While much attention has been paid to the struggles of individual businesses that have borne the economic brunt of the pandemic, Asheville’s business organizations, which provide a critical framework for entrepreneurs to network, collaborate and market their wares, have also taken a hit.
While the theme is familiar — what to do with city-owned property facing the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center? — the current proposal has a twist: let the whole community weigh in on the future of a beloved, yet contentious, space.
Fall is here, which means Asheville Oktoberfest is right around the corner. This year’s celebration is moving to a new location but will still feature its annual merry combination of local brews and lederhosen.
About 20 years ago, when a group of residents, business owners, local-government staff and elected officials were trying to revive a largely derelict downtown Asheville, “It was discouraging when we saw things printed in the newspaper like, ‘All they’re doing is moving the chairs around on the deck of the Titanic.’” That’s how Tops for Shoes co-owner Bob Carr, speaking at a Feb. 28 Asheville Downtown Association celebration, described the early days of the revitalization effort.