2012 |

north carolina

Bottle ground
Beer City USA once again

cleaning up
Green solutions make local businesses hum

a culture of creativity
River Arts District is cresting with success
sponsored By the asheville area chamBer of commerce


anniversary issue


2012 edition | volume 10

north carolina

co nte nt s F e atu r e s
10 a culture of creativity
River Arts District is cresting with success



cleaning up
Green solutions make local businesses hum

16 Welcome, linamar
City, county, state collaborate to land global manufacturer


Bottle ground
Beer City USA once again


asheville’s appetite
City’s popularity grows with epicurean fans

a b o ut th e cov e r
Asheville artist Wendy Whitson’s work, “On the Parkway” seemed to be a perfect fit for this year’s Asheville magazine cover. It combines key elements for which the city is known: breathtaking natural landscapes created by layers of lush, leafy forests, the misty Blue Ridge Mountains and expansive, cotton-fiber clouds draped across crystal blue skies. And we learned from the artist, there’s even more dimension in the details. Whitson collages sheet music into the trees, “a little surprise” she says. So there you have it: Music, mountains, trees, clouds and color, observed from the Blue Ridge Parkway, interpreted in an original work of art created by an artist in the city’s flourishing River Arts District. It’s so Asheville.


Read more about Whitson and the River Arts District on page 10.

i m AG e S A S h e v i l l e . C o m


The AAA Diamond Rated Quality Inn & Suites Biltmore East is conveniently located just minutes from downtown Asheville and Biltmore® – America’s largest home.
Free, Full, Hot Breakfast Buffet • Free Wireless Internet Access Free Business Center • Free Local Calls • Free Newspaper Free Cookies at Check In • Free Coffee and Tea Fitness Center • Seasonal Outdoor Pool and Gazebo Biltmore® Tickets Sold • Five Miles from Biltmore® Near Restaurant Row 1430 Tunnel Rd. • I-40, Exit 55 • Asheville, NC 28805 (828) 298-5519 • Toll-free: (877) 299-5519

Long Term Acute Care
Asheville Specialty Hospital (ASH) offers a new option in care. Patients who have suffered a catastrophic illness and are anticipating a lengthy hospitalization are appropriate referrals. Patients with complex medical needs benefit from ASH. Asheville Specialty Hospital is NOT a nursing home. Otherwise known as a long-term acute care hospital, patients are given the extended time and highly specialized level of care and services to help them obtain their maximum level of recovery. For most patients, the average length of stay is usually between three to four weeks or about 21-28 days. As the only accredited specialty hospital in the region; an experienced staff of physicians, nurses, therapists and case managers work closely together by approaching care from a physical, emotional and spiritual standpoint; ASH’s team maintains a goal of achieving the highest level of wellness possible. Asheville Specialty Hospital 428 Biltmore Ave., 4th Floor Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 213-5400 tel (828) 213-5443 fax



2012 edition | volume 10

north carolina

d e pa r tm e nt s
6 almanac 18 Biz Briefs 21 economic profile 23 education 25 health & Wellness 38 sports & recreation 40 arts & culture 42 image gallery 47 community profile 48 through the lens




All or part of this magazine is printed on recycled paper containing 10% post-consumer waste.

please recycle this magazine

i m AG e S A S h e v i l l e . C o m


What’s online
Visually explore Asheville in our online photo galleries

2012 |

north carolina

Bottle ground
Beer City USA once again

cleaning up
Green solutions make local businesses hum

a culture of creativity
River Arts District is cresting with success
sponsored By the asheville area chamBer of commerce

Digital magazine
Flip through the pages of this magazine and easily share articles using Facebook, Twitter or email.

Get the most up-to-date info on cost of living, top employers, schools, population demographics and more

Get a moving glimpse at favorite local places and attractions

living here
Learn the basics about local neighborhoods, schools and health care providers



2012 edition | volume 10

north carolina

content director LiSA BAttLeS proofreading manager RAven Petty content coordinator JeSSiCA WALkeR staff Writer kevin LitWin copy editor JiLL WyAtt contriButing Writers DAn HieB, LAURA HiLL, Joe MoRRiS, CHRiS RUSSeLL, kARen SCHWARtzMAn, BetSy WiLLiAMS senior graphic designers LAURA GALLAGHeR, JAnine MARyLAnD, kRiS Sexton, vikki WiLLiAMS graphic designers RACHAeL GeRRinGeR, tAyLoR nUnLey senior photographers Jeff ADkinS, BRiAn McCoRD staff photographers toDD Bennett, Antony BoSHieR color imaging technician ALiSon HUnteR integrated media manager HURCHeL WiLLiAMS ad production manager kAtie MiDDenDoRf ad traffic assistants kRyStin LeMMon, PAtRiCiA MoiSAn chairman GReG tHURMAn president/puBlisher BoB SCHWARtzMAn executive vice president RAy LAnGen senior v.p./sales toDD PotteR senior v.p./operations CASey HeSteR senior v.p./client development Jeff HeefneR senior v.p./Business development SCott teMPLeton senior v.p./agriBusiness puBlishing kiM HoLMBeRG v.p./Business development CHARLeS fitzGiBBon v.p./external communications teRee CARUtHeRS v.p./visual content MARk foReSteR v.p./content operations nAtASHA LoRenS v.p./travel puBlishing SUSAn CHAPPeLL v.p./sales HeRB HARPeR, JARek SWekoSky controller CHRiS DUDLey senior accountant LiSA oWenS accounts payaBle coordinator MARiA McfARLAnD accounts receivaBle coordinator DiAnA GUzMAn office manager/accounts receivaBle coordinator SHeLLy MiLLeR sales support coordinator ALex MARkS i.t. director yAnCey BonD system administrator DAnieL CAntReLL WeB content manager JoHn HooD WeB project manager noy fonGnALy WeB designer ii RiCHARD StevenS WeB developer i yAMeL HALL, neLS noSeWoRtHy WeB account manager LAURen eUBAnk photography director JeffRey S. otto media technology director CHRiStinA CARDen media technology analysts BeCCA ARy, CHAnDRA BRADSHAW audience development director DeAnnA neLSon marketing creative director keitH HARRiS distriBution director GARy SMitH executive secretary kRiSty DUnCAn human resources manager PeGGy BLAke receptionist LinDA BiSHoP

A great reason to smile.

