Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Stephanie Pace Brown makes her pitch for the area’s tourism industry’s top accomplishments of the past year.
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.”
As part of its summer Buzz Breakfast series, Leadership Asheville (a program of UNC Asheville) hosted “How will Asheville grow thoughtfully?” on July 26 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The event explored the public sector’s role in shaping and encouraging the city’s growth.
At the first annual Tourism Week Summit, the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau unveiled new statistics about the economic impact of tourism in Buncombe County in 2016.
While reviewing recent results and planning for the coming year at its annual strategic planning retreat, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority also grappled with its biggest challenge — convincing locals that the tourism industry is a positive force in the region.
New transportation options are changing the ways locals and tourists get around town. How will the popularity of services like Uber and a new downtown shuttle called Slidr affect the transportation landscape? And what will that mean for parking, traffic and public transportation as the region adapts?
Asheville is asking the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority for a $20 million grant to fund street improvements and a new parking deck in the city’s fast-growing South Slope.
At the regular monthly meeting of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, Convention and Visitors Bureau staff outlined HB2’s effects felt in the local tourism industry since the bill was passed on March 23.