Jason Sandford

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

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More of what’s going around:

-Gas prices continue to drop. At the Enmark on my street, gas is $1.85 a gallon ($1.80 with a cash card). That puts gas prices at the lowest they’ve been in a decade at the start of summer, and that’s good news for tourism in Asheville.

-The new 118-room Hampton Inn & Suites Asheville-Biltmore Village officially opened this week just off Hendersonville Road. The hotel is a local Biltmore Farm Hotels property, its fourth along with the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville (which is right next door to the new Hampton Inn & Suites); the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park; and the Residence Inn Biltmore. The Biltmore Village area of Asheville is seeing a hotel construction boom, just like other hot spots around town, with one other new hotel nearing completion – a new Holiday Inn across Hendersonville Road from the new Hampton Inn – and two others in the planning stages (along Meadow Road and Thompson Street.)

-SCENES Media will host a house concert called Asheville Station in town on July 15. The event will feature singer-songwriters Alexa Rose, Ashley Heath and Hope Griffin. The live concert will be simultaneously broadcast through SCENES Facebook page, For tickets, contact Hal Fickett at [email protected] or at (631) 377 2141. Suggested donation is $20.

-Warren Wilson College’s Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival is entering its 48th season with performances throughout July in Asheville, Greenville and Waynesville. The first concerts launch July 1-3. The Jasper String Quartet percussionist Yousif Sheronick will launch the festival this year with concerts.

-HempX Asheville will be held Sept. 22-23 at Franny’s Farm in Leicester, where industrial hemp seeds will be planted on Sunday in the first planning of such seeds

-Hatch Asheville, a center of entrepreneurial activity in downtown Asheville, has restructured as a 501c(3) non-profit foundation, according to a press release. More:

Launched in 2016, the goal of Hatch is to turn Asheville into a city known and recognized for innovative and diverse startup companies. Hatch supports this mission through Place, Programming and Partnerships. “Place” means co-locating startups under one roof in downtown Asheville. Hatch currently has 6 startups in residence at its 45 South French Broad location including of Plum Print, LoLo, Anthroware, Shiny Creek, Galaxy Digital and UGoTour. “Programming” provides a structured way to learn together, solve a tough problem or even build a new business in a weekend. Hatch also seeks to create “partnerships” around common interests, such as Asheville’s strengths of outdoors, health care, climate and bio-tech industries. Hatch has announced an exciting new event called Hatch This. This inaugural event, which is a celebration of startups, will be held from September 8-10. Hatch This is planned to be a startup weekend, a hackathon, and a business accelerator. Organizer Jeffrey Kaplan, brand strategist and product owner at Anthroware (a Hatch member company), described this event by saying “Participants will have the opportunity to pitch a business idea, form teams, receive expert mentorship, and compete to win prize money and office space at Hatch’s South French Broad location.” For more information, go to

-New Belgium Brewing has earned a trifecta of LEED® certifications on all three of their Asheville facilities: Liquid Center tasting room (Platinum), Brewery (Gold), and Distribution Center (Silver), according to a press release. Here’s more:

A number of innovative features are incorporated into the design of each facility, including: an urban brownfield reclamation, repurposed materials from deconstructed buildings, LED lighting, high efficiency cooling and distributed heating and cooling, solar hot water and photovoltaics (PV), natural ventilation, storm water Best Management Practices and brewing process recovery, and HVAC and process heat recovery.

“Healthy buildings are becoming the norm, good for the people who use them, the environment, and our business’ triple bottom line,” says Bethany Beers, New Belgium Building and Energy Engineer. “Our Asheville campus showcases thoughtful and efficient design, and honors the natural resources that we depend upon to make our product.”

LEED®, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design™, is a third-party certification program from the U.S. Green Building Council® that recognizes best-in-class building design, construction and operation strategies. A project receives a certification level depending upon the number of points achieved: certified, silver, gold or platinum.

Perkins+Will (North Carolina), Adolfson & Peterson Construction (Colorado), Equinox (Asheville), and Russell + Mills Studios (Colorado) were New Belgium’s design and construction partners for the Liquid Center and the Brewery. Finkle Williams Architecture (Kansas), ARCO National Construction – Beverage Group (Missouri), and Equinox (North Carolina) were their Distribution Center partners.

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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  1. Julia June 20, 2017

    I haven’t seen any gas less than $2.17 and most places I pass are in the $2.28 range. Where in town is under $2?

    1. Jason Sandford June 20, 2017

      Several places around town. Check gasbuddyDOTcom.


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