Dr. Doug Pratt • Dr. Bill Chambers Dr. Angie Baechtold • Dr. Ryan Haldeman

Asheville magazine is published annually by Journal Communications inc. and is distributed through the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and its member businesses. for advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by email at for more information, contact: Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce 36 Montford Ave. • Asheville, NC 28801 Phone: (828) 258-6101 • Fax: (828) 251-0926 visit Asheville online at ©Copyright 2011 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. no portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member the Association of Magazine Media Member Custom Content Council

Pediatric & Adolescent Dental Specialists

Accepting New Patients at Both Offices
Asheville: 10B Yorkshire St. • (828) 274-9220 Waynesville: 50 Bowman Dr. • (828) 454-9156

Member Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce


Welcome to Asheville
An intRoDUCtion to the AReA’S people, plACeS AnD eventS

eat Like a Local
Hosted by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Montford tailgate Market is Asheville’s newest among scores of markets in the area. it is open on Wednesday afternoons from 2 until 6 p.m., and takes place in the chamber’s parking lot each week through thanksgiving. Customers can visit an array of vendors, as more than 20 local farmers set up shop to sell their produce and goods. for more information about the Montford tailgate Market, contact the chamber at (828) 258-6101 or visit its website at

Goodbye, Graffiti
While the Hunter Banks Company may be one of the best places to find fly-fishing equipment, it stands out for another reason, too – because it's pretty hard to miss the giant rainbow trout and fisherman painted on the side of the building. the mural, created by Asheville artists Jeremy Russell and Scott Allred, was completed in June 2011. Shop owner Frank Smith commissioned the mural as a way to combat the graffiti that was often gracing his building. For extra protection, the mural has been coated with a “graffiti-guard” to allow for easy graffiti removal while also preventing permanent damage.

you Can take it With you
Wish you could enjoy delicious tupelo Honey Cafe food anytime, anywhere? thanks to food writer elizabeth Sims and chef Brian Sonoskus, that dream can now be a reality, as they have created Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville's New South Kitchen. the cookbook comprises more than 125 of Sonoskus' recipes, each paired with mouth-watering images taken by local photographers. And it's not just your own belly you'll be helping with your book purchase; portion of the proceeds will be donated to Manna foodBank and Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.

a the



An Asheville Adventure
photo CoURteSy of nAvitAt CAnopy ADventUReS PHoto CoURteSy of MiCHAeL tRAiSteR

Experience Asheville in a whole new way during an exciting tree-based tour courtesy of Navitat Canopy Adventures. take in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and fly high during a zipline canopy tour consisting of 10 ziplines, two bridges, two rappels and three short hikes. night owls, check out navitat at night and enjoy star-gazing in Moody Cove while zipping from tree to tree. each tour group is accompanied by two trained canopy guides, as well as a supervisor on the ground. to learn more about navitat Canopy Adventures, call (828) 626-3700 or visit

Artful Home furnishings
A working studio and gallery, the Boggs Collective is located in Asheville's Biltmore Village. Customers can select from a line of furniture designs or commission a piece from their own inspiration. the collective’s master craftsmen, including Brian Boggs, Andy Rae, Gary Rawlins and Seth Weisenecker, begin their process by selecting the perfect tree for their creations; from there, these craftsmen design custom furniture built to inspire generations of users. Clients often participate in the process, from material selection to design, and visitors are always welcome. for more information, contact The Boggs Collective at (828) 398-9701 or visit their website,

Stop Here first
newcomers, make the Asheville visitor Center your first stop when you make it into town. Located in downtown Asheville and open seven days a week, the visitor center provides brochures and coupons for local attractions and accommodations, as well as maps and other must-haves. Guests can also pick up tickets to Biltmore, and can embark on tours via trolley or Segway. And, because no trip is complete without the perfect souvenir, visit the Asheville Shop, which offers prints, photos and crafts created by local artists, with Asheville-inspired apparel available, too.

i m AG e S A S h e v i l l e . C o m




Fast Facts Walk (or Drive) this Way
Helping residents and visitors make their way around the city, the Asheville Area Wayfinding Program began in 2009. The system includes signs designed for both vehicles and pedestrians, as well as parking identification signs, gateway/district identification signs, information kiosks and more. featured in American Style magazine, the signs are decorated with art created by various talented locals, complete with historical and literary allusions. With more than 2.9 million people visiting the Asheville area each year, it's safe to say that the signs may provide some much-needed guidance and reassurance to travelers. n Biltmore, America’s largest home, has 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, 70-foot ceilings, an indoor bowling alley and priceless antiques. n Asheville’s temperate climate makes yearround living a breeze. its average annual snowfall is only 13 inches. n Renowned golf course designer Donald Ross designed the Buncombe County municipal Course, the course at the Grove park inn Resort & Spa, the Country Club of Asheville and Biltmore forest Country Club. n mount mitchell is at an elevation of 6,684 feet, making it the highest peak east of the mississippi River.

asheville at a glance
population (2010 estimate) Asheville: 83,393 Buncombe County: 238,318 location Asheville is in Western north Carolina, tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains. two major interstates, I-40 and I-26, intersect just outside the city limits. Beginnings Asheville was incorporated in 1797 and named in honor of north Carolina Gov. Samuel Ashe. for more information Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce 36 Montford Ave. Asheville, NC 28801 Phone: (828) 258-6101 Fax: (828) 251-0926








