The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority has received requests from 16 applicants for funding from its tourism project development fund. The TDA collects hotel room tax in Buncombe County and grants a chunk of that cash to projects aimed at putting more “heads in beds” in local hotels.
So what projects are seeking funding?
How about an Asheville house cat museum or a new “learning center” at Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary in Leicester? Or a motorcycle welcome center? How about improved conference space at the Center for Craft Creativity and Design or The Collider in downtown? All these projects and more have submitted official applications to the Buncombe TDA, which will study the projects and make a decision about which to fund later this year. Last year, the TDA gave out nearly $5 million to such projects.
Here’s the full list:
ABSCI: The Collider: $350,000
ABYSA: JBL Soccer complex improvements: $1.1 million
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity: Volunteer Tourism Builds Affordable Housing: $75,000
Asheville Masonic Temple: renovation: $500,000
Blue Ridge Motorcyling Magazine: motorcycle welcome center: $500,000
Brother Wolf Learning Center: $500,000
Catman2 Inc: The American Museum of the House Cat: $350,000
Center for Craft, Creativity and Design: conference facility: $940,000
City of Asheville: River to Ridge riverfront destination development project $2.27 million
Colburn Earth Science Museum: Moving Science Education Into The Spotlight: $400,000
Friends of the WNC Nature Center: Front entrance: $313,000
Hickory Nut Gap Farm: Asheville’s Farm to Table Destination: Hickory Nut Gap Farm: $120,000
Looking Glass Creamery: Urban Creamery Project: $331,846
Riverglass: Riverglass Public Glass Studio & School: $200,000 grant and $100,000 loan
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy: Community Food and Farm Visitor Hub: $30,000
YMCA of WNC: YMCA Multipurpose Community Fields: $370,000
Half a million for the Masons? Really?
The building is a hundred years old. Old buildings don’t need as much love as newer ones because they’re made of better materials and feature better craftsmanship, but when they need love, they need a lot of it.
Why not combine a couple to save money?
A welcome center for motorcycles AND cats?
All these are good ideas, and some are great ideas – except the cat museum. There’s really no need for it.
My top picks:
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
Friends of the WNC Nature Center
YMCA Multipurpose Community Fields
OR- they could pay hotel employees what they deserve.
Cool. I would like to learn more about cats and their history.