Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Asheville's Downtown Market Now Open For Business

The Asheville Downtown Market is a new shopping destination in downtown Asheville. Located on South French Broad this 42,000 square foot building was once home to a photography plant and a sewing factory, but now you will find the space filled with craft vendors, artists, a coffee shop and even a grocery store.

One Bazaar Community is the self described style of this new market and one stroll down the different vendor isles confirms the truth of that statement. With such an eclectic mix of booths, shoppers can find an array of items for sale.

The grocery store is Amazing Savings and will save you lots of money on your grocery bill. This is their second store in the Asheville area, the original being located on Sweeten Creek Rd. This fills a whole in downtown Asheville seeing as how both the Grove Arcade market and the CVS have recently closed.

Future businesses that are moving into the space include a downtown recycling center, a world food court (still in the idea stage) and perhaps your business. With vendor prices as low as $15 a day for a booth you would be remiss not to take advantage of the low overhead. They are also offering co-op vendor space so you can join forces with your colleagues and save money.

The market is currently open Friday - Sunday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. For more information you can call 828-255-8858 or visit them on Facebook.

If you're visiting the Asheville area and need a place to stay please check out these great hotels.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Diamond Ball Rings In The Asheville New Year

The third annual Diamond Ball hosted by the Junior League of Asheville will take place starting at 9:00 PM Thursday, December 31st 2009 at the Doubletree Biltmore Hotel in Asheville, NC. Sponsored by Wick & Greene Jewelers, the event is a fundraiser for community programs including ABCCM, Child Abuse Prevention Services, Child First, Public Affairs and YWCA.

Event tickets are $100 per person and raffle tickets for the 1-carat Lazare diamond are $25 (need not be present to win). Please call 828.254.5608 or visit juniorleagueasheville.org to purchase event and raffle tickets, which will be available from now until through the night of the event.

For more information on the event location please visit here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ken & Tammy's Christmas Party at the Doubletree Biltmore

With the holidays right around the corner, there are some families still in need of assistance to make Christmas happen for their kids. Together with Ken and Tammy from Asheville's Mix 96.5, the Doubletree is helping make this season a little brighter for these families. All are welcome to come join in the festivities on December 22, 2009 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM.

Every child deserves a visit from Santa! Hence the first ever “Ken and Tammy’s Christmas is for Kids Extravaganza!” It will be a night of fun, food, and of course Christmas presents for children up to 12 years old who otherwise would face a sad holiday.

Doubletree is now accepting toys for the event. Everyone who brings in a toy is invited to have a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie! Doubletree is located at 115 Hendersonville Rd. in Asheville. See a map.

Please help us keep the Christmas magic alive these children. If you need a place for your holiday party, or want to stash the out-of-town visitors somewhere other than your house, please give the Doubletree Biltmore Hotel your patronage.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sparrow Spa Open House Tonight


Sparrow Spa in Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park is hosting an open house tonight. It is open to everyone. Wine, food and savings on spa goodies. You know you want to go. Here's a map.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Relay for Life Event at Doubletree Biltmore Hotel

Relay For Life of Biltmore Park invites you and your family to join them for Cookies with Santa at the Doubletree Hotel Biltmore/Asheville on Sunday, December 13th from 3-5:00pm. Get your photo taken with Santa, and enjoy delectable desserts, hot cocoa and more! Cancer survivors and caregivers will receive a special gift.

This free event is generously sponsored by the Doubletree Hotel, located at 115 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. Click here for a map.

To learn more about the upcoming Biltmore Relay For Life event click here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Downtown Asheville Fireworks

For a second year in a row you can watch the fireworks over downtown Asheville every Saturday in December through the 19th. The event is called Sizzle at Seven and is very popular among visitors and locals to the Asheville area. Each weekend the show is a little different and a little bigger than the last. The show goes on no matter what the weather outside may be.

Asheville has long been known as a destination for holiday shoppers. There are countless boutiques and shops all over the Asheville area that offer something a little different than your typical retail chain store.

Be sure to check out these great stores for your shopping list.

Biltmore Park shops:

-Dwell - for stylish home furnishings
-Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory - for the sweet tooth
-Biltmore Grande Regal Cinema - for movie gift certificates
-Sensibilities - for spa Treatment gift certificates
-REI - for the person who loves the outdoors

Downtown Asheville:

-The Loft - for the person who's hard to shop for.
-Mountain Lights - for unique candle and lighting options.
-Kress gallery - for a more artistic gift.
-Union - for stylish clothing from a hip boutique.

Asheville Mall:

Stores include: Banana Republic, Sears, Dillards, Abercrombie & Fitch, Buckle, Aeropostale, American Eagle, JC Penney, Hot Topic, Game Stop and many more.

If you need a place to stay during these holiday festivities please check out these fantastic accommodations.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving at roux in Asheville

For travelers and residents of Asheville who don't already have holiday dinner plans this year, you should visit “roux” for a truly inspired Thanksgiving. A four course dinner will be the perfect compliment to a memorable holiday celebration. Executive Chef Randy Dunn has crafted an innovative menu with selections from traditional roasted turkey to spiced apple and pork roulade with jalapeño-apricot marmalade. For a more detailed selection of menu items, please review the attachment. You can make reservations by calling 828-209-2715. “roux” is located inside the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park at 43 Town Square.

4 Course Select Menu
- Seating from 11:00am until 4:00pm

1st Course
Butternut Squash Bisque, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Crème Fraîche

Smoked Mussel and Saffron Bisque

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Grilled Spicy Napa Slaw

BBQ Duck Corn Fritter, Sun Dried Cherries, Balsamic Onions, Gorgonzola

2nd Course
Grilled Vegetable and Chevre Terrine, Mixed Greens, Balsamic Reduction

Arugula Salad, Roasted Beets, Walnuts, Bacon, Spicy Maple Vinaigrette

3rd Course
Roasted Acorn Squash
Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing, Corn Pudding, Grilled Broccolini

Traditional Roasted Turkey
Marble-Smashed Potatoes, Cornbread Stuffing, Green Beans, Cranberry Chutney

Grilled Black Angus Filet
Smoked Cheddar and Horseradish Au Gratin, Grilled Asparagus, Black Currant Demi

Carolina Coastal Wild Striped Bass
Pumpkinseed Crusted, Butternut Risotto, Grilled Broccolini, Vanilla-Bean Soy Cream

Spiced Apple and Pork Roulade
Spaghetti Squash, Green Beans, Jalapeno-Apricot Marmalade

4th (and certainly the best)Course
Pumpkin Cheesecake, Caramel Sauce, Candied Walnuts

Cranberry-Butterscotch Bread Pudding, Crème Anglaise

If reading that menu made you hungry then book your reservