Year in Review: Residents and local leaders reflect on Asheville’s growth and tourism

With growth comes worsening traffic, rising housing costs and long lines of tourists waiting at locally beloved bars and restaurants. But it’s not all bad, as 2021’s Year In Review participants note in their reflections on Asheville’s development and tourism sector. These residents and local leaders shared their growth gripes and hopes as they look forward to the coming year.

Q&A with Jane Carter, therapist and small business coach

There are thousands of books containing business advice on topics like brand development, marketing, startup funding and networking. But less frequently addressed are the psychological and emotional impacts of being a business owner. That’s where Jane Carter, who holds dual professions as a therapist and a business coach, comes in. She guides her clients through […]

Q&A with Jill Sparks, executive director of A-B Tech Business Incubation and Small Business Center

Unlike modern job-hoppers who switch roles every few years, Jill Sparks jokes that she’s a “monogamous worker.” She spent over six years at Appalachian State University, primarily in career planning services, and for the past 16 years, she’s worked at A-B Tech. As executive director of the community college’s Business Incubation and Small Business Center, […]

New shops join scenic views among Mars Hill’s attraction­s

After more than a year of lockdowns and hesitant restarts, the Madison County college town of Mars Hill is feeling the effects of shifting trends. “People have decided they want to have a less congested life but still have access to restaurants and shopping,” notes real estate agent Angela Morgan.

Lakeside Produce light pollution

WNC wrestles with light pollution

With the notable exception of the IDA-certified dark sky park at the PARI in Transylvania County — one of only two such facilities in the state — no sky in Western North Carolina is untouched by light pollution. Central Asheville can reach as high as a 6 on the Bortle Scale, in which 1 is complete darkness and 9 is the Las Vegas Strip.

Repurposin­g vacant commercial property could help combat sprawl, create affordable housing

Countless existing structures of every shape and size remain vacant throughout the city, many in decrepit condition after years with no occupants. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Q3 2021 Commercial Real Estate Metro Market Report, 26% of Asheville’s currently available commercial space is vacant, including industrial, multifamily, retail and office properties.

Jessie Dean of Asheville Tea Company at 2019 Mountain Raise

Mountain Raise connects small businesses with local investors

Mountain BizWorks is hosting its second Mountain Raise Wednesday, Nov. 10, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Hi-Wire Brewing. The event features five WNC businesses — Cardstalk, GreenLifeTech, North Cove Leisure Club, Spectra3D Technologies and SteakAger — that will present their fundraising goals to the community in the hopes of drawing local investors from all income levels and walks of life.

Bill and Linda Kelder

What happens to short-term rentals in the long-term?

The amount of money brought in by these short-term rentals in Buncombe County during the first half of this year was up 131% compared with STR revenue for January through June 2019. Consumer preferences — and choices to be made by government officials locally and in Raleigh — will affect the size of that gravy train and who will benefit from it in the years to come.