Black Mountain
40 Swannanoa 74






What’s online
Take a virtual tour of Asheville, courtesy of our award-winning photographers, at

i m AG e S A S h e v i l l e . C o m


PHoto CoURteSy of Lynn SeLDon


the River
asheville’s river arts district is cresting With success
StoRy By Betsy Williams PHotoGRAPHy By jeff adkins & Brian m ccord

Down By


hroughout its history, Asheville’s riverfront has seen an economic ebb and flow of abundance and hardship along the waters of the city’s French Broad River. Today, abundance is flowing again, as a riverfront renaissance is riding a crest in Asheville’s flourishing and eclectic River Arts District (RAD). setting the stage It started in 1985 with Brian and Gail McCarthy’s Highwater Clays, the first arts-based business, followed by Porge and Lewis Buck, who in 1987 transformed a former feed store into Warehouse Studios. “They unknowingly set the stage for what is today’s River Arts District,” says landscape painter Wendy Whitson, owner of Northlight Studios and presidentelect of the River Arts District Artists. “On any given day there are 65 artists, studios and businesses open for business,

and it’s growing every day as more people discover this great area and the energy we are generating.” When RAD pioneer and leader Pattiy Torno was seeking a new location for a nightclub in 1989, she spotted the neglected area and saw potential. “There was no arts district at the time; it was just an abandoned part of town,” she says. “The buildings are so amazing in their construction, with high ceilings and big banks of glass windows.” Today, Torno’s CURVE Studios & Garden, located in three renovated Riverside Drive buildings, houses 13 working artists specializing in a wide variety of media, including her own quilts and eclectic clothing. arts studios, restaurants find a home Pink Dog Creative, taking over an expanse of buildings on Depot Street, recently opened its doors to more than a dozen artists and The

clockwise from left: the River Arts District includes a variety of businesses such as hofman Studios, which specializes in handbuilt porcelain; Wedge Brewing Company; and pink Dog Creative, where founder and creative director Randy Shull paints in his studio.

i m AG e S A S h e v i l l e . C o m


clockwise from above: Artist Wendy Whitson’s gallery is located at northlight Studios; ian Whitt blows glass for a crowd of spectators in the River Arts District; Acrylic paints; pink Dog Creative on Depot Street

Junction restaurant, while Glen Rock Depot has debuted with 60 affordable residential units and commercial space, including The Magnetic Field Performance House & Café and West One Salon. Wedge Brewing Company, 12 Bones Smokehouse, Clingman Café and Hatchery Studio’s White Duck Taco Shop are just a few of the restaurants creating the river scene. “The River Arts District has flourished amazingly well in the last five years,” says Torno, who serves on the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission. “It’s continuing

to grow; people are purchasing buildings and investing in this area.” New construction, building renovation and an influx of restaurants, new businesses and full-time residents have created a hip urban feel down by the river. Events spaces, framing shops, health- and pet-care providers, landscape architects, building suppliers and nonprofit organizations are all adding to the vibe that is the River Arts District. new streetscape, Wayfinding in place A $1.2 million streetscape

improvement project, funded by the city of Asheville and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, is bringing a real sense of place to the RAD, with sidewalks, bike lanes, landscaping and parking improvements. A recent wayfinding project, spearheaded by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, is helping residents and tourists alike better find their way to an array of glassblowers, weavers, sculptors, painters, and ceramic and furniture craftsmen, including one furniture maker whose goal is to resurrect North

Carolina’s furniture industry, says Torno. Twice-yearly Studio Strolls, outdoor movies, live theater productions and concerts lure people unfamiliar with the RAD who then return on a regular basis to enjoy the offerings of art, food and entertainment. “It’s succeeding because of collaborative efforts,” Northlight’s Whitson maintains. “The artists who are here are very serious and passionate about their art form. They love what they’re doing, and that passion makes this neighborhood have a real heartbeat.”
i m AG e S A S h e v i l l e . C o m


greening asheville
green solutions make asheville Businesses hum
StoRy By dan hieB | PHotoGRAPHy By jeff adkins


wenty-seven tons of trash. That’s how much waste Danny Keaton’s company diverts from the landfill each week by making it easier for other people to compost and recycle. His Danny’s Dumpster is one of several businesses around Asheville that have found making money and helping the environment can intersect. Business leaders say that not only do environmentally sound practices help keep Buncombe County beautiful, they also make for higher profits and a more stable economy. In a county where tourism generates a $1.9 billion annual economic impact, the lessons learned could help keep the region attractive for generations to come.

Keaton started hauling the recycling, but soon realized that restaurants also generate a lot of organic waste. Now he hauls food scraps to Crowell Farm for composting. Keaton returns the resulting rich soil to customers who want it, like Sunny Point Café, where compost helps feed the backyard garden that supplies fresh ingredients. “When you look at what’s being diverted from the landfill, sometimes it’s 75, 80 percent of what they were sending,” Keaton says of his customers. And the cost of disposal isn’t any higher, since less winds up in the dumpster. thermo fisher scientific sets a Bold goal Jeff Powers’ inspiration came during a conference at Penn State, in which a fellow presenter told students how Subaru had managed to cut its landfill waste to zero at a plant in Lafayette, Ind. Powers, who is director of manufacturing operations for Thermo Fisher Scientific-Asheville, set out to duplicate the feat. Last fall, the site established a “green team” that promotes recycling. Monthly waste dropped

danny’s dumpster turns restaurants green When Keaton started his waste disposal business in 2007, a new state law was on the horizon, and with it a new opportunity. The 2008 law said that businesses that sold alcohol for on-site consumption – bars and restaurants – had to recycle alcohol containers.

