October 2, 2015
Facebook is adding a third data center in Forest City, about 70 miles west of Charlotte, entailing an investment of more than $200 million. The company started construction on its Rutherford County site in 2010.
October 1, 2015
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.
September 29, 2015
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.
September 23, 2015
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.
September 21, 2015
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.
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.
September 16, 2015
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.
September 9, 2015
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.
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).
September 3, 2015
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.
August 31, 2015
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.
August 31, 2015
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.
August 27, 2015
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.
August 26, 2015
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.
August 17, 2015
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.
August 6, 2015
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."
August 5, 2015
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.
August 4, 2015
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
August 3, 2015
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).
July 27, 2015
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.