Roy Cooper at COVID-19 press briefing

Cooper mandates social distancing in retail stores

The new executive order, effective 5 p.m. on Monday, April 13, limits shoppers to 20% of a store’s permitted fire capacity or five customers per 1,000 square feet. High-volume locations such as checkouts must mark six-foot spaces to ensure social distancing in customer lines, and all stores must conduct “frequent and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas.”

Chow Chow data

TDA approves $100,000 for Chow Chow festival

Last year, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority contributed $75,000 to Chow Chow through its event development incubator fund. Planning is underway for the festival’s second year, which has a projected budget of $700,000. The event is tentatively scheduled for Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 10-13, with final dates to be confirmed in November.

Stephanie Pace Brown at podium

BCTDA shares tourism growth plans at annual meeting

Roughly 1,600 new hotel rooms have opened in Buncombe County since late 2015 — an increase of approximately 15 percent over that period — with 1,900 still planned. “Since the start of this construction cycle, we’ve been able to fully absorb a pretty enormous supply,” said Explore Asheville President and CEO Stephanie Pace Brown. “We just need to do that over again in the next three or four years.”

Feeding the nightlife: Is Asheville’s late-night dining scene up to par?

By day, the streets of Asheville are packed with hordes of tourists following their GPS toward crowded restaurants, locals weaving their way to favorite hole-in-the-wall cafés and beer drinkers galore stumbling toward the next brewery on their list. But as night sets in and shops start to close, an entirely new problem emerges: Where can […]