The Beat

High-tech: Sen. Richard Burr toured Asheville’s Thermo Scientific facility on April 12, meeting with employees and hosting a town hall. photo by Max Cooper

Sen. Richard Burr toured Asheville's Thermo Fisher Scientific facility April 12 and held a town hall-style meeting with plant employees. Burr praised the manufacturer’s innovative practices and ideas, specifically the Zero Landfill Initiative, which aims to eliminate sending material to the landfill by 2015.

Burr said he shares Thermo Fisher’s goal of innovation, citing his support for scientific research funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Company employees questioned North Carolina's senior senator concerning everything from geopolitical economics to Amendment One. Burr criticized President Obama's fiscal policy, citing what he called a financial crisis at the federal level.

KSL Capital Partners will buy Grove Park Inn

KSL Capital Partners announced April 10 that it will buy Asheville's Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa from Sammons Enterprises Inc., which has owned the historic property for 60 years. As part of the resort's 2013 centennial celebration, the new owner plans a $25 million renovation of the public areas, guest rooms, dining outlets, meeting spaces and spa.

Oak Hill Capital Partners buys Earth Fare for $300 million

The Asheville-based Earth Fare, with 25 stores across the Southeast and Midwest, has been sold to Oak Hill Capital Partners for $300 million.

Oak Hill also owns the Duane Reade drugstore chain and Travel Centers of America, a chain of truck-stop gas and convenience stores.

Details of New Belgium incentive package emerge

As part of the deal to bring New Belgium Brewing to Asheville, local governments agreed to provide up to $12 million in economic incentives. The city of Asheville's share is $3.5 million in grants and infrastructure improvements to the River Arts District, where the company plans to build a big new brewery, distribution warehouse, tasting room and rooftop garden. Buncombe County will kick in up to $8.5 million in grants, paid in annual $650,000 installments through 2026.

To receive the maximum amounts, the company must to create 154 local jobs with an average annual wage of $50,388 and make $175 million in investments. Those investments are projected to generate $22 million annually in new state and local tax revenue, county officials said.


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