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.

Country Club of Asheville could be sold to McConnell Golf

November 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Shareholders of the Country Club of Asheville will vote Nov. 19 on whether to sell the 120-year-old golf club to Raleigh-based McConnell Golf. If the deal is approved, McConnell will assume up to $2.3 million in debt and invest at least $4 million over three years.

Recount confirms Beasley's court race win

November 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Cheri Beasley, an associate justice, was confirmed the winner in the statewide N.C. Supreme Court race after a recount was completed Monday. The final tally showed Beasley received 5,410 more votes than opponent Mike Robinson, a Winston-Salem lawyer, out of more than 2.4 million votes cast. Beasley was appointed to the seat in 2012. 

Asheville's PLI to add up to 50 jobs

November 5, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Plasticard Locktech International will add up to 50 new jobs with the next two years, CEO Mark Goldberg said last week. Asheville-based PLI, which on its website calls itself the world's largest manufacturer of plastic hotel key cards, became employee-owned earlier this year. 

Linamar adding 150 jobs near Asheville

November 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Linamar will add 150 jobs with an average annual salary of $42,667 and invest $115 million in its Arden plant, where the Guelph, Ontario-based company will make gears for automatic transmissions for an unnamed automobile-maker. About 200 people currently work at the plant, which makes parts for diesel engines and off-road vehicles.

Duke Energy says Asheville still needs coal

October 29, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A Duke Energy spokesman told the Asheville City Council residents would not have enough electricity for daily activities if the company shut down its local coal-fired power plant. Earlier this month, the Sierra Club presented the Charlotte-based utility with a petition signed by local businesses asking for the plant to be closed.

Sierra Nevada opens tasting room at Mills River brewery

October 21, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Sierra Nevada has opened a tasting room for visitors who complete a 90-minute walking tour of its Mills River brewery. The Chico, Calif.-based beer maker plans to open a restaurant and music room in January. Sierra will brew about 200,000 barrels of beer annually when the brewery reaches full production.

80 Asheville businesses call for Duke Energy to retire Skyland plant

October 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizens-Times)

Eighty Asheville-area businesses sent a letter to Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good asking for the closure of the company's coal-fired power plant in Skyland. The letter calls the plant the "largest single source of carbon pollution in Western North Carolina" and accuses the utility of illegally polluting the French Broad River through coal-ash seepage.
Update: Coal-campaign letter bewilders some businesses

GE Aviation opens Asheville manufacturing plant

October 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Gov. Pat McCrory helped GE Aviation celebrate the grand opening of its Asheville plant, where the company will manufacture jet-engine components. The plant will employ 52 workers as part of a 2013 commitment the company made to create 242 new jobs in North Carolina by 2018.

More fall tourists expected in Western NC

October 14, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

An improved fall foliage forecast could fill hotels in Western N.C., according to a report from Western Carolina University. More tourists are expected this year compared with 2013, when a federal government shutdown during the first 15 days of October forced campgrounds and visitor centers to close. 

Western NC breweries honored at national beer festival

October 6, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Three Western N.C. breweries earned awards at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo., on Saturday. Black Mountain-based Pisgah Brewing, Morganton-based Fonta Flora Brewery and Asheville-based Wicked Weed Brewing each won gold medals at the world's larger beer competition. Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada, which have locations in Western N.C., won silver and bronze medals.

Medical products manufacturer to lay off 200 in Burke County

October 2, 2014

(The News Herald, Morganton)

BSN medical will cut 200 jobs at its Rutherford College production plant beginning at the conclusion of the first quarter of 2015. The Hamburg, Germany-based company, which makes medical bandaging and compression stockings, plans to move the jobs to an existing plant in Mexico.  

Biltmore to open second hotel at Asheville estate

October 1, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The Biltmore Co. plans to begin construction by mid-October on a second hotel at Biltmore Estate. The Village Hotel next to the winery in Antler Hill Village will have 209 guest rooms and is expected to open by November 2015. The project is expected to create about 230 jobs. 


Restructuring leads to 130 job cuts at Mission Health

September 29, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Mission Health has cut 130 jobs, mostly at its main hospital in Asheville, but plans to add 147 jobs next year to accommodate growth in outpatient services. The changes are part of a reorganization that aims to cut $42 million in costs while increasing revenue by $10 million. Mission employs about 10,000 people at six hospitals and additional locations in Western N.C.

Mitchell County wood-stove manufacturer expands product lines

September 29, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The nation's oldest privately-held wood-stove company has expanded its offerings to include patio furniture, fire pits and other outdoor furnishings. Spruce Pine-based Buck Stove, which last year laid off workers for the first time in its 40-year history, has rehired those employees and plans to hire 30 to 50 more.

Cider makers seek to change industry regulation

September 26, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

North Carolina cider companies hope to ensure growth through proposed legislation that would increase the allowed alcohol volume to 8.5%. Currently, cider with an alcohol volume higher than 7% is taxed like wine, which is higher than the excise tax placed on beer. North Carolina now has 10 cider producers, supported by the craft beverage's soaring popularity.

Apartment growth surges in South Asheville

September 25, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

There are 1,400 apartment units under construction in South Asheville, where the occupancy rate is 96%. It's the biggest apartment boom Buncombe County has seen in 25 years, according to one developer, who worries the area will become overbuilt. 
Read more about the apartment boom in North Carolina's center cities (Statewide, June)

Brevard brewery fuels growth for Oskar Blues

September 19, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Thanks to the addition of its Brevard brewery − which produced 46,000 barrels of beer in 2013 − the Colorado-based company earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies.

Noble Cider expanding, moving to West Asheville

September 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-based Noble Cider will open a new 80-barrel cidery and taproom in early 2015. The craft-cider maker will move into a 9,000-square-foot building in West Asheville. The new space will allow Noble, which uses North Carolina-grown apples, to increase annual cider production from 14,000 gallons this year to at least 40,000 gallons. 

Judge orders early voting site at App State

October 14, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A Wake County Superior Court judge ordered the state Board of Elections to include at least one on-campus early voting site at Appalachian State University. The Watauga County elections board removed the long-standing voting site prior to the May primary. Opponents of the plan to remove the voting center say it makes it harder for students, who are more likely to vote Democratic, to cast ballots.