-The Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau is working on a new grant program. Dianna Pierce, vice president of sales for the CVB, told the Asheville Civic Center Commission earlier this week that the program will be funded by monies raised through selling ads on the CVB website, exploreasheville.com. The new grant program will support local special events, Pierce said. Details will be announced later this year.
Right now, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority operates a grant program known as the tourism product development fund, and it is funded by hotel tax revenue. The program has been at the center of a couple of different debates over the past couple of years. One debate centered on whether the TDA money should be granted to private businesses. The other, more recent debate, centered on whether a portion of that TDA money should be set aside to fund infrastructure projects, since the ever-increasing number of visitors takes and ever-increasing toll on streets and such.
-Buncombe County commissioners on Tuesday held off on voting to give $21,906 in incentive money to Hi-Wire Brewing, saying they wanted more information, the Mountain Xpress reports. The initial deal called for Hi-Wire to spend $1.5 million on their new expansion near Biltmore Village and hire 15 people, but the brewery spent more and hired fewer, spending about $2 million and hired 12, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times. The commissioners’ decision to delay came on the same day that local officials announced that Burial Beer’s craft brewery expansion would be awarded more than $45,000 in incentives from county and city government if they met similar criteria regarding investment and job creation.
-The future of industrial hemp is in question, just months after the N.C. General Assembly approved legislation legalizing the production of industrial hemp in North Carolina. The bill was touted as a boon to small farmers, who could start growing the new crop this year. But the legislation required that the new state agency set up to oversee the crop, the N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission, secure private donations to the tune of $200,000. The deadline for doing so is February. The Raleigh News & Observer has more on industrial hemp here.
-The Biltmore Estate saw a record 1.4 million visitors in 2015, according to Romantic Asheville.
-The independent film The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter, which stars Danny McBride and Josh Brolin, has been filming around Western North Carolina for a couple of months. The movie production is now set up in Rosman, according to the Transylvania Times.
-The Best of Asheville Comedy Showcase is set for 8 p.m. on Saturday at The Millroom in Asheville. Tickets here. Here’s more.
Best of Asheville Comedy Showcase
Come see the most popular standup comedians in Asheville perform together in one outstanding show! An annual favorite, the Best of Asheville Comedy Showcase sold out last year, so buying tickets in advance is highly recommendend.
Featuring Petey Smith-McDowell, Tom Peters, Minori Hinds, Cody Hughes, Jason Webb, Grayson Morris, Tom Scheve, Cary Goff, Gabe Rosenberg, Macon Clark, and host Chase McNeill.
Ten comics, $10, lots of laughs.
-Second Gear in West Asheville is hosting a “How Will You Hike the Appalachian Trail” workshop on Jan. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at its location, 444 Haywood Road. Here’s the announcement:
Your personal approach to hiking the A.T. should be different than the next guy (or gal!). Join us for an informative workshop on all aspects of planning for a 2,000-mile hike on the A.T. — from the essential gear to the ins and outs of A.T. culture. Bring your big dreams and questions to Second Gear of Asheville, NC (444 Haywood Rd) to learn from experienced hikers. You’ll be more confident as put your best foot forward to reach your goals on the A.T. Best of all it’s FREE!