–Bada Bastu, a Scandinavian-style spa, is in the works for downtown Asheville. Entrepreneur Andrew Nehlig and his wife Katie are retrofitting this old industrial building on Short Coxe Avenue with a sauna, cold plunge, showers, massage rooms and a tea room. The couple plan to open @badabastu828 this fall and they’ve got a discounted sign-up going now at badabastu.com/special-pricing/. Real estate development on the South Slope remains hot.
-A new tour business in Asheville plans to use three electric vehicles to ferry people around downtown, according to Ken Putnam, the city of Asheville’s transportation department director, who explained the proposal to an Asheville City Council subcommittee recently. Each vehicle can hold six people. Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler asked if the tour company would allow people to drink alcohol on the vehicles, and a police spokesman said that would be legally permissible just as it is on a vehicle like a limo or the Amazing Pubcycle. Wisler urged Putnam to ask the new tour company to consider not allowing alcohol on the vehicles.
-Alternate forms of downtown transportation continue to pop up in Asheville. A company called Here to There Adventure wants to operate bicycle-powered rickshaws. And Putnam mentioned in passing that a company offering electric scooters was looking at Asheville. Electric scooter ridesharing companies such as Bird and Lime are raising tons of investor cash right now and popping up in cities around the U.S.
-What didn’t work: Slidr, a company that wanted to operate a free on-demand transportation service with electric vehicles in downtown Asheville, planned to make its money by selling third-party advertising on the side of its vehicles, but the city wouldn’t allow it. It never got off the ground.
-Also, the city of Asheville is considering a bike share program. You can weigh in here.
-Robin Currin, attorney for the city of Asheville, has announced her resignation. She’ll be taking the job as city attorney of Raleigh. The Asheville Blade says Currin’s departure provides a big opportunity to bring in someone who will be a much stronger advocate for open, transparent government.
-The beloved WNCW radio station in Spindale is hiring a full-time DJ to host a regular music show on weekdays, conduct Studio B interviews and more.
–Heavy Mountain Fest, a new heavy metal festival that will bring national metal acts to the Orange Peel and The Mothlight music venues in Asheville over Labor Day Weekend.
-Renovations are planned for Montford Park. The existing tennis courts and basketball courts will be improved, and there’s new site lighting and sidewalk work planned.
-The Asheville real estate market is entering “boom” territory, according to this Forbes.com article.