Watch a Tourism Development Authority meeting online or read its meeting minutes, and it’s pretty clear that the tourist “industry” is busy hacking away at the foundations of life in Asheville.
But to experience just how far the corruption has spread, book a room in a hotel. The reservation will be accepted, and any deposit will be billed to your card, but when you arrive at the front desk, you will be told that it is hotel policy not to accommodate locals or anyone who lives within 50 miles. Apparently this is intended to prevent us from taking rooms that might be rented to the sainted tourists.
But what if your sewer line breaks, the water goes off or a big tree falls on your electric wire and Duke can’t get to you for a couple of days? Then, apparently, you have to drive out of town — or even out of the county — to find somewhere to stay.
No, I’m not making this up. It happened to us twice this month.
— Geoff Kemmish