News in brief: TDA grants, ACA open enrollment

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority announced its 2018 tourism product development funding grant awards, to the tune of nearly $10 million. Trained staff are standing by to assist with Affordable Care Act enrollment through Saturday, Dec. 15, and residents can learn more about plans to widen Sweeten Creek Road in South Asheville at a meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

Construction at Duke Energy's Lake Julian facility

New gas power plant to replace Duke coal facility at Lake Julian

The new facility’s planned retirement is in 2059 — 17 years after Buncombe County government’s 2042 goal of transitioning all homes and businesses to completely renewable energy. Jason Walls, Duke Energy district manager, said his company is committed to helping local governments achieve their goals but that the new plant’s construction is based on forecasts of growing energy needs.

Business in brief: Regan joins Chamber, entreprene­urship conference

Returning for its second year, Hatch This combines techie business tropes including an accelerator, a hackathon and, of course, a party. The event takes place Friday-Sunday, Nov. 2-4. Participants will compete for $20,000 in prizes, including a $5,000 seed funding package. Also: who’s on the job, a state program to match federal business grants.

The Collider lobby with people

[Food + Beverage] Collider conference prepares business for climate change

“It’s like the playing field that everyone’s playing on — that the economy’s playing on, that companies are playing on, that the government’s playing on — that playing field is starting to erode,” says Josh Dorfman, CEO of The Collider in downtown Asheville. “I think there’s more on the line than many people understand.”

Asheville cybersecurity poster

Asheville beefs up cybersecur­ity plans

The Asheville city budget for fiscal year 2018-19 includes contains money to hire two new staffers, a security coordinator and technical support technician. Jonathan Feldman, city chief information officer, says Asheville’s IT department finds itself squeezed between increasing internal demand for digital work and “mushrooming” external security threats.

Business in brief: Haakon Industries comes to Asheville, cybersecur­ity conference­, apply for Elevate program

Canadian Haakon Industries announced plans to locate a manufacturing facility to build air handling units at Enka Commerce Park. The company says it will employ up to 160 workers within the first five years of operation in Enka. For the fourth time, Montreat College will host a cybersecurity conference.

Stephanie Pace Brown at podium

BCTDA shares tourism growth plans at annual meeting

Roughly 1,600 new hotel rooms have opened in Buncombe County since late 2015 — an increase of approximately 15 percent over that period — with 1,900 still planned. “Since the start of this construction cycle, we’ve been able to fully absorb a pretty enormous supply,” said Explore Asheville President and CEO Stephanie Pace Brown. “We just need to do that over again in the next three or four years.”

Representatives from Firestorm Books & Coffee and The Steady Collective

West Asheville needle exchange fights city zoning violations

Firestorm Books & Coffee and The Steady Collective announced that they had formally appealed their notices of violation on Sept. 17. The appeals will likely be considered at the next meeting of the city’s Board of Adjustment, which takes place on Monday, Oct. 22. If the board rejects the appeals, the groups face civil penalties of $100 for every day they remain out of zoning compliance.

Rendering of the proposed 95 Broadway Hotel & Condos

Locals heap scorn on proposed 95 Broadway developmen­t

About 80 residents gathered to discuss 95 Broadway Hotel & Condos, a seven-story development of 30 guest rooms, 25 parking spots and seven condos proposed by property owner Victor Foo. Not a single attendee spoke in favor of the project, with criticisms ranging from practical concerns over parking to philosophical worries over the ongoing gentrification of Asheville.

Mark Meadows at CIBO power lunch

Meadows confirms no FEMA aid for region at CIBO power lunch

Meadows noted that Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long’s letter on Aug. 20 denying Gov. Roy Cooper’s request for a federal disaster declaration was likely the final word on the matter. “I think that decision has been made,” he said. “Obviously, that’s a decision that they didn’t feel met the threshold [for supplemental federal assistance].”