Leaders gather to discuss local tourism development

Pictured: Mike Konzon, principal at PGAV Destinations. Photo by Jake Frankel.

About 150 community leaders gathered Dec. 11 to discuss Asheville’s strengths as a tourism destination, learn about new projects in the works, and share ideas for the future.

“Asheville has a really strong brand. We hear about Asheville all over the country,” reported keynote speaker Mike Konzon, principal at PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the the business of planning and designing tourism sites.

He encouraged local leaders to maintain the sense of the town’s authenticity – even as it takes intentional steps to increase visitation. “Authenticity is what separates Asheville from Greenville or any other place people want to go,” he said.

A range of business and governmental representatives then reported on a number of projects due to be completed in coming years that could help attract tourists. Many of them are slated for the River Arts District, such as New Belgium Brewing’s major new facility, the RAD Lofts mixed use development, a new outdoor adventure center, and new greenways.

Brainstorming and networking sessions followed.  One of the goals, said Marla Tambellini, Deputy Director of the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, was “to get people thinking collaboratively.”

Xpress will have more coverage of this event and related issues in coming days.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.