I’m not against building hotels in downtown Asheville. Why couldn’t we have small hotels in structures that are in keeping with the historic character and human scale of downtown Asheville, such as the Sawyer building on Coxe Avenue?
This proposed hotel called The Ellington would be completely opposite to the character of our downtown. If we allow this to be built, others will follow, changing the nature of our city to something we would not want—a kind of “Charlotte in the mountains.”
I suggest we mandate that no such structures be allowed in our downtown, as was done in Charleston, S.C. I believe anyone who has been to Charleston is very glad they did that, and I believe we would be, too. This momentous decision shouldn’t be left to a few people. We need a citywide referendum on this question.
— Byron F. Hovey