigh in on plans for the area through Feb. 25.

A CUT ABOVE: Many Asheville hotel restaurants try to cater to the expectations of local residents as well as visitors. Pictured is The Blackbird chef Mike Reppert.

Not just for tourists: Asheville’s hotel restaurant­s bring their A game

Thanks to Asheville’s reputation as a food destination, many area hotels have stepped up their restaurant game in recent years with models that bring in the talents of well-known Western North Carolina chefs and highlight locally grown ingredients. And these hot spots aren’t just trying to woo tourists — there’s also a move toward catering to a local customer base. […]