Letter: Does tourism bureau have blinders on?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

What do visitors think about Asheville?

We went out for lunch Saturday and met some out-of-state visitors. They arrived here Thursday and went to the Biltmore. They then went to downtown Asheville and were not impressed by the scene. Hard to park and eating was not that great. They went to a place, and it was expensive with small portions.

We met them in Black Mountain, and they were really enjoying themselves with the local scene and places to eat. They were going to come back Sunday for lunch before heading home.

This was only two people, but I have heard more and more people disappointed with Asheville. We have not been to Asheville in over three years because of the hassle of parking. Was wondering if the tourist bureau has blinders on, plus earplugs.

I only read about one more hotel being built, but nothing to help the tourists and locals find parking. This is a tourist area, so make it tourist-friendly.

— Leonard Nickerson


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17 thoughts on “Letter: Does tourism bureau have blinders on?

  1. Grant Millin

    Take your arrogance and vanity elsewhere. Asheville is where people are trying to survive; and we need to replace tourism versus being in a codependent abusive relationship with ‘It’.

  2. gyp

    Did they try the parking garages??

    Seriously, this reminds me of a new book that’s just come out that’s all about how our built environment (among other things) get ruined because everyone wants parking to be ridiculously convenient:


    (Finally, I love the comment about “small portions.” An immediate indication of a kvetchy complaint if there was one!)

  3. WestworldEmployee7

    I had guests in recently and they were unimpressed with AVL. There were so few places to eat on a Sunday..I was surprised. I think AVL is a place to see once and cross of your list.

    Black Mountain, Lake Lure, Saluda and Landrum are much more interesting.

  4. Robert McGee

    The letter writer is lucky to live in a bucolic not-yet-ruined place that few want to visit. We long-time Asheville residents hanker for a bygone era when our home wasn’t over-marketed to the world, when our houses weren’t commodified by corporations, when we too could slip downtown on a Friday evening to park and feel safe and enjoy an affordable meal without tone deaf out-of-town strangers complaining to us about the very problems that they themselves caused.

  5. Bright

    Asheville is not “a tourist area,” bud. It’s trying to be a decent place for people to live and enjoy what beauty that remains here. It’s attitudes like yours that contribute nothing to the quality of life here…go find a city that will appreciate you.

  6. Lou

    I live here and just paid 20 bucks to park for two hours to watch my grandbaby dance in her first recital. On a Sunday. WTH?

  7. MV

    Dude, tourist destinations are famous for overpriced restaurants and parking price gouges. Get with reality, or stay home…Asheville tourism is here to make money so we can advertise for more visitors–not give a reasonable bang for the buck to out-of-town yokels. And what ‘small portion’ restaurant disappointed your friends? Did you send them a strongly worded letter so they smirk and roll their eyes?

  8. Dylan

    LOL — the “tourism bureau” covers all of Buncombe County (including Asheville AND Black Mountain). So funny that someone attacks a Boogey Man without doing a simple Google search.

  9. indy499

    When people complain about no parking they are really complaining about no free parking right in front of where they want to go. Other than the Wall ST lot, the city garages almost always have parking.

  10. Jt

    So many nasty comments for a letter offering a widely held concern. So much for friendly southerners. I guess they died out.

    • El Gordito

      They all moved to Florida. Such happy, accommodating and accepting folks in Florida! Lovely place. Great weather. Don’t let fake news tell you different!

  11. Paige Houghton

    Yes, we are a tourist mecca, and have been for decades. That said, a larger portion of the money generated by, say tourists staying in all those new fancy-schamcy hotels should go to improving the quality of life of the residents who live here. Our friends and neighbors who serve the meals and make the beds. Let’s see–how is our infrastructure…?

  12. El Gordito

    Nah, we good. We don’t need no more stinking parking garages. Walking a few blocks isn’t going to kill you. Trying to park downtown? That’s your first mistake.

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