With wedding season right around the corner, local wedding vendors are ramping up options for local couples.
Mayor Esther Manheimer pointed to the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority’s recent commitment to long-term planning around hotel occupancy taxes as a key factor in her support for the project. “That is the kind of change that I needed to see personally before I would move forward with considering another hotel,” she said, joining Council members Vijay Kapoor, Julie Mayfield and Sheneika Smith in the approval vote.
While Mayor Esther Manheimer recommended in October that local hoteliers Pratik Bhakta and Monark Patel resubmit their proposal to Asheville City Council in at least “a year’s time,” the two aren’t waiting. Their hotel is back on the agenda for Council’s meeting of Tuesday, March 12, less than five months after its first consideration.
The four-phase, roughly $440,000 project is set to begin this spring and conclude in April 2020. Those funds will come from occupancy tax revenue in the Tourism Product Development Fund budget. Funding for community projects will then resume at a time yet to be determined after the planning is complete.
Plans for the Beaucatcher Greenway are on hold, and the city released a $975,000 grant awarded by the Tourism Product Development Fund of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to partially fund the greenway’s construction back to the TDA.
A 170-room proposal on Fairview Road was voted down 6-1, with only Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler dissenting, while a public hearing on a 56-room project on Biltmore Avenue was continued at the developer’s request until March 26. Council members Vijay Kapoor and Julie Mayfield raised concerns about the former hotel’s place in longer-term plans for Asheville.
Two lodging projects will be up for debate: a 56-room hotel spread across four buildings on Biltmore Avenue downtown and a 170-room project on Fairview Road in Biltmore Village. The first proposes to convert three historic houses into accommodations and construct a new five-story structure with a restaurant, while the second would build a new six-story building.
In its first known formal engagement with Asheville, Airbnb sent two of its representatives to an Oct. 23 discussion of homestay regulations sponsored by the Homestay Network, a local group representing over 600 legally permitted homestay hosts. The firm has also committed to another meeting of over 50 stakeholders on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
A quarter-cent sales tax on all purchases in Buncombe County would be earmarked for transit improvements, as required by state law, while a 1 percent tax on prepared foods and beverages bought in the city could be used as general funds. Both taxes would require approval by voter referendum, projected to take place in 2020.
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.
In place of its current small business and retail tenants, the Flatiron Building could play host to overnight guests as an 80-room hotel. Owner Russell Thomas and Charleston, S.C.-based developer Philip Woollcott say lodging use is the only business model able to support extensive needed renovations to the historic structure.
After Mayor Esther Manheimer and Council members Keith Young and Brian Haynes shared their intent to reject the project, attorney Wyatt Stevens pulled the building from consideration on behalf of his clients, local hoteliers Pratik Bhakta and Monark Patel.
Woman-owned businesses are the norm in Weaverville’s downtown district, a bustling hamlet that puts the lie to the notion of small towns as sleepy places where nothing much ever happens.
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.”
On Aug. 13, the Planning & Economic Development Committee recommended that staff throw out the kitchen sink from the current definition. Council members Gwen Wisler, Vijay Kapoor and Julie Mayfield moved to adopt a new “maximum flexibility” definition for kitchen spaces.
Outside of the Olympics, the World Equestrian Games (which, like the Olympics, take place every four years) are the biggest competition in the world of horse-related sports. And this year, those games will take place in horse-crazy Tryon. Ironically, the only local resident competing will ride for his native Ecuador.
As the city gets ready to meet the latest incarnation of the Asheville Art Museum on Pack Square, Xpress looks at the museum’s history and its plans for the future, along with cost of the building project and its effects on other Pack Place institutions to feel out what the new space will mean to Asheville and the region.
Western North Carolina towns exude charm throughout the year, but on Independence Day they take that appeal to another level. That tradition continues in 2018 with streets and parks across the mountains playing host to parades, live music, festivals and other family-friendly celebrations while the sun is out, followed by fireworks and shows to cap off the night. […]
Qualitative findings, paired with broader, quantitative surveys, support Explore Asheville’s ongoing quest to better understand its expanding roster of target markets. Because while Asheville’s total visitation numbers continue to rise, so do those of other destinations that are competing for the same tourist dollars.
As people flock to Western North Carolina to take advantage of the region’s abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, they also bring a human impact to wild places.