PHoto CoURteSy of tHeRMo fiSHeR SCientifiC

25 percent. This summer, employees did a dumpster dive to see what was still being thrown away. Powers estimates that 75 percent of what was found could be recycled or composted. He hopes to eliminate the remaining 25 percent by 2015 by adjusting manufacturing processes. The site, which is already part of Thermo Fisher’s company-wide lean-enterprise program focusing on eliminating waste, went through an “E3” process, which identified ways to cut consumption and be more efficient. Implementing the changes has not only saved money, but led to a smoother operation that has achieved 100 percent on-time delivery to customers. keeping extra trucks off the road To begin to understand the impact of the WNC Transportation Alliance, consider this number: 42,000. That’s how many gallons of diesel are saved each year along one trucking route between Asheville and Florida. The alliance serves as a matchmaker between businesses that truck products. For instance,

Southeastern Container Inc. ships soda bottles to Florida, while Ingles Markets imports fresh produce from the state. With a little coordination, the same truck that carries bottles to Florida can return with groceries. Sharing that one route is saving the companies $307,652 a year and prevents 462 tons of carbon emissions by reducing miles driven with empty trailers. “That’s out of the many, many shipping channels that those two companies have,” Clark Duncan, spokesman for the alliance, says. “It hits the triple bottom line,” he says. “They recognize they can run their business in a smarter, more efficient way while also benefitting the environment. And making businesses more profitable means more jobs for Buncombe County.”
clockwise from top left: Danny Keaton of Danny’s Dumpsters; Recycling containers are emptied into a Danny’s Dumpster truck; thermo fisher ScientificAsheville’s dumpster dive; thermo fisher Scientific-Asheville

i m AG e S A S h e v i l l e . C o m



Welcome, linamar
city, county, state collaBorate to land gloBal manufacturer


StoRy By joe morris

y capitalizing on years of bringing everyone to the table, Asheville and Buncombe County economic development officials now can add global manufacturer Linamar to

their roster of success stories. The Canadian firm, which makes parts of engines, transmissions and drive trains at facilities around the world, has taken over a former Volvo plant in south Asheville. After some retooling, the facility will supply precision-machined components to customers of Linamar’s Industrial, Commercial and Energy Group. state, local officials offer grant, tax packages A combination of state and local incentives was put into play to help seal the deal, including state Job Development Investment Grant funds that could reach $2.5 million if Linamar meets its specific job-creation targets,

and a $200,000 One North Carolina Fund grant. To get those funds, Linamar has agreed to create 363 jobs over four years beginning in 2012 and to make a capital investment of at least $80 million. The company’s jobs are expected to average nearly $40,000 per year, not including benefits. Asheville and Buncombe County officials say that the Linamar deal is just the latest successful result of literally decades of getting every conceivable player involved in business recruitment and retention. “Five months before the announcement, we were meeting with them,” says K. Ray Bailey, a Buncombe County commissioner who also is president emeritus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and board chair of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County.



“The state department of commerce was involved, as were the board chair and president of the chamber, county manager, city manager, mayor, local colleges, employment commissioners and school superintendents. We put a large group of people around that table.” As Linamar narrowed down its potential sites, Gov. Bev Perdue was brought into the talks with the company’s top officials, which showed the area’s seriousness about making a deal, Bailey says. advance planning speeds linamar startup “We agreed early on to make sure we had an incentive package, both for the city and county, and then the state came in to help with their grant funds,” he says. “We kept working at it, and they saw us working at it, and eventually we came to an agreement.” Linamar has held job fairs and is hiring for the facility in anticipation of being fully operational by January 2012 in order to begin meeting orders that have already come in to the plant. It’s been able to keep to that accelerated schedule thanks to all the local stakeholders being on board early in the process, which allowed for training programs and more to come online quickly. “That’s how we do it here,” Bailey says. “We gather everybody and talk about what each group or organization can provide. That’s been important, and I think that the successes we’ve had over the years are because all of us in the community work collaboratively to make them happen.”


Biz Briefs
BUSineSSeS – Both lARGe AnD SmAll – thAt help Define ASheville’S eConomiC ClimAte

Business at a glance

$2 billion
annual retail sales

retail sales per capita

$391 million
annual hotel and food sales

total number of firms
source: U.s. Census QuickFacts

jus’ running Biz: Shoe store Buzz: The perfect pair of running shoes awaits in Jus’ Running, a shoe store dedicated to not only supplying a variety of shoes, but finding the exact pair to suit each customer. The store provides a professional fitting process that includes a free biomechanical analysis and matches appropriate support and cushioning. Brands include Nike, New Balance, Adidas and more. 18

groveWood gallery Biz: Arts and crafts retailer Buzz: Grovewood Gallery opened officially in 1992 to take over for Biltmore Estate Industries, an established education program known for its handloomed fabrics. Now Grovewood has evolved to include the NC Homespun Museum, Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum, a cafe and a studio. Visit the gallery to purchase unique jewelry, ceramics, glasswork and sculptures. B.B. Barns Biz: Garden center Buzz: Asheville gardeners get their green thumbs at B.B. Barns, a 7-acre destination garden center. Along with the garden center, B.B. Barns offers landscape design, installation and garden maintenance services, as well as education programs in areas such as container gardening for beginners. Also on-site is a gift store with selections ranging from outdoor furniture and accessories to candles and bath and body products. sunny point cafe Biz: Restaurant Buzz: Restaurants like Sunny Point Cafe have given Asheville an edge on the foodie scene. Sunny Point is best known for its famous breakfast, which is served all day, but they also serve lunch and dinner. The restaurant grows its own garden and has received rave reviews from the likes of Southern Living magazine and a slew of foodie favorite blogs. avl technologies Biz: Mobile satellite and antenna manufacturer Buzz: Founder Jim Oliver, former engineering manager for the antenna division of Scientific Atlanta and co-founder of SatCom Technologies, began AvL Technologies in 1994. Originally designed to manufacture a lightweight positioner for ERA Technology, the company has grown to specialize in the design, development and production of mobile satellite antenna/ positioner systems and offers the world’s largest range of satellite antennas for vehicle mount and flyaway applications.

