Here’s more of what’s going around, including Wednesday’s announcement that Allegiant at the Asheville Regional Airport would begin offering two flights a week to Denver starting in May. Here we go:

-Allegiant announced that two nonstop flights a week to Denver would begin at the Asheville Regional Airport starting in May. Local officials noted the strong ties between the two cities. Local business links include New Belgium Brewing and Oskar Blues, both of which are headquartered near Denver and have significant operations in Western North Carolina. Also, the Asheville Tourists minor league baseball team is connected to Denver’s major league team, the Colorado Rockies, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has significant locations in both Asheville and near Denver. The Denver route will be the only nonstop option within a two-hour drive from most of Western North Carolina, local officials said in a press release.

-No Evil Foods, the maker of plant-based meats, has announced it will be relocating and expanding their operations to a 15,000 square foot space within the former Arvato building located in Weaverville. The new facility will quadruple the company’s production, allowing for the addition of 15 living wage jobs by the end of 2018, the company said in a press release. Here’s more:

From its conception, No Evil Foods has rented space at Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Candler, a shared-use incubator kitchen that offers area startups space and commercial equipment to bring food and beverage dreams to life. Accelerated growth and production demands now see the exciting meat alternative brand expanding to its own space.

No Evil Foods’ decision to move to an independent facility while remaining based in WNC stays true to its mission and reflects its passion for creating innovative Plant Meats while maintaining strict quality standards through self-production.

‘The Axis’ will be up and running by late Spring of 2018 and will enable No Evil Foods to meet rising demand from retailers nationwide. Sold-out shelves at retailers across the country have been signaling to No Evil Foods that consumers want more Plant Meat. In addition to meeting current demand, the new space offers long-term expansion flexibility as well as a home base for the growing management team.

“In addition to our production kitchen, we’re going to have a great innovation kitchen where co-founder Sadrah Schadel will be developing new products and special releases, eventually evolving to include a tasting room so we can keep everyone excited about what’s coming next from No Evil Foods,” adds co-founder Mike Woliansky.

Since making its first sale nearly four years ago, No Evil Foods’ reach has expanded to more than 25 states, garnering national attention in the natural foods industry for its creative, high-quality Plant Meats. In 2017 the company won a coveted NEXTY Award at Natural Products Expo East for its sustainable packaging and was one of six promising North Carolina start-ups chosen to receive a $50,000 grant from NC IDEA.

The expansion to a new production facility immediately follows No Evil Foods’ announcement that its three flagship products would be carried in Whole Foods Market throughout the Rocky Mountain region and the addition of two seasoned professionals to its executive team.

-The Princess Anne Hotel off Charlotte Street in Asheville wants to convert its private dining room into a 44-seat restaurant that’s open to the public.

-The Salvage Station was a big winner at this past weekend’s Asheville Wing War, snagging first place in the judge’s vote for traditional wings, and third place in the judge’s vote for specialty wings. Moe’s Original Barbecue won second place in the judge’s vote for traditional wings, and the third place winner was Vieux Carre. For specialty wings, Out of the Blue Peruvian Fusion Cuisine won first place in the judge’s vote, with Brinehaus Meat + Provisions taking second. Finally, in the popular vote, Dreadlife Kitchen won first place for traditional wings, while Mojo Kitchen & Lounge won first place for specialty wings. (Thanks to Stu Helm for the results.)

-The Franklin School of Innovation, a four-year-old charter school in Enka, is planing to build a new 78,000-square foot classroom building on its property off Sand Hill Road. The charter school serves middle and high school-aged students and follows the Expeditionary Learning model developed by Outward Bound and the Harvard School of Education, which emphasizes hands-on project-based learning, a spirit of inquiry and critical thinking, and strong character development.

-The Asheville Technical Review Committee will review a proposed 255-unit, multi-family apartment complex planned for 11.6 acres on Bradley Branch Road at an upcoming meeting.

-Asheville Gastroenterology has submitted a demolition request to tear down an adjacent structure at 42 Southside Ave. to create more parking. The old office building building is about 5,700 square feet and has three parts that date back to 1927, 1963 and 1976. Asheville city staff are asking that the Asheville Downtown Commission give its approval of the demolition.

-Get your stretchy pants ready: the Carolina Donut Festival is set for April 21.

-Details are scarce, but Dollywood is expanding, WBIR in Knoxville reports.

Jam In The Trees music fest announced the lineup for its August fest at Pisgah Brewing.

-In case you missed it: The May 2018 edition of LEAF has a great lineup.

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