Mars Hill University kicks off $31M fundraising campaign

October 1, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Mars Hill University has raised $25 million toward a fundraising goal of $31 million. The money will be used for a 29,000-square-foot health-sciences building, other construction and renovation projects and student scholarships. The Madison County institution enrolls about 1,300 undergraduates.

Asheville Citizen-Times publisher resigns

September 29, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

David Neill announced his resignation Monday as publisher of the Asheville Citizen-Times and Greenville News. Neill, who has held the position for two years, said he is leaving Oct. 16 to be closer to his family in Florida.

Asheville nonprofit asks business to return loan after online posts

September 23, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The nonprofit Mountain BizWorks has asked the owners of an Asheville coffee shop to return money it loaned them to open a second location after its owners posted derogatory accounts of sex acts with women online.

Mission Health expanding its network of doctors

September 21, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Mission Health Partners, the accountable-care organization formed by the Asheville-based health system in June 2014, will add 550 specialists to its network of 275 primary-care doctors in 2016. The physician-led network includes private and company physicians and community health centers that all follow the same standards of care.

App State receives $1.16M grant to address STEM teacher shortage in rural areas

September 21, 2015

(The Watauga Democrat)

Appalachian State University was awarded a $1.16 million grant from the National Science Foundation to provide scholarships for math and science majors who agree to teach in rural schools. The scholarships are valued at $10,000 per year and are renewable for up to three years.

New Belgium has begun hiring for West Asheville brewery

September 16, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

New Belgium should be making beer at its new West Asheville brewery by year-end. About 600 people have applied for 80 jobs in the brewery's initial hiring phase; New Belgium plans to eventually employ up to 140 workers.

Henderson County passes resolution opposing Duke power lines

September 9, 2015

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Henderson County commissioners passed a resolution that says a proposed Duke Energy transmission line project would have a negative impact on property owners and the county's economy. The utility wants to run 45 miles of power lines from a proposed Asheville power plant to a substation in South Carolina.

New Harrah's casino hopes to draw gamblers across state lines

September 8, 2015

(Rocky Mount Telegram)

The Cherokee tribe is hoping to lure more gamblers from Georgia and Tennessee when it opens a new, $110 million casino in Murphy on Sept. 28. The new location is about 60 miles southwest of the tribe's existing casino, which opened in 1997 and underwent a $650 expansion in 2012 ("Double down," June 2012).

Airbnb reporting leads to spike in Buncombe County travel sales

September 3, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Local online travel company sales for Buncombe County jumped from $344,177 in May to $1.4 million in June, the same month Airbnb began reporting sales to the county tax department. The San Francisco-based company allows homeowners to rent out their properties to travelers on a short-term basis.

Western NC sees more international tourists

August 31, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville business owners are noticing an uptick in the number of international tourists. About 1.2 million international travelers visited the state in 2013, the latest year statistics are available, but tourism officials expect a significant increase in 2014 and 2015.

Henderson County businesses concerned over power lines

August 31, 2015

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Summer camps and apple orchards are among Henderson County businesses concerned over the impact of transmission lines Duke Energy plans to install to connect a new Asheville power plant to a substation in South Carolina.

Asheville raises fines for Airbnb rentals

August 27, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville City Council voted to increase fines for illegal vacation rentals from $100 to $500 a day. Short-term rentals such as those offered through the Airbnb website are illegal in most parts of the city. Council members are concerned that investors could buy up real estate and essentially turn residential areas into hotel districts.

Meeting set for Duke power line proposal in western NC

August 26, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The N.C. Utilities Commission public staff and western N.C. residents will meet with representatives from Duke Energy in Flat Rock on Sept. 3 to discuss the utility's plan to add transmission lines for a new natural-gas fired power plant in Asheville. Residents have voiced concern over the power lines obstructing views and affecting property values.

Harrah's to open new Western NC casino in September

August 17, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy is scheduled to open Sept. 28. The resort, which was built over the last two years and cost $110 million, is expected to employ about 900 people, according to the Cherokee Nation.

Investor says Asheville Savings Bank should put itself up for sale

August 6, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

New York-based Firefly Value Partners is asking ASB Bancorp, parent company of Asheville Savings Bank, to begin the process of selling the bank. The New York-based investor, which owns a 9.6% stake in ASB, says the company is too small to earn "adequate returns."

Beer industry pumps millions into Buncombe economy

August 5, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Western N.C. is home to more than 40 breweries, from small startups to New Belgium's East Coast brewery in West Asheville, where the company is investing nearly $140 million. The beer industry has become part of Asheville's brand, according to David Gantt, chairman of the Buncombe County Commission.

Leader of Ponzi scheme ordered to help pay $76M

August 4, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Keith Simmons and a California-based insurance broker were ordered to pay $76 million in civil penalties related to a Ponzi scheme Simmons operated in Ashe County. Through his companies, Black Diamond Capital Solutions and High South Realty, Simmons bilked more than 400 people out of more than $40 million. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2012.
Related: "Money for nothing," August 2012

Fletcher kayak-maker lays off 25 as result of merger

August 3, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Almost half the employees of Fletcher-based Legacy Paddlesports lost their jobs last week as the company announced it was merging with Hurricane Kayaks of Warsaw. Legacy, which recently has experienced slumping sales, invested $4.5 million in the Henderson County plant after moving headquarters from Greensboro in 2012 ("Back paddle," July 2013).

Asheville petition to restrict chain stores gains momentum

July 27, 2015

(Mountain Xpress)

An online petition calling for the city of Asheville to regulate or put a moratorium on corporate chain stores in the downtown area collected 2,000 signatures within a week. A local salon owner started the petition after retailer Anthropologie expressed interest in opening a store there.

Asheville's low wages linked to GDP

July 20, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Workers in the Asheville area earn less than people living in other regions because its employers don't produce "high-value" products, local economists say.