“Other cities have used their occupancy taxes to direct millions to infrastructure and social programs while still supporting vibrant tourism industries. Why can’t we?”
Of the various downtown bathroom options available prior to the pandemic, only the city-owned facility at 29 Haywood St. was available 24/7. Since it closed, unsheltered residents have very few options.
Victoria “Vic” Isley, the new president and CEO of the Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, says new paid advertising for Asheville, an expansion of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority board to include short-term rental owners and changes to occupancy tax allocation are all on the table in 2021.
With an emphasis on takeout specials, the ninth annual event runs Jan. 19-25.
Xpress Assistant Editor Daniel Walton and local community figures discuss how the year’s events have accelerated many of the issues that were already facing Western North Carolina.
While overall hotel revenue was down more than 27% year-over-year in September, the latest month for which data is available, overall vacation rental sales that month increased by about 55% year-over-year, according to Explore Asheville interim CEO Chris Cavanaugh.
Marla Tambellini, Explore Asheville’s vice president of marketing, shared an industry consultant’s view that “recovery is inevitable” during the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority’s annual meeting on Oct. 20.
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.”
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.
The target audience for a new $11.5 million marketing campaign developed by Atlanta-based ad agency 360i includes 20 million more people than were reached by last year’s advertising for Asheville. New cities where ads will be shown include New York, Chicago, Birmingham and Columbus, Ohio.
Leadership Asheville pulled in some high-octane local speakers for the final installment of its summer Buzz Breakfast series held on Aug. 14. The composition of the panel reveals some key trends shaping the power dynamic that’s emerged over the past year.
As annual hotel occupancy tax revenues approach $20 million, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority on May 29 considered how to divide that increasingly juicy pie to continue to drive tourism to the area.
The N.C. Department of Transportation and the city of Asheville have announced a plan to conduct a corridor study prior to planning improvements for Merrimon Avenue.
“I recently walked around the whole area and found only one African-American face, and that was on one brochure, of what seemed like hundreds, for a county assistance agency. What does that say to a black resident or visitor?”
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.”
“When you visit a honey-tasting shop, local record store or family farm, know that your support helps us to thrive and live our passions here in Asheville.”
The dreary Wednesday morning weather couldn’t put a damper on a 1 p.m. reception celebrating the new office location of the recently-rebranded Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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 […]