More than 180 guests attended the event at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.
Of recipients of grants from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority’s Tourism Jobs Recovery Fund who responded to a recent survey, 97% were open as of June 30. Nine respondents were closed at the end of June, including five which had closed permanently.
Working in the National Park Service has taken Tracy Swartout all around the country. But in many ways, her new role as superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, based at the service’s office in Asheville, is a homecoming. Swartout grew up in Columbia, S.C., and has many fond memories traveling along the park’s 469-mile route […]
Certain activities are closely associated with Asheville: sampling local craft brews, tubing down the French Broad River, eating one’s own weight in barbecue. If Demp Bradford, president of the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission, has his way, professional sports will become quintessentially Asheville, too. Bradford, a native of the North Carolina Piedmont, became interested in […]
Following its July 8 conversion into a private, members-only club, only North Carolina residents and their invited guests are permitted to dine at the Smoky Park Supper Club. Other area businesses are also choosing to put locals ahead of outside visitors.
Unlike Asheville and Buncombe County governments, which ended the practice of live remote comment after their return to in-person meetings, the BCTDA will continue to allow members of the public to call into live meetings to comment — an option that was not offered before the pandemic.
Blue Ridge Pride, a nonprofit supporting the LGBTQ community in Western North Carolina, launched an online business directory for LGBTQ-owned and inclusive businesses called the Blue Ridge Pride Business Alliance on June 25. The directory, available at BlueRidgePride.org/Business, includes retail, food and drink, leisure and services and other categories. Businesses listed in the BRPBA directory […]
According to the N.C. Climate Science Report prepared by N.C. State University’s Asheville-based N.C. Institute for Climate Studies and other experts, the area will likely experience more landslides in the coming years due to climate change.
After pandemic-related financing and permitting delays, work is now underway on the conversion of downtown Asheville’s Flatiron Building into a hotel, with a grand opening planned for 2023. Xpress reached out to some of those directly affected by the Flatiron’s evolution to learn how the building’s sale in 2019 has impacted their lives.
House Bill 412 would enable the two Haywood County municipalities to levy a 2% occupancy tax on accommodations like hotels, motels and Airbnbs, which would then be managed by new town-specific tourism development authorities.
Nearly all of the members of the public who commented on the issue expressed concern over the amount of money being spent to draw more tourists to the area and asked that the funds allocated for advertising instead be spent on city infrastructure, schools and reparations for Asheville’s Black residents.
At a June 10 meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners, Republican Sen. Chuck Edwards said he had “come around to the way of thinking of the folks in the county” who want less of the tax to go toward tourism marketing.
Some predict high demand for residential and retail space, as illustrated by several development projects planned or under construction. There are also fears that rising real estate prices may eventually push out some of the artists who have helped make the RAD a magnet.
The TDA would spend at least $10.6 million on advertising buys, an 8% increase over its last pre-pandemic fiscal year. Just over $3 million would go toward the production of new content, with the remainder of the marketing budget spent on research.
At their regular meeting of Tuesday, May 11, Council members will consider whether to expand the definition of a kitchen, prohibit the use of detached accessory structures for homestays and require that non-resident property owners be listed as co-hosts on homestay applications.
Asheville, home to more than 8,465 hotel rooms and counting, is providing a pathway for hotel operators to rack up some major brownie points by incorporating sustainable features and practices in plans for new hotel construction.
At its March 25 regular meeting, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority board unanimously approved a projection that occupancy tax revenue would exceed $27 million for fiscal year 2021-22 — 15% more than projected for the current fiscal year, which ends in June, and 9% more than the year before the pandemic.
“This is not the time to talk about redistribution in any manner,” Republican Sen. Edwards told the Council of Independent Business owners regarding changes to the allocation of Buncombe County’s occupancy tax revenue. “The tourism industry has just been destroyed.”
The new regulations allow hotels with 115 rooms or fewer to avoid a Council vote if they meet a series of design requirements, are located in a newly approved overlay district and contribute to equity-related public benefits.
Victoria “Vic” Isley, the new president and CEO of the Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, says new paid advertising for Asheville, an expansion of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority board to include short-term rental owners and changes to occupancy tax allocation are all on the table in 2021.
After months of discussion, two Council work sessions and multiple opportunities for public engagement, frustrated residents told Asheville City Council the final hotel proposals did little to advance equity or support employees working in the service industry.