Pisgah Inn operator will fight for contract renewal

June 12, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The park-concession contract to run the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway is open for bid. Bruce O'Connell, who gained national attention last year when he defiantly kept the inn open during the federal government shutdown, has operated it for 40 years but now will face competition from larger companies with deep capital.

HomeTrust Bank to acquire 10 BofA branches

June 11, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Asheville-based HomeTrust Bank will buy 10 Bank of America branches including one in Eden. The other nine are in southwestern Virginia. Charlotte-based Bank of America also will sell six branches, including one in Mount Airy, to Bluefield, Va.-based First Community Bancshares.

Asheville's HomeTrust Bank expands into Virginia

June 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-based HomeTrust Bank will open a commercial loan office in Roanoke, Va. The community bank, which now has assets of $2.1 billion, recently completed an acquisition of Jefferson Bancshares in Tennessee and plans to acquire Charlotte-based Bank of Commerce. 

Biltmore considers new hotel on estate property

June 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Biltmore Company has requested a permit to build a 190-room hotel adjacent to its winery at Antler Village. The Asheville estate is on track to report a record 1.2 million guests at the end of its fiscal year at the end of the month.

Heritage Home to close Morganton plant, cut 87 jobs

June 3, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Heritage Home Group will close its Drexel Heritage plant in Morganton and will eliminate 87 jobs by July 31. The St. Louis-based company closed furniture plants in Thomasville and High Point earlier this year. The company, which bought assets of Furniture Brands International in November, plans to move its headquarters to the Triad area later this year.

State to test for potential fracking sites in Western NC

June 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Geologists with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources will begin testing rock samples from seven Western N.C. counties to determine if there is a potential for deposits of oil or natural gas. 

Asheville's HomeTrust bank completes purchase of Jefferson Bancshares

June 3, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Asheville-based HomeTrust Bancshares completed its $25.2 million purchase of Morristown, Tenn.-based Jefferson Bancshares. HomeTrust gains $506.8 million in assets from the purchase.

Movie based on 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery to film in NC

May 30, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson and Kristen Wiig will star in a movie set to film in Asheville. "Loomis Fargo," which will also film in Wilmington for a couple of weeks, is based on the 1997 robbery of the Loomis Fargo & Co. vault in Charlotte. Production is scheduled to begin July 7.

Asheville solar company wants to build 12 mega-farms

May 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Innovative Solar Farms wants to build 12 huge solar farms, mostly in Eastern N.C. The farms would range from 25 to 80 megawatts in size and would require hundreds of acres of leased land.

Highland Brewing plans summer beer festival

May 28, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Highland Brewing will hold a beer and music festival on July 26, the same weekend the city's Bele Chere festival was held previously. Highland's Ale Share festival will donate proceeds to the Asheville Parks and Greenway Foundation.

Beer tourism becoming economic driver in Western NC

May 27, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-area beer festivals and tours are attacting visitors from across the state and beyond, as beer tourism grows and contributes to local economies. Sierra Nevada expects as many as 5,000 visitors at its Beer Camp Across America festival Aug. 3 in Mills River. 

Stanley workers in Graham County eligible for federal aid

May 21, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

About 400 workers who are losing their jobs when Stanley Furniture closes its Robbinsville plant are eligible to apply for federal aid through a program that provides income support and job search assistance for people put out of work due to international trade. Stanley is moving its furniture manufacturing operations to China. (Regional Report, May 2014)

MGM Studios to film new movie in Asheville

May 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

MGM Studios will film "Max," a movie starring Lauren Graham and Thomas Hayden Church, in Asheville beginning in June. Boaz Yadkin, director of "Remember the Titans," co-wrote and will direct the movie about a dog who is traumatized after helping soldiers in Afghanistan.

Three Western environmental groups merge to expand influence

May 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Three environmental organizations based in Western N.C. have combined to form one group that will cover 23 counties. The group hopes that pooling resources will allow it to better influence environmental policy at various levels of government.

Rural counties in Western NC face doctor shortage

May 13, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Around 45% of North Carolina residents live in rural areas but only 18% of doctors practice in those communities, according to a report in the N.C. Medical Journal. The need for more health-care providers in rural counties is expected to grow as the population ages.

Tourists help provide tax relief in Western NC

May 9, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Visitor spending helps ease the tax burden on residents of Western N.C., as much as $2,605 per household in Swain County, where 87% of the county lies in national forest land and the unemployment rate is among the highest in the state. The data is based on research from the hospitality and tourism program at Western Carolina University's College of Business.

Panel rejects complaint against Moffitt

July 1, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A second regulatory panel has rejected a claim made by the Democratic opponent of N.C. Rep. Tim Moffitt of Buncombe County. Brian Turner says Moffitt offered him a state job to pull out of this fall's election. 

BorgWarner to add 154 jobs in Buncombe County

May 8, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

BorgWarner will invest $55 million and create 154 jobs with an average annual salary of $75,000 at its engineering and manufacturing plant in Arden. The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company makes turbochargers for commercial trucks and race cars.

Asheville breweries expanding as New Belgium breaks ground

May 6, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

At least six breweries in the Asheville area are undergoing expansions, including Highland Brewing, which will spend $5 million and increase production as much as 50%. Green Man Brewing will invest $4 million on a new 17,000-square-foot building that will include a packaging center and a tasting room. 

Pardee Hospital closes psychiatric clinic; 700 patients affected

May 2, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Margaret R. Pardee Memorial Hospital in Hendersonville closed its outpatient psychiatric clinic Thusday after the unexpected departure of its only two psychiatrists. About 700 patients have been redirected to Blue Ridge Community Health Services to continue treatment.