“Your city is a prissy little bourgeois phony art town filled with middle-class housewives doing arts and crafts.”
Masks are required, bars are closed and isolation fatigue is setting in. As Buncombe enters this new phase, Xpress took a look at the COVID-19 stats — both in Western North Carolina and in some likely points of origin for short-term visitors.
“Compared to its peers, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority doesn’t do a particularly good job.”
“It’s hard to adapt to catastrophe when your city’s income inequality is so bad it resembles a Charles Dickens novel, and narcissistic politicians perpetuate it in order to further their careers.”
“When it is safe, I hope the tourists come back in droves to help put our friends and families back to work.”
“Tourism must shrink as a proportion of our local economy. We have to start building the foundation on which a new, less tourist-dependent Asheville can thrive.”
“Segregation and economic apartheid have been standard operating procedure for all my life in Asheville, and that has not changed.”
“In the area of diversity in hiring, Asheville is just as segregated, racist and unequal as it ever was, and while whites promote Asheville as a tourist and artistic mecca, African Americans are still cleaning rooms in expensive hotels instead of front desk or management positions and not being hired in banks, restaurants and trendy bars in downtown, Biltmore and West Asheville.”
“This kind of denial of how tourism has negatively impacted people who live here will only infuriate them more.”
“In order to house, clothe and feed your family with an income that insulting, you need support from subsidized housing, subsidized transport, food banks and other charities.”
How did Xpress readers process all the local news and changes this year? Here’s a look at the topics that generated the most commentaries, letters to the editor and online comments in Xpress in 2019.
“The people of Asheville have had enough of being exploited, and it is time to abolish the Buncombe County TDA.”
“As real estate prices climb and cost of living goes up and up, the only solution is to pay workers more.”
A survey released from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority reveals a mixture of attitudes concerning tourism from residents.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if our city saw its master plan as an integral one with environmental stewardship at the center, human sustainability, human mobility and infrastructure coming after? “
“They are smart to leave for a more affordable area and will continue to be able to sell at galleries around the country, but Asheville has lost out.”