TDA President Vic Isley plans to go full speed ahead in promoting tourism

BCTDA President and CEO of Explore Asheville Vic Isley says that in 2024, the TDA will stick to its four strategic imperatives that guide the organization’s decisions and planning: Delivering balanced and sustainable growth; encouraging safe and responsible travel; engaging and inviting more diverse audiences; and promoting and supporting Asheville’s creative spirit.

New Asheville Fire Chief Cayse focuses on training, diversity

With over 34 years of experience in fire safety, few people understand the inner workings of a fire department quite like Asheville’s recently hired fire chief, Michael Cayse. As the new chief, Cayse plans to focus on the professional development of his staff, increase diversity within the department and advocate for more modern equipment, fire stations and technology.

TDA partner event recognizes community members and highlights upcoming developmen­ts

More than 400 community leaders and entrepreneurs gathered on Jan. 31 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton for Explore Asheville’s annual partner event, “The Year Ahead.” Led by BCTDA President and CEO of Explore Asheville Vic Isley, four panels of local business owners and community leaders highlighted upcoming developments and events.

Downtown residents talk about the pros and cons of urban living

The perspective of what it’s like downtown has been a bit of a roller coaster lately, with some lauding the plethora of local breweries, restaurants and local shops and others lamenting rising crime and affordability. Xpress spoke with four downtown residents to get a snapshot of the benefits and drawbacks of living in the core of Asheville, as well as their outlook for the future.

City might pause developmen­t program over equity concerns

With rising rents and a growing population, local leaders are using every tool they have to encourage more affordable developments, including the City of Asheville Land’s Use Incentive Grant program. City Council members say the program designed to encourage developers to offer affordable housing is good in theory, but in practice it might be shutting out minority families, perpetuating decades of racial discrimination in housing.

TDA board hears update on quarterly goals and initiative­s

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority board heard a quarterly progress report from Explore Asheville, the TDA’s marketing agency, regarding the authority’s strategic goals and initiatives at its Jan. 24 meeting. Highlights included the launch of a new Asheville-focused destination app, the upcoming redesign of the Explore Asheville website and the unveiling of the Asheville Black Cultural Heritage Trail, which was funded by a $500,000 Tourism Product Development Fund investment in 2018.