Livingthe ground up. green starts from
Living green is making sure the air in your home is healthy for your family to breathe. Test your home for radon and build radon-resistant. It's easy. That's living healthy and green.

Just call 866-730-green or visit

i m AG e S A S h e v i l l e . C o m


10 Surprising

Food Cities


Asheville made the list.

10 Surprising Food Cities
See more Top 10 lists at

Introducing the Top 10 Lists New lists every month | Not your average lists | Not your average website

economic profile
Business climate
Asheville has both low unemployment and strong job growth. fueling the area’s sound business climate are stable population growth, a healthy housing market, expanding professional services, robust small business and health care industry growth, and a steady tourism industry.


County Sales tax

and enter the Parkway in Asheville than at any other point along the road’s 470 miles. there are seven Asheville-area Parkway exits.

major employers
3,000+ employees Buncombe County Public Schools ingles Markets, inc. (Home office) Buncombe County Mission Health System and Hospital 1,000-2,999 employees City of Asheville the Biltmore Company Museums Buncombe County Government the Grove Park inn Resort & Spa vA Medical Center – Asheville Department of veterans Affairs 750-999 employees BorgWarner turbo & emissions Systems CarePartners nursing & Residential Care facilities eaton Corporation – electrical Division 500-749 employees Asheville City Schools MB Haynes Corp. (Division offices) Construction Arvato Digital Services

State Sales tax

Asheville transit Authority 360 W. Haywood St. (828) 253-5691

total Sales tax

AiR: Asheville Regional Airport 61 terminal Dr., Ste. 1 Fletcher, NC 28732 (828) 684-2226

Residential property tax

Commercial property tax

RAil: Amtrak


per Capita income


White-Collar Jobs

Average Annual household expenditure

Blue-Collar Jobs

ROAD: I-40 East from Knoxville, Tenn.; I-40 West from Statesville and Raleigh, N.C.; I-85 to I-26 from Charlotte and South Carolina; and 19/23 South from Johnson City/Bristol, tenn. for a more scenic and leisurely drive, try the Blue Ridge Parkway. More motorists exit


Associate Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Graduate Degree
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a Force behind the Workforce
A-B teCh hAS Key Role in eConomiC Development
xciting news occurred in Asheville in July 2011 on a couple of fronts. first of all, Canadian-based Linamar Corp. announced that it is investing $125 million to establish a construction-equipment parts manufacturing plant in Asheville that will create 400 jobs. Adding to the excitement is that Linamar chose Asheville-Buncombe technical Community College to provide an array of pre-hire training for employee candidates, then A-B tech will also provide post-hire, on-the-job follow-up training. “We scheduled leadership and managerial skills classes along with computer training and qualitycontrol sessions for Linamar,” says Shelley White, A-B tech senior executive director of economic and workforce development and continuing education. “the state of north Carolina funds the training costs, which was part of the incentive package for Linamar


locating here.” the Linamar success story is one of many occurring these days within the Workforce Development Department at A-B tech. White says 17,000 students a year enroll in classes that are earmarked toward getting people ready for today’s hottest careers. “nowadays we are offering our students a lot of computer and software technical classes plus plenty of training in health occupations,” she says. “We make great efforts to connect with local businesses and groups like the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and their economic Development Coalition to ensure that we are in touch with the training needs in the community.” White says a popular current curriculum is a nurse’s aide program that takes only seven weeks to complete, and another is an automated-machining program that takes only 12 weeks

Students learn about manufacturing processes at Asheville-Buncombe technical Community College.

for students to finish. “Most machining students are going right to work after completing the program,” she says. “that’s a good deal – getting a good job after only three months of training.” one local company that has a history of accessing A-B tech training programs is eaton Corp., which is involved with metal working for the aerospace and automotive industries. one specific program that A-B tech offers to Eaton is a 40-hour prehire training session that teaches applicants about blueprint reading, lean-manufacturing principles and other fundamentals of a manufacturing environment. “After the 40 hours of training, we advise eaton of the students who are best qualified for their company,” White says. “even if a student isn’t hired by eaton, that student now has the skills to seek employment and get hired at other manufacturing companies.” Part of the A-B tech campus is also set up as a small-business incubator, with a small-business information center for anyone interested in starting a small business. “We can also lease office and storage space at a very low cost to fledgling business owners,” White says. “in addition, we have a large commercial kitchen on-site where people can manufacture food products and then go through the process of testing, marketing, selling and so forth. Workforce development programs in a variety of areas – that’s what is occurring these days all over the A-B tech campus.” – Kevin Litwin
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Health & Wellness

getting better all the time
CompAny SUppoRtS employee fitneSS initiAtiveS
usty owen says the accounting profession tends to be somewhat of a sedentary lifestyle, with employees sitting at a desk and computer all day except for going out at lunch to grab fast food. owen himself, director of marketing and business development at Johnson, Price & Sprinkle, says his marketing job at the Asheville-based accounting firm often has him on the “wineand-cheese circuit,” attending corporate and client functions where plenty of food and beverages are served. “i’m a big guy to begin with, and I could easily weigh 400 pounds if i wanted to,” he says. “About two years ago, i realized that i needed something to get myself and other people at JP&S in better shape, so i approached our Ceo Ben Hamrick about the possibility of embarking upon a wellness program. Ben was totally on board with it.”


have health issues that make it impossible to go out and run 2 miles or whatever,” Owen says. “But for us others, the yMCA puts together a good schedule of activities such as zumba classes, water sports, weightlifting sessions and so forth, plus they host short seminars on stress management and nutrition.”

communication barriers that might have existed between people don’t exist anymore.”

