Ashvegas Hot Sheet: Athletic conference ponders fate of Asheville basketball tourneys


More of what’s swirling:

The NCAA announced early this week that it would move all of its championship games scheduled for 2016-17 out of North Carolina in response to the state’s controversial “bathroom bill.” Today, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced that it was moving its neutral site championships out of North Carolina for the ’16-17 season for the same reason. Those moves beg the question at the local level: is the Southern Conference at all considering moving tournament events out of Asheville, as well? The Asheville Citizen-Times reported this week that the Southern Conference commissioner said the fate of the conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, set for Asheville in March, could be determined at meetings happening in October and November. The commissioner said he “wouldn’t rule anything in or out at this point.” (FYI: The Big South Conference is holding women’s and men’s cross country championships at UNC Asheville in late October.)

-Renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin is the featured speaker for The Community Foundation’s 13th Annual Power of the Purse taking place Tuesday, May 23, at the Expo Center at the Crowne Plaza in Asheville, according to a press release.  Reservations can be made beginning in March 2017 at

White Labs, the California-based yeast-maker that’s opening up a new laboratory and brewery in Asheville, has posted a list of job openings in Asheville. Job listings include assistant brewer and packaging technician.

-The developer of a new Holiday Inn and Suites is pulling permits to get construction going on that delayed project on Hendersonville Road near Biltmore Village.

-Photographer Evan Kafka is pulling permits to get a studio space situated in the new Ramp Studios under construction along Riverside Drive near the intersection with Broadway Street.

Ben Mixson, co-owner of the popular White Duck Taco restaurants in Asheville (and around), has pulled permits to change the “use” of an existing home on Miami Circle to a use for a potential restaurant tenant. Mixson said in a text exchange he can’t comment right now. Miami Circle is just off bustling Long Shoals Road, and city government earlier this year approved plans to allow a developer to move out an existing mobile home park and build nearly 300 new apartments (called Skyland Exchange) on the road.

Construction of the pergola at the trailhead of the new greenway project, and across the street of the New Belgium Brewing brewery on Craven Street, is continuing apace. Here’s part of an update from the City of Asheville:

If you travel through the intersection of Craven Street and Hazel Mill Road, you may have noticed that crews have begun installing the pergola at the trailhead on the Craven Street Project. The next step will be installing sign and roof panels.

This is part of the French Broad River Greenway, which is expected to open in the next month! This section is funded with grant assistance from the EDA, the Golden Leaf Foundation and TPDF funds. It is part of the River to Ridge greenway network, The Wilma Dykeman Riverway and the East of the Riverway Multimodal Transportation System.

Starting at the Smith Bridge at Craven Street, this greenway travels half a mile to the West Asheville-RiverLink Bridge. It offers a great riverside experience and access to New Belgium’s Liquid Center.

-There’s a Knife & Fork pop-up dinner with The Nightbell and benefiting the GO Kitchen Ready program set for Sept. 21, according to a press release. More:

James Beard award semi-finalist Chef Nate Allen of Spruce Pine, NC joins Heirloom Hospitality Group Executive Chef/Owner Katie Button for this dinner, which will take place at The Nightbell in downtown Asheville on Wednesday, 9/21 from 5-10 PM. Guests should contact The Nightbell directly to make reservations for this special collaboration dinner.

Highland Brewing will release the first cans of its Gaelic Ale starting Sept. 16. Here’s part of the press release:

Towers of empty ruby red beer cans await being filled and chilled at Highland Brewing. When they are released on September 16, Gaelic Ale will go outdoors in a big way. Brewed and bottled since 1994, 12-ounce cans will be available in all areas where Highland is sold. Gaelic Ale has long been the top-selling native beer in North Carolina. The addition of cans makes the beer more welcome outdoors, which is often where Highland staff are found.

This rounds out their already strong line of canned options. Earlier this year Highland Pilsner debuted in cans, followed mid-summer by Mandarina IPA. With their flagship now in cans, Highland plans to expand can distribution. Over the coming months, look for Highland cans in all their distribution areas: North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Washington, DC.

The first access to Gaelic Ale cans is at the brewery release on Friday, September 16, 4-9pm. Guests may purchase cans to go. They may also stay for a classic draft pour and hang out in the meadow, indoor tasting room or rooftop beer garden. Free live music and food trucks will complete the scene. The event is free.