Asheville area tourism players to meet Dec. 11 to review projects, brainstorm new ones

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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asheville_cvb_2013About 100 people who work in the Asheville area’s tourism industry are set to meet on Dec. 11 at the U.S. Cellular Center for a half-day discussion of tourism projects and how folks can work together. The event is presented by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, which each year uses county hotel tax money to fund tourism projects.

Stephanie Brown, executive director of the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Tuesday that the meeting is designed to raise awareness about the Buncombe TDA’s Tourism Product Development Fund. Earlier this year, the TDA funded three projects out of the fund. The TDA had 15 applications. The TDA is reworking the application process for folks seeking tourism product development fund cash, Brown said, and the meeting will allow officials to address that.

The meeting will offer updates on about a dozen projects – everything from development of the Noble Rock Resort in Black Mountain to development plans in Asheville’s River Arts District – and allow for brainstorming new ideas. Folks will break up into groups to talk, a move Brown said she hopes will foster new collaboration.

The meeting is open to “tourism partners,” but space is limited to about 100 people, Brown said. Ninety people have signed up so far, she said

Here’s the full announcement:

Wednesday, December 11 | Noon to 5 p.m.
US Cellular Center Asheville

We hope you will join us for this exciting new half day workshop presented by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. The Destination Development Forum will bring together a cross-section of community leaders to learn about numerous new projects in development, discuss Asheville’s strengths as a tourism destination, and share ideas for future opportunities that enhance the economic sustainability of our community.

JerryHenryOur keynote speaker will be Jerry Henry of H²R Market Research, the award-winning travel and tourism industry research consulting firm. Jerry will share evolving trends affecting the tourism industry across the country to lay the groundwork for the afternoon discussions.

Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m.
Program noon – 4 p.m. (Boxed lunches will be provided)
Networking Reception 4 – 5 p.m.
The event is free for our tourism partners.


Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Murphy December 3, 2013

    Is the Noble Rock Resort still “a go”…

    1. Jason Sandford December 4, 2013

      Murphy, I don’t know. I guess I’ll get the update at the meeting. I did hear that the Smoky Mountain Adventure Center finally got its financing together, so it will be great to hear an update on that.

  2. North Asheville Neighbor December 3, 2013

    This town is already overcrowded with tourists. How about focusing economic development resources on sustainable job growth sectors such as technology and manufacturing?

    1. Vlad Emrick December 3, 2013

      To what “economic development resources” are you referring? This initiative is paid for with a 1% local hotel occupancy tax.

      1. smytty December 4, 2013


      2. North Asheville Neighbor December 5, 2013

        Vlad, your comment does absolutely nothing to dissuade my opinion that we need to focus on sustainable growth in industries that will create jobs outside of the tourism economy. In fact, the 1% hotel occupancy tax seems like the perfect revenue stream to divert into economic development initiatives that will benefit the citizens of Buncombe county over a longer term. There is a significant divide between available wages and the rising cost of living; specifically in regards to the price of food and rent. Cultivating the technology and manufacturing sectors would create real and lasting jobs that are not tied to the changing of the seasons; jobs that would not suddenly disappear in the event of a significant event or tragedy.

        1. Vlad Emrick December 5, 2013

          But this is the tourism industry leading this effort, not our elected leaders or the EDC. If you want to blame community leaders for those things, fine, but don’t blame the industry for doing their job and being successful.


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