sick days decreased
owen says sick days at JP&S have decreased and insurance premiums have gone down. the company also recently had 45 employees and family members take part in a Chamber Challenge 5k. “We are also working with north Carolina Prevention Partners that is involved in something called WorkHealthy America,” he says. “We are one of about 10 businesses in Asheville they are tracking for two years to chart our health progress. We’ve made a lot of changes at JP&S. our company used to have pizza fridays, and now there is still pizza, but also salads and fruits and other healthy alternatives.” – Kevin Litwin

Friday Wallyball
owen says a group activity that the yMCA hosts every friday evening is wallyball, which is a game like volleyball that is played inside a racquetball court. All walls are in play and there are teams of usually four against four. “Wallyball has been an interesting company tool, because the Ceo and an intern might be playing shoulder-to-shoulder or nose-to-nose on the court,” he says. “then when everyone gets to work on Monday morning,

90 percent
JP&S has accounting offices in Asheville, Boone and Marion, so owen began conversations with officials at the yMCA, which has branches in those three cities. “Ben and our company partners voted that JP&S would pay 90 percent of annual YMCA membership fees for any of our employees interested in joining,” owen says. “our company has gotten a lot of attention from this.” Johnson, Price & Sprinkle has a total of 55 employees, and about 35 are participating in the yMCA program. “Some can’t join because they

forty-five Johnson, price & Sprinkle employees and family members participated in a Chamber Challenge 5K.

PHoto CoURteSy of oLiviA MARone PHotoGRAPHy

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asheville tapped again as Beer city usa
StoRy By kevin litWin PHotoGRAPHy By jeff adkins

sheville has refreshing answers to whatever “ales” you, thanks to 10 microbreweries doing business in the community. In 2011, and for the third consecutive year, Asheville won the national title of Beer City USA as voted by readers of and organized by the Denver, Colo.based Brewers Association. “I was the first person to start a microbrewery in Asheville back in 1994 and never could have imagined that today there would be 10 microbreweries in a city of 70,000 residents,” says Oscar Wong, president of Highland Brewing Company in Asheville. “People here are supportive of local businesses and are open to new ideas, and that has really helped this industry succeed. Plus, the city’s location is ideal because water that flows down from the nearby mountains is great for brewing.”


owner oscar Wong gives a tour of highland Brewing Company.

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fresh enthusiasm Wong says he is also surprised that microbreweries have actually become an important part of Asheville’s tourism sector, with brewery sites serving as destinations to many visitors. “Speaking of which, I was given the 2011 William A.V. Cecil Tourism Leadership Award by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce at their annual dinner,” he says. “The microbreweries in Asheville are like teenagers, still with an enthusiasm for this business. Many microbrew operations in other cities have matured and became complacent and even a bit boring, but Asheville is still a youngster at all of this.” Highland Brewing Company is the largest microbrewery in Asheville and in the top four in microbrew sales throughout the entire Southeast United States. Their beer brands are sold in restaurants, beer stores and

above: visitors listen to music on the lawn at highland Brewing Company. far right: employees at Asheville pizza and Brewing Company



events always Brewing
city hosts many Beerrelated festivals
Many tourists to Asheville actually make visiting a microbrewery a priority, so it makes sense that the city hops to it when it comes to hosting beer-focused festivals and events. For example, more than 30 American breweries from throughout the nation showcase more than 100 different beers every mid-September at the Brewgrass festival. the popular event takes place at Martin Luther king Jr. Park, with food and water vendors in attendance, along with live entertainment provided by a lineup of national and regional bluegrass musicians.

Bavaria meets asheville
only a few weeks later, the wellknown oktoberfest descends upon downtown Asheville on Wall Street. the city’s reputation as Beer City USA makes the downtown district an ideal place to enjoy this festival that blends Bavarian traditions with Asheville’s eclectic scene. Live music is also a major part of the festivities. Meanwhile, local microbreweries are also a big part of Bele Chere, a festival that occurs in late July along a number of downtown streets. Bele Chere allows anyone in attendance to drink beer along the streets as long as they stay within the designated festival boundaries.

fifteen microBreWs
And throughout the entire year, Asheville is home to an Asheville Brews Cruise that allows beer enthusiasts to ride in a roomy 12-passenger van to tour three local microbreweries in the span of 3.5 hours. For $40 a person, participants sample 14 or 15 microbrews during that time, with each beer sample only about four ounces. the participants drink about the equivalent of four full beers during the entire trip. – Kevin Litwin
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taverns in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. “We produce a Gaelic ale that accounts for about 50 percent of our sales, and the second most popular is an oatmeal porter dark beer,” Wong says. “Highland Brewing also does a lot of specialty brews, including an occasional wheat beer and one specifically for Oktoberfest.” houdini and ninja A key reason why Asheville microbreweries have become so popular in recent years has been the establishment of an Asheville Brewers Alliance that markets the industry. The ABA was formed knowing that Asheville’s microbreweries (and a few others in surrounding communities) are in individual competition with one another, but as a unified group the alliance can market the entire industry to attract the brew tourist to Asheville. The alliance’s president is Mike Rangel, who also owns Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, which has two locations and has been crafting ales since 1999. His company produces a variety of brews with names like Houdini, Ninja, Rocket Girl and Scout Stout. “The Asheville Brewers Alliance doesn’t necessarily market to tourists who visit Biltmore and places like that. We target the tourist who actually makes visiting a microbrewery a priority,” Rangel says. “Alliance members meet once a month at different breweries to talk about interactions with the city as well as supporting nonprofits that approach us, and we discuss how to further promote the Beer City USA brand for Asheville.”

A variety of local beers are on tap at Asheville pizza & Brewing Company.

