Some of what’s going around this Monday after the snowstorm:
-The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority has announced plans to move the offices of its Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau to Asheville Office Park, at the corner of College Street and Town Mountain Road. A two-story building at 31 College Place will be gutted and redesigned over the next six months “to create inviting, open space that reflects the region’s destination brand. ACVB will become the anchor tenant and a significant part of the ongoing revitalization of the eastern gateway to the central business district,” according to a press release. (The location, fittingly, will also be next door to a planned new hotel, called The Element.) The TDA is working with Lewis Real Estate on the move. The TDA and CVB had been operating out of an office building on Montford Avenue that’s home to the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. But last year, the TDA decided to cut its ties to the chamber (the CVB was operating as a chamber subsidiary) and created its own nonprofit organization, with the TDA as the CVB’s governing board.
Here’s more from the press release:
“The building will be a centerpiece of the office park and a critical element as we work to enhance the east corridor into downtown,” explained Martin Lewis, who is also investing in the up fit of the building and redesign of the office park.
This building gives us the opportunity to create space that exudes the Asheville destination brand and also can make an impact in an often overlooked corridor between downtown and the Tunnel Road commercial district, noted Gary Froeba, managing director of The Omni Grove Park Inn and BDTCA member and fiduciary task force chair.
BCTDA voted in December to give authority to Froeba to sign a lease following consultation with the fiduciary task force chair during the vetting process. The task force determined that leasing 7,750 square foot of space in the Asheville Office Park building with additional room for community and partner space would best meet its needs.
“The significant upgrades to this location will make it an ideal new home for the CVB and a hub for our tourism partners,” ACVB Executive Director Stephanie Pace Brown added. “We look forward to working in a space that is outfitted with collaborative and creative space in mind.”
-Tickets to comedian Dave Chappelle’s Feb. 6 show at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville sold out in minutes on Friday. A second show was added, and that, too, sold out quickly.
-The new Publix grocery store in Weaverville is planning to open on Feb. 1. The store is located at 165 Weaver Boulevard and will have a pharmacy, reports loyal reader Tiger.
-The annual State of the Downtown luncheon sponsored by The Asheville Downtown Association is set for noon on Jan. 31.
-The Grovewood Gallery will host an exhibition titled “Susan Lenz: In Stitches,” which opens Feb. 17. This exhibition will showcase framed textile art and one-of-a-kind fiber vessels by Columbia, S.C., Lenz. The public is invited to meet the artist and watch her demonstrate her craft on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 17 and 18, according to a press release.
-Westmoreland & Scully, which employs about 60 part-time and 75 full-time employees at Chestnut and Corner Kitchen restaurants, as well as Corner Kitchen Catering, has hired Kim Murray as its director of employee engagement. Murray has been on the Asheville restaurant scene for years, and is the former managing partner of The Lobster Trap.
-Several of Asheville’s independent restaurants have announced that they’ve dropped the online reservation service OpenTable for a new one called Reserve. “This is due to Reserve’s range of options for restaurants and guests, ease of use, and fee structure. As of today, 14 restaurants have changed systems,” according to a press release. Here are the Asheville restaurants who have switched to Reserve so far, according to the release: Ambrozia, Blackbird, Blue Dream Curry, Chestnut, Corner Kitchen, Cúrate, Limones, Nightbell, Posana, Rezaz, Rhubarb, Smoky Park Supper Club, Twisted, Laurel, Zambra
-Registration is now open for No Taste Like Home’s 2017 Wild Food Immersion Program, led by mushroom hunter Alan Muskat. “Master the art of foraging as you learn how to serve, preserve, and share your knowledge of over 100 wild edibles. This seven-month, 300-hour course will qualify you to teach for No Taste Like Home.”
-The Asheville Independent Restaurant Association has announced its board of directors for the year. The new board includes Kate Bannasch of Copper Crown, Rick Guthy of Wicked Weed, Charlie Hodge of Sovereign Remedies and Ole Shakey’s, Bryan McIntosh of The Biltmore Company, and Kim Murray of Westmoreland and Scully, according to a press release. Returning members are Kevin Barnes of Ultimate Ice Cream, Liz Button of Heirloom Hospitality Group, Christine Lane of Marco’s, Patrick O’Cain of Gan Shan Station, and Kevin Westmoreland (AIR president) of Westmoreland and Scully. At-large members, Stephanie Brown of the CVB, Elizabeth Sims, consultant, and Sabrina Rockoff of McGuire, Wood and Bissette, round out the 13-member volunteer AIR Board of Directors for 2017, according to the release.
-The Asheville nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services will host a 1 p.m. press conference Tuesday at its Charlotte Street offices to emphasize the importance of access to affordable health insurance coverage for North Carolinians. The press conference, which the NC Justice Center will be joining, comes with the Jan. 31 deadline for health insurance coverage approaching and Congress considering swift action to repeal the Affordable Care Act. More from a press release:
The groups will outline how North Carolinians continue to benefit under the law and encourage the public to enroll in a plan by the January 31 deadline. Consumers who have themselves benefited from coverage through the Marketplace will talk about how having coverage has changed their lives, and what it would mean if they were to lose it.
The NC Justice Center will discuss the dangers of repealing the health law without first passing a replacement plan that ensures continued access to affordable, quality health coverage. They have launched new tools to engage the public available online (www.keepNCcovered.org) in order to defend access to health coverage programs that provide access to life-saving care for millions of North Carolinians. The Justice Center will also call for “No Repeal without Replace,” encouraging the state’s congressional delegation to vote on a replacement before voting to repeal the ACA.