Campaign underway to increase solar projects in Western NC counties

December 22, 2014

(The Watauga Democrat)

A local effort is underway to install as many rooftop solar systems as possible in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties before North Carolina's 35% renewable-energy tax credit expires Dec. 31, 2015. Clean Energy for Boone will offer subsidies of up to $1,500 to homeowners and businesses who participate in its program.

$26M Cherokee Justice Center opens

December 18, 2014

(The Sylva Herald)

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opened a $26 million justice center Wednesday near downtown Cherokee. The 76,000-square-foot center will house a tribal police station, courthouse and a 96-bed jail.

Greensboro hotel group proposes 104-room Asheville hotel

December 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville's hotel boom continues with a proposal for a five-story, 104-room hotel near Merrimon Avenue and Interstate 240. Greensboro-based CN Hotels owns the property, which would be developed by a Greensboro-based group listed as Asheville Property. The city's zoning commission is scheduled to review the project Jan. 7. 

Catawba Brewing set to build Asheville brewery

December 17, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Catawba Brewing will begin construction next week on a 5,400-square-foot Asheville brewery that will include a seven-barrel system, two bars and a courtyard. The Morganton-based brewer will keep its tasting room in Biltmore Village after the South Slope brewery opens, which is expected to be by spring.

Duke Energy considers lease rights sale at Asheville's Grove Arcade

December 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Duke Energy says it is exploring options and may be looking to sell lease rights for four floors of the historic Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville. The Charlotte-based utility owns the leasing rights for office space and 42 apartments at the 269,000-square foot structure.

Entrepreneurs struggle to get loans

December 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Small businesses in Western N.C. – even those with a track record of success – find it difficult to obtain funding through traditional small-business loans.

Craft breweries seek creative names to stand out in crowded field

December 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Craft breweries look for clever names to stand out in a crowded and ever-growing marketplace. Asheville Brewing uses 40 to 60 names a year, including some with comic-book names such as Rocket Girl and Ninja.


Asheville may increase housing density rules

December 9, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Asheville City Council could vote Tuesday on rules that would increase housing density as much as 400% per acre in 11 of the city's 32 zoning districts. Under the new rules, developers could build up to 40 units per acre.

Developers seek approval for 667 apartments in Asheville

December 8, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Three proposed apartment projects would bring a total of 667 new apartments to Asheville. The largest of the three, a 309-unit complex on Fairview Road, has residents concerned over increased traffic volume they say will make the road more dangerous. Asheville City Council is expected to vote on the projects Tuesday.

Strong start for choose-and-cut tree farms

December 8, 2014

(The Watauga Democrat)

Choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms in Watauga County are cautiously optimistic following a strong opening weekend. Most tree farms in the area are reporting above-average sales for the season.

Developer cleared to build nine-story Asheville hotel

December 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

MHG Tower has received approval from a city technical review committee to begin construction on a new Marriott hotel in downtown Asheville. The nine-story hotel will be built on the site of the former BB&T building parking garage. The 17-story main building will later be converted into condominiums and a boutique hotel.

Network aims to revive Western NC's textile industry

December 1, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The Carolina Textile District – a regional network of more than 80 manufacturers and other businesses – is helping its members pool supply-chain resources and create new jobs in Western North Carolina's textile industry. 

Boone brewery plans to add cider

November 26, 2014

(The Watauga Democrat, Boone)

Boone-based Appalachian Mountain Brewery Inc. is seeking permits to add cider to its operation. The company's CEO says Hard Mountain Cider LLC, a subsidiary of the brewery, already has a winery permit from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to produce hard cider. The cider operation will likely start with three employees, and production could begin by the end of this year.

McConnell Golf to acquire Country Club of Asheville

November 25, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based McConnell Golf will acquire The Country Club of Asheville – North Carolina's oldest private country club – for an undisclosed amount. When the deal closes, McConnell Golf will own ten golf clubs in the Carolinas. The company acquired Greenville's Brook Valley Country Club last month. 

Asheville sets tourism record in October

November 24, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County's hotel occupancy rate reached 86.2% in October, a 7.1% increase over last year's rate and the highest ever, according to hotel-data company STR Global. Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau plans to spend a record $4 million on advertising for the fiscal year which began July 1 (Statewide, October).

Pardee Hospital lets CMO contract expire

November 20, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Pardee Hospital' board of directors decided not to renew the contract of Chief Medical Officer Robert Kiskaddon, who had served in the position for four years. The 222-bed Hendersonville hospital did not give a reason for the decision or announce whether an interim CMO has been appointed.

State suspends license of contractor who performed work at Boone hotel

November 20, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A state board has suspended the license of a contractor from Independence Oil and LP/Gas who performed faulty work on a pool heater at a Boone hotel where three guests later died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The board previously suspended the license of a heating contractor from Boone-based DJ's Heating Services for failing to recognize problems with the pool heater at the Boone Best Western following the first two deaths.

Asheville tech company acquired by NY digital media company

November 14, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-based DoctorDirectory has been acquired by New York-based Everyday Health for $65 million and the company expects to add up to 20 employees to its existing 81 by year-end. Located in Asheville since 1999, DoctorDirectory provides communication between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. 

Lumber company adding 114 jobs in Graham County

November 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Oak Valley Hardwoods, a Charlotte-based subsidiary of China-based Tides and Times Group USA, will create 114 jobs and invest more than $10.1 million in a lumber operation in Robbinsville. The company will take over the former Stanley Furniture factory, where 400 workers – about 13% of the workforce in Graham County – lost their jobs when the company shuttered the plant earlier this year (Statewide, May).

Belk to close Biltmore Square store by January

November 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Charlotte-based Belk will close its retail store at Asheville's Biltmore Square Mall by the end of January, a company spokeswoman said. The mall is being transformed into an outlet center that is expected to open in the spring. Belk has another local store at Asheville Mall on Tunnel Road.