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city’s popularity groWs With epicurean fans


StoRy By laura hill

nown as Foodtopia for its impressive array of fine restaurants, commitment to locally grown ingredients and variety of foodrelated events and initiatives, Asheville soon may also lead the nation in green restaurants. With 100,000 residents, the city already has an oversize devotion to culinary excellence and variety. It boasts more than 250 independent restaurants, 17 active farmers markets, longstanding support for the farm-to-table movement and a bevy of local farmers. “We’re one of the top destinations in the country, and what makes people want to come here also makes chefs want to ply their trade here,” says Steve Frabitore, proprietor of Tupelo Honey Cafe’s two locations and head of Asheville Independent Restaurants (AIR). “We’re surrounded by natural beauty, this is a freespirited and eclectic town full of great art and theater, and we have a great farming community. The quality of food and service here has just skyrocketed in the last five years.”

Jeff ADkinS

local squash noodles with fettucini, portobellos, patty pans and heirloom tomato sauce at Corner Kitchen.

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independent eateries grow Proving the point, membership in Asheville Independent Restaurants doubled in 2010-2011 to 70 members, Frabitore says, thanks to dedicated chefs and owners, and the organization’s commitment to “helping make our members better at what we do.” Active community sponsors, from hospitals to linen companies to credit card processors, help support AIR’s educational and community programs. The group has partnered with Mission Hospital on improving kids’ menus, offered $10,000 in scholarships to culinary students in 2011 and is developing an innovative program to retrain workers for the culinary field. In 2011 AIR trained 25 restaurants in gluten-free cuisine, making Asheville the nation’s leader in that regard. And now AIR aims to make Asheville No. 1 in the country in per capita number of restaurants certified green by the Green Restaurant Association. “If we can say that Asheville is the greenest restaurant city in the country, that’s a very big thing,” says Kevin Westmoreland, co-owner of the Corner Kitchen and part of AIR’s Green Team. “Asheville is a city that wants to be green, that is trying to be green, and this is a big step toward making that happen.”

clockwise from above: Corner Kitchen is one of more than 250 independent restaurants in Asheville; Broccoli and gorgonzola quiche at the Green Sage Coffeehouse and Cafe; french comfort food is served at Bouchon.



crazy for cocoa
chocolate shops in asheville create treasures
As aficionados know, there’s chocolate, and then there’s chocolate: the kind some swear is better than – well, you know. And fortunately, available right here. indian kulfi, Dragon’s Sigh, Ancient Pleasures, Canela Picante and Masala Chai may sound like exotic treasures – and they are. All are unique chocolate truffle flavors you’d be hard-pressed to find in an ordinary sweet shop, but are right at home in Asheville’s finest chocolate shops. the french Broad Chocolate Lounge is just that, a quiet retreat where chocolate lovers can relax with coffee, wine and an assortment of fine chocolates and pastries, courtesy of owners Dan and Jael Rattigan. the Rattigans learned their art in Costa Rica, opened their “sacred space for chocophiles” in Asheville in 2007 and are nationally acclaimed for their chocolates, passionately conjured up from locally sourced fruit, honey, maple syrup, berries, nuts, butter and other ingredients – just about everything but the cacao itself. on Haywood Street, the Chocolate fetish has tempted visitors with handcrafted, small-batch chocolates, made without vegetable oil or preservatives, since 1986. Proprietors Sue and Bill foley and daughter elizabeth say “it takes a village” to produce their unique chocolates, which include their trademarked America’s Best truffles and ecstasy truffles. Bill and Sue lived for years in Brussels, Belgium, and have visited and been inspired by europe’s finest chocolate shops. elizabeth studied at the french Pastry School with chocolatier JeanPierre Wybauw. – Laura Hill

Jeff ADkinS

StAff PHoto

Jeff ADkinS

Bill foley at the chocolate fetish

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greening the restaurant scene The group’s Green Team had earlier helped restaurants go greener with low-cost, simple steps, from using low-flow sprays on dishwashers to eliminating Styrofoam. But in July 2011, AIR received a $240,000 grant, courtesy of the state of North Carolina and federal stimulus money, that allowed it to go bigger – and greener. Seventeen member restaurants underwent training that will lead to certification by the Green Restaurant Association. Grant money, matched by participating restaurants, will help provide solar panels, efficient water heaters, insulating curtains in walk-in coolers and other energy-saving features. Restaurants will save energy and, over the long term, money. And the community will reap considerable benefits too. “This will pull a lot of BTUs out of the system that we are currently using,” says Westmoreland. “It amounts to the electricity that would be used by 100,000 televisions each year, which will help ease the strain on the power grid. We’re excited about this. When we get done we can walk the walk and not just talk the talk.”

above: fresh, local ingredients at Bouchon right: tupelo honey Cafe



StAff PHoto

BRiAn M c CoRD

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Sports & Recreation

the great outdoors
tWo entitieS ComBine to CReAte An ADventURe ConCieRGe
n Asheville, outdoor recreation is out of sight. from whitewater rafting and scenic biking trails to beautiful gardens and horseback riding, Asheville is a hub for outside activities. it’s no wonder the city recently hosted the annual conference of the outdoor industry Association, a trade association that provides services for more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers in the industry. With such a strong reputation as a leader in open-air activities, it’s only natural that a unique retail and concept shop would find its way to the area.


Director Charles Conner as an “adventure concierge,” the location will allow visitors and guests of the hotel to inquire about the best and most appropriate outings around Asheville. “Guests can reserve numerous guided trips including whitewater rafting on four nearby rivers, canopy tours, fishing excursions, area day hikes, flatwater paddling tours and more,” Conner says. “Beyond guided trips, our staff will provide resources for do-ityourself adventures and maps to recreation areas, as well as expert advice on how to best enjoy these destinations.”

or those on an all-business itinerary,” Conner says.

