Asheville called quirkiest town in the U.S.

September 2, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Readers of Travel + Leisure magazine named Asheville the quirkiest town in the U.S., citing Friday-night drum circles at Pritchard Park, Vortex Doughnuts' local beer-of-the-day doughnuts and unique dining experiences.

NC Apple Festival kicks off today in Hendersonville

August 29, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Organizers hope cheaper gas prices will allow visitors to spend more at this weekend's annual Apple Festival. Festivalgoers spent more than $12 million on dining, retail and lodging in Henderson County during last year's four-day event.

Chinese lumber company could buy Stanley Furniture plant

August 28, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Tide & Times Group USA, a Chinese-owned lumber exporter with a headquarters in Charlotte, is in talks to buy part of the Graham County manufacturing plant previously occupied by Stanley Furniture (Regional Report, May). Robbinsville Mayor Steve Hooper said the company would hire 20 workers initially and could expand its workforce to 150.

Board finds contractor accountable in Boone motel deaths

August 25, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The N.C. Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating & Fire Sprinkler Contractors suspended one contractor's license for a year and filed a complaint against a second contractor for mistakes at a Boone motel that led to the deaths of three people from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2013.

Success of Cherokee casino threatened by competition

August 25, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation hopes to mimic the success of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians by building a $339 million casino in Cleveland County. More than 3 million people a year visit Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, and the tribe has used a portion of the proceeds to build a new hospital, justice center and schools. 

Lawmakers restore funds for Evergreen Packaging

August 21, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Hours before adjourning its legislative short session on Wednesday, state lawmakers restored a $12 million incentive for Evergreen Packaging's paper mill in Canton that will help pay for new natural-gas boilers to comply with EPA regulations.

House votes against incentives for Canton paper mill

August 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The N.C. House defeated a bill Tuesday that included a $12 million incentive to help Evergreen Packaging replace its coal-fired boilers with new natural-gas ones at its Canton paper mill. The Environmental Protection Agency is forcing the company to replace the boilers by 2016, a project the company says will cost $50 million.

Developer hopes Asheville outlets will draw tourists

August 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville Outlets, under construction at the site of the former Biltmore Square Mall, will add 1,341 jobs and $33 million in local spending, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the developer. The 325,000-square-foot shopping center will open in spring 2015.

DOT to replace 11 bridges in Western NC

August 19, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The N.C. Department of Transportation will replace 11 bridges in Buncombe, Madison and Mitchell counties that, while deemed safe for use, are costly to maintain due to outdated design standards (NCTrend, August). Mooresville-based Dane Construction was awarded an $11.4 million contract to replace the bridges.

Conspirator sentenced to prison for involvement in real-estate scheme

August 15, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Andrew Quinn Hager was sentenced to eight months in prison for his involvement in the failed Seven Falls development in Henderson County. Hager pleaded guilty in March 2013 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. 

Sierra Nevada begins public tours at Mills River brewery

August 14, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Sierra Nevada has begun offering free hard-hat tours of its Mills River brewery. The Chico, Calif.-based beer-maker plans to begin full tours in November. Its main brewery has been producing beer for several months. A restaurant, taproom and music venue are planned.

Diamond Brand to open three Asheville stores

August 13, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Diamond Brand, the Fletcher-based manufacturer of tents and outdoor gear, plans to open three retail locations in Asheville this fall. The company has a retail store in Arden.

Plastics company to add 80 jobs at Western NC plant

August 12, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Sigma Plastics Group will create 80 jobs at a printing and packaging plant in Transylvania County. The Lyndhurst, N.J.-based company, which makes polyethylene films and bags, will invest $5.5 million in renovations at the former Coats America plant in Rosman.

Hospitality, health care jump ahead of manufacturing in Buncombe County

August 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The health-care and hospitality industries have surged ahead of manufacturing in Buncombe County over the past two decades. The hospitality sector employed 9,709 workers in 1990; today 18,022 are employed in the industry. The number of manufacturing jobs has been cut almost in half.

Vegetable plant business to employ 125 in Henderson County

August 8, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

An international partnership of companies from the U.S., Israel and Italy will create 125 jobs at a plant-grafting business on a 42-acre site in Mills River. Tri-Hishtil will produce plants that are disease resistant without the use of genetically modified organisms, beginning with tomatoes and watermelons.

Wicked Weed expanding in Buncombe County

August 6, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Asheville-based Wicked Weed Brewing will build a new production plant in Buncombe County that will allow it to brew 50,000 barrels of beer a year. The company will invest $5 million in the 40,000-square-foot plant, which is expected to open by fall 2015.

GE Aviation has backlog of orders as Asheville plant nears completion

August 5, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Although GE Aviation has a backlog of $160 billion in orders for jet-engine parts, the company says it needs the support of the U.S. Export-Import Bank to do business in emerging markets. The company plans to hold a grand opening for its new, 170,000-square-foot Asheville plant in October.

AdvantageWest CEO to lead federal agency

August 4, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Scott Hamilton was named executive director of the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal agency that provides economic grants in rural counties across 13 states in the Appalachian Mountains. Hamilton has been CEO of AdvantageWest, a nonprofit economic-development organization serving Western N.C., since 2009.

New angel investors hope to make Asheville startups fly

August 1, 2014

(The Citizen-Times, Asheville)

The Economic Development Coalition of Asheville and Buncombe County announced plans for a startup investing group, the Asheville Angels, and the revamping of the chamber's local entrepreneurship initiative.

Heist movie turns Asheville into Charlotte

July 30, 2014

The comedy starring Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson and Kristen Wiig transformed the streets of Asheville, making the Buncombe County Courthouse serve Mecklenburg County. The film is based on a real-life robbery in Charlotte in 1997.