New Belgium pushes back opening of Asheville brewery

February 3, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

New Belgium has delayed the opening of its $140 million West Asheville brewery by a month. The beer-maker will open its tasting room in March and begin brewery tours in April.

Elkin hospital takes step to stay independent

February 3, 2016

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital in Surry County wants to defy the consolidation wave that has left North Carolina with about a dozen independent community hospital. It is among the first two N.C. hospitals to join the Washington, D.C.-based National Rural Accountable Care Organization, a nonprofit that helps smaller hospitals collaborate to become more cost-efficient.

Yarn-maker expanding Morganton operations

February 2, 2016

(The News Herald, Morganton)

Meridian Specialty Yarn Group will build a 100,000-square-foot addition to its yarn plant in Valdese, adding 25 jobs to its existing 140. The $8.5 million expansion will allow the Milwaukee-based company to make raw material it had previously been importing. Meridian will receive two state grants totaling nearly $1.9 million.

Mooresboro zinc plant shuts down, 200 workers laid off

January 28, 2016

(The Daily Courier, Rutherfordton)

Horsehead Holding temporarily ceased operations at its Rutherford County zinc production plant, idling most of its 250 employees. The Pittsburgh-based company opened the $490 million plant less than two years ago.

2015 was record year for Asheville housing market

January 27, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The median sale price for a home in Asheville was $242,500, a 7.8% increase over the previous record of $225,000. Low inventory and high demand are creating a sellers' market – on Jan. 5, only 1,187 homes were listed on the market in Buncombe County, the lowest level since 2004.

Sitel closing Asheville call center, 250 layoffs expected

January 22, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Sitel, a global business-services company, will move the work done at its Asheville call center to Knoxville, Tenn. About 250 workers will be affected when the center closes, by July 30. Workers who want to transfer will be offered jobs in Knoxville.

Burke County approves incentives for company expansion

January 21, 2016

(The News Herald, Morganton)

Burke County commissioners approved incentives for an unidentified company to bring 25 new jobs over five years. The company, whose name will be revealed Jan. 29, plans to invest $8.5 million in Valdese.

Smokies, Parkway top national attractions

January 19, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

More than 15 million people visited the Blue Ridge Parkway in 2015, a 7% increase over the year before. The 469-mile parkway, which stretches from Cherokee to Shenandoah, Va., was the National Park Service's most visited attraction while the Great Smoky Mountains was the most visited national park with 10.7 million visitors, a park record.

Environmental groups wary of Duke's plans

January 18, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Duke Energy Progress filed plans on Friday for two proposed natural-gas power plants to replace its coal-fired one near Asheville. Some environmental groups are concerned the public won't have enough time to review plans for the $1.1 billion project: Duke has asked the state utilities commission to approve the project by March 1.

Asheville airport adds seasonal service to DC area

January 13, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Allegiant Air will begin offering twice weekly flights from Asheville Regional Airport to Baltimore/Washington International, with one-way fares starting at $39. The seasonal flights will operate May 19 through Aug. 16. The airport set a record for passenger traffic last year, with more than 400,000 people boarding flights.

Should Asheville worry over possible New Belgium sale?

January 8, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

As New Belgium Brewing prepares to open its $140 million brewery in Asheville, reports show the Colorado-based company is looking for a buyer. The beer company has taken on a lot of debt with the construction of its East Coast location and through an employee buyout of the company's founder, Kim Jordan. New Belgium plans to employ about 150 in Asheville once it reaches full brewing capacity.

Another brewery expansion for Asheville

January 7, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Burial Beer Company, the maker of beers with names such as The Remains and The Triumph of Death, is investing $1.8 million in a new brewery near Asheville's Biltmore Village. The 3-year-old company plans to hire 17 new employees.

Western NC ski resorts back in business

January 4, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

After weeks of unseasonably warm weather, ski areas in Western North Carolina are open for business, with temperatures finally cold enough to resume snowmaking. Cataloochee Ski Area will be open expanded hours this week to take advantage of the cold temps.

Asheville area may attract 350-employee auto-parts plant

December 22, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Switzerland-based GF Automotive and Linamar, a Canada-based powertrain company, may build a plant with as many as 350 employees over the next several years. A Jan. 4 hearing of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners will “consider economic-development incentives” for the GF Automotive-Linamar collaboration, Wyatt said. The partnership plans to invest $42.3 million in a factory and another $174.9 million in machinery and equipment through 2023, according to public records.

Warm temps hurting NC ski industry

December 16, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in Madison County hopes to open by Sunday following weeks of warmer-than-expected weather. The resort will lose $100,000 in revenue if it's not able to open Christmas week, says Kathy Bogdanescu, group sales coordinator. The N.C. ski season typically runs from November-March and last year contributed $197.2 million to the state's economy, according to a recent report.

Asheville City Council weighs in on I-26 route

December 11, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Asheville City Council voted unanimously to submit a resolution to the N.C. Department of Transportation that recommends minimizing the size of the $750 million Interstate 26 project. The state's proposal calls for widening Interstate 240 from four to eight lanes in west Asheville.

Arvato shuttering Weaverville facility, 120 layoffs expected

December 9, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

With DVD and CD sales plummeting in recent years, Arvato Digital Services will close its production plant in Weaverville after 32 years in operation. The plant once employed about 1,500 people.

Resort proposal sparks debate in Rutherford County

December 9, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A $3.7 million proposed development on Lake Lure in Rutherford County has homeowners divided. Tryon Equestrian Partners wants to add a conference center, restaurant and expanded lodge that would provide an economic boost and create 20 full-time jobs, plus seasonal ones. Opponents say the development would increase traffic and spoil the area's peaceful vibe.

Influential state senator won't run again in 2016

December 1, 2015

(The News and Observer of Raleigh)

Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican, won't run for an eighth term. He has been chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, overseeing much of the legislation considered by state lawmakers. His decision follows a similar retirement plan of Sen. Bob Rucho, a Matthews Republican. Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger praised Apodaca and called him one of his best friends.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article47142155.html#storylink=cpy

State wants a sponsor for Asheville-Salisbury bus service

December 1, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

State government hopes to lure a sponsor to fund bus service between Asheville and the passenger rail station in Salisbury. Service for a statewide rail plan is scheduled to start in 2018 under state Board of Transportation plans. Officials want to promote passenger rail as the state improves tracks between Charlotte and Raleigh. Asheville businesses see the bus service as a potential boost to tourism.