-The Asheville Regional Airport recently announced that an American Airlines nonstop flight between Asheville and the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport would be offered Saturdays from June through August of 2018. American Airlines offered seasonal nonstop daily service between AVL and DFW in 2010 and ’11, then discontinued the service when American merged with U.S. Airways. Airport marketing manager Tina Kinsey told tourism officials last week that the move was a “vote of confidence for our region” by American. If tickets sell and seats fill up, American could expand its service, she said.
-In other airport news, the Asheville Regional Airport’s big new parking garage is partially open. It will be fully opened as soon as all inspections are finished. The $22 million parking deck has 1,300 spaces.
-And finally, two electric vehicle charging stations have been installed at the Asheville Regional Airport. The EV charging stations are located in the airport’s short-term parking lot, near the entrance to the new parking garage. There is no charge for use of the stations (although parking lot fees apply), and they are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the airport.
-An arctic blast will arrive in Western North Carolina on Wednesday, bringing with it much colder temperatures and the possibility of some weekend snow flurries, according to forecasters. The high temperatures on Wednesday will be in the mid 40s, while highs on Friday and Saturday are expected to be in the upper 30s. Scattered snow flurries, the first of this winter season, will mostly affected the higher elevations along the Tennessee border.
-Word on the street is that a giant 34,000-square-foot warehouse at 812 Riverside Drive, which has been for sale for $2 million, is under contract. No word yet on who the buyer might be. There’s development action happening all along Riverside Drive, including in that section of Riverside Drive, where there’s a large self-storage facility under construction. The new Ramp Studios, a new home to artist studios, is right across the street from the storage facility.
-The Windsor Hotel, a downtown boutique hotel, changed hands in October. A company bought the hotel for $9.1 million from a company called MRK Broadway and transferred ownership to Regent Bank, according to property records. MRK Broadway bought the Windsor in December 2011 for $885,000. This is the latest move by the MRK crew, a group of Florida investors who snapped up the Windsor, as well as the S&W building and the former Bank of America building on Patton Avenue. MRK sold the S&W building earlier this year, and retains ownership of the old bank building, where it has approval to build a boutique hotel, but there’s been no movement on that so far.
-The winners of November’s election for Asheville City Council will be sworn in this afternoon at City Hall. Mayor Esther Manheimer and Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler won re-election, as did newcomers Vijay Kapoor and Sheneika Smith. Kapoor is City Council’s first Indian-American council member.
–Little Jumbo, the new craft cocktail bar on Broadway, celebrates its grand opening tonight.
-Mission Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield have returned to the negotiating table. This past summer, Mission Health announced it was terminating its contract with Blue Cross, citing a breakdown in negotiations over reimbursements. The move upset thousands of Blue Cross insurance holders in Western North Carolina who faced higher costs for services. That contract officially ended on Oct. 4. Some 30 days later, the two sides began talking again.
–Mindful Mornings, another monthly morning networking event, has opened an Asheville chapter, which was founded by local event organizer Micah Pulleyn. Mindful Mornings’ mission is “to connect, inspire and teach do-gooders so they can more expeditiously and efficiently achieve their world-changing goals.” The meetings are held at Wedge Brewing’s Foundation location. Like Creative Mornings and 1 Million Cups, these groups bring together like-minded folks for connection and inspiration
-The Found Footage Festival, the touring showcase of odd and hilarious found VHS tapes, is coming to The Grey Eagle at 8 p.m. on Dec. 15. Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, whose credits include The Onion and The Colbert Report, will host the night of funny, weird old videos. Tickets are $12 and can be found at foundfootagefest.com or Orbit DVD on Haywood Road in West Asheville.
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