And as a LeeD-certified establishment, the nantahala outdoor Center at the Grove Park inn Resort & Spa will be built with not only outdooradventure seekers in mind, but the outdoors itself. its LeD lights consume low amounts of power and don’t emit much heat. the floors and countertops will be made from rapidly renewing resources like bamboo and wheatboard. the building will also utilize renewable power and even encourage sustainable practices from the staff and guests, such as promoting bicycle use for transportation. “We’re excited to be the official activity provider for the Southeast’s most beloved resort, and we’re determined to add value to every guest’s visit. Asheville visitors can now have it all – the best of the indoors and the best of the outdoors,” says Sutton Bacon, Ceo of the noC. – Chris Russell

outdoor gear
the shop will have a limited selection of gear and apparel from such leading outdoor lifestyle brands as Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, keen and the north face. “Beyond just outfitting guests, the shop will have gifts and information about Asheville’s outdoors, making the shop valuable to armchair adventurers

nantahala outdoor center at the grove park inn resort & spa
Asheville’s historic Grove Park inn Resort & Spa is teaming up with the city’s nantahala outdoor Center to build the nantahala outdoor Center at the Grove Park inn Resort & Spa. Described by noC Marketing



JeffRey S. otto

perfect place to grow
outdoor-themed companies ready to gain traction
it’s known as the great outdoors. in Asheville, that word can also describe the future of outdoorproduct companies – great. A few of the successful organizations that are poised for prosperous years in this area, rich with natural resources, include Pyrahna Mouldings (a Britishbased kayaks and canoe company with an Asheville location), Astral Buoyancy Company, (which specializes in clothing, primarily buoyancy jackets), Columbia and the north face. the new nantahala outdoor Center at the Grove Park inn Resort & Spa, which will feature gear and apparel from popular outdoor retailers, only adds to the potential. Being part of the new store is “a great opportunity to showcase the innovative products from Columbia and further our partnership with noC, a premier outfitter in the Southeast,” says Columbia sales representative Chappie Powell. “Having the north face involved with two great companies like the noC and Grove Park inn is a great fit,” says Adam Pinkston, representative for the north face. “Having the expertise of outdoor adventure from the noC will be a great benefit to guests. And with all the new outdoor activities, the great relationship between the north face and the noC makes this a very exciting time.” – Chris Russell

Reward yourself! Choose from studio, one, two or three bedroom apartments and patio homes – with no long-term lease requirement or buy-in. Home ownership is also an option. Call today for leasing information and to schedule your personal tour.

333 Thompson St. Hendersonville, NC (828) 693-7800

334 Thompson St. Hendersonville, NC (828) 692-7601

Jeff ADkinS

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Arts & Culture

right: Gillian Welch at the orange peel

moog to the music
neW feStivAl A hiGhliGht of thRivinG live mUSiC SCene
usic rocks the city of Asheville with the coming of Moogfest, the three-day, multivenue event where artists, audiences and energy coexist in harmony. But the music remains long after the curtains close on Moogfest’s final act.


creatively contagious
thanks in part to an artconscious culture, Asheville has grown a music scene to rival cities twice its size, and its creativity is proving contagious. “Asheville attracts an active, arts-going crowd that has been extremely receptive to live acts,”

says Liz Whalen, marketing and special events director for the orange Peel music venue. those live acts include major names like Bob Dylan, Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, Lauryn Hill, My Morning Jacket, Arcade fire and the Avett Brothers, to name a few. the Peel, as Ashevillians affectionately call it, is the largest venue of its kind in Western north Carolina and has been highlighted as one of the best live-music venues in the nation by the likes of Rolling Stone, USA Today and Cosmopolitan. “it helps that we’re in downtown Asheville, a fun, urban neighborhood where people can make a night of

eating dinner, walking around and catching a show,” Whalen says. Also bright on the scene is the Grey eagle, where all ages are free to enjoy the space and sounds brought by a range of well-known bands.

in the mood For moog
When a late-night concert doesn’t cut it, Moogfest comes in. “it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to come together in a social environment and share their enthusiasm for life, music and a sense of community,” says Ashley Capps, president of AC entertainment, the company that produces the festival. Still in its beginning phases –



PHotoS By Jeff ADkinS

Moogfest is set to put on its second annual festival in october – the concert series has garnered praise and big names in a short time. Moogfest began as a way to honor the legacy of Bob Moog and the many contributions he made to the music industry, and features mainly electronic and alternative rock, according to Capps. “the focus is really on musicians whose work displays a genuinely restless, innovative and creative spirit,” Capps says. overall, Moogfest aims to celebrate Asheville’s alreadyestablished and diverse music scene. “We hope that serves to inspire musicians, artists and the creative community as a whole to create more, and is seen as another aspect of the continuing growth of arts and culture, not just in Asheville, but throughout the Southeast,” says Capps. – Karen Schwartzman

Ali mousavi performs at moogfest in Asheville.

PHoto CoURteSy of MooGfeSt

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Downtown Asheville Photo by Brian McCord

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The fountain in J. Rush Oates Plaza in downtown Asheville Photo by Jeffrey S. Otto



Sunflowers for sale at the Montford Tailgate Market Photo by Jeff Adkins

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As a resort and therapeutic health center since the late 1880s, Asheville has long been a destination for people searching for a mountain escape, its population climbing to nearly 30,000 seasonal residents in 1890. More art deco architecture built in the late 1920s and early 1930s can be found in downtown Asheville than in any other city in the Southeast outside of Miami.

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From our photo blog: asheville
Asheville, north Carolina has been named Beer City USA by readers of for the third year in a row. this is why i love Asheville. Last week, i was assigned to photograph the Highland Brewing Company as well as Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company to illustrate a story about microbreweries for Asheville magazine. the week started out with a tour of the Highland brewery by oscar Wong, president of the Highland Brewing Company, also known as the “grandfather of beer” in Asheville since he opened the first microbrewery in the area – not because he’s old. i made several return trips to catch the bottling line in action as well as the friday evening live music that happens every week. i also made several trips to both of Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company’s locations to see how they make beer from scratch, from milling their own grains to filling kegs with the final product …
PoSteD By Jeff ADkinS

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