September 2, 2014
Readers of Travel + Leisure magazine named Asheville the quirkiest town in the U.S., citing Friday-night drum circles at Pritchard Park, Vortex Doughnuts' local beer-of-the-day doughnuts and unique dining experiences.
August 29, 2014
Organizers hope cheaper gas prices will allow visitors to spend more at this weekend's annual Apple Festival. Festivalgoers spent more than $12 million on dining, retail and lodging in Henderson County during last year's four-day event.
August 28, 2014
Tide & Times Group USA, a Chinese-owned lumber exporter with a headquarters in Charlotte, is in talks to buy part of the Graham County manufacturing plant previously occupied by Stanley Furniture (Regional Report, May). Robbinsville Mayor Steve Hooper said the company would hire 20 workers initially and could expand its workforce to 150.
August 25, 2014
The N.C. Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating & Fire Sprinkler Contractors suspended one contractor's license for a year and filed a complaint against a second contractor for mistakes at a Boone motel that led to the deaths of three people from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2013.
August 25, 2014
(The Charlotte Observer)
South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation hopes to mimic the success of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians by building a $339 million casino in Cleveland County. More than 3 million people a year visit Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, and the tribe has used a portion of the proceeds to build a new hospital, justice center and schools.
August 21, 2014
Hours before adjourning its legislative short session on Wednesday, state lawmakers restored a $12 million incentive for Evergreen Packaging's paper mill in Canton that will help pay for new natural-gas boilers to comply with EPA regulations.
August 20, 2014
The N.C. House defeated a bill Tuesday that included a $12 million incentive to help Evergreen Packaging replace its coal-fired boilers with new natural-gas ones at its Canton paper mill. The Environmental Protection Agency is forcing the company to replace the boilers by 2016, a project the company says will cost $50 million.
August 20, 2014
Asheville Outlets, under construction at the site of the former Biltmore Square Mall, will add 1,341 jobs and $33 million in local spending, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the developer. The 325,000-square-foot shopping center will open in spring 2015.
August 19, 2014
The N.C. Department of Transportation will replace 11 bridges in Buncombe, Madison and Mitchell counties that, while deemed safe for use, are costly to maintain due to outdated design standards (NCTrend, August). Mooresville-based Dane Construction was awarded an $11.4 million contract to replace the bridges.
August 15, 2014
Andrew Quinn Hager was sentenced to eight months in prison for his involvement in the failed Seven Falls development in Henderson County. Hager pleaded guilty in March 2013 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
August 14, 2014
Sierra Nevada has begun offering free hard-hat tours of its Mills River brewery. The Chico, Calif.-based beer-maker plans to begin full tours in November. Its main brewery has been producing beer for several months. A restaurant, taproom and music venue are planned.
August 13, 2014
Diamond Brand, the Fletcher-based manufacturer of tents and outdoor gear, plans to open three retail locations in Asheville this fall. The company has a retail store in Arden.
August 13, 2014
(The Sylva Herald)
Republican legislators in Western N.C. oppose the state's plan to collect and test rocks in the seven westernmost counties to determine shale-gas potential. Sen. Jim Davis, who co-sponsored the bill that lifted the state's ban on fracking, says it's a waste of money.
August 12, 2014
Sigma Plastics Group will create 80 jobs at a printing and packaging plant in Transylvania County. The Lyndhurst, N.J.-based company, which makes polyethylene films and bags, will invest $5.5 million in renovations at the former Coats America plant in Rosman.
August 11, 2014
The health-care and hospitality industries have surged ahead of manufacturing in Buncombe County over the past two decades. The hospitality sector employed 9,709 workers in 1990; today 18,022 are employed in the industry. The number of manufacturing jobs has been cut almost in half.
August 8, 2014
An international partnership of companies from the U.S., Israel and Italy will create 125 jobs at a plant-grafting business on a 42-acre site in Mills River. Tri-Hishtil will produce plants that are disease resistant without the use of genetically modified organisms, beginning with tomatoes and watermelons.
August 6, 2014
Asheville-based Wicked Weed Brewing will build a new production plant in Buncombe County that will allow it to brew 50,000 barrels of beer a year. The company will invest $5 million in the 40,000-square-foot plant, which is expected to open by fall 2015.
August 5, 2014
Although GE Aviation has a backlog of $160 billion in orders for jet-engine parts, the company says it needs the support of the U.S. Export-Import Bank to do business in emerging markets. The company plans to hold a grand opening for its new, 170,000-square-foot Asheville plant in October.
August 4, 2014
Scott Hamilton was named executive director of the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal agency that provides economic grants in rural counties across 13 states in the Appalachian Mountains. Hamilton has been CEO of AdvantageWest, a nonprofit economic-development organization serving Western N.C., since 2009.
August 1, 2014
(The Citizen-Times, Asheville)
The Economic Development Coalition of Asheville and Buncombe County announced plans for a startup investing group, the Asheville Angels, and the revamping of the chamber's local entrepreneurship initiative.