Word on the street is that Biltmore Estate officials are planning to move on the construction of a second hotel on the property, which draws more than 1 million visitors a year and is one of Asheville’s key tourist attractions.
I first heard this rumor more than a month ago and called a Biltmore spokeswoman, who told me at the time that the estate is constantly looking and assessing new opportunities, but that there had been no green light yet given to a hotel construction project. She reminded me that a few years back, Biltmore had unveiled plans to build a second hotel, but the recession arrived and those plans were shelved.
Since then, I’ve consistently heard from various sources that Biltmore Estate officials are serious about plans for a second hotel. I’ve heard no timetable for construction.
The Inn on Biltmore is the Estate’s upscale, four-diamond hotel on its property. Folks have told me that a second hotel would likely be placed on the estate’s property that borders Brevard Road, opening up development there. A few years ago, Brevard Road was widened and could easily handle a second Biltmore entrance.
It would certainly make sense for Biltmore to be considering a new hotel project. The Grove Park Inn, another top historic tourist attraction in Asheville, has recently received a multi-million dollar makeover and is under the management of new owners Omni. Downtown Asheville is also on the verge of a hotel construction boom, with at least four new hotels in the works or planned.
The last big new construction on the estate was finished in 2010, when it opened Antler Village, a little shopping center, and remodeled its winery. The village includes a restaurant, creamery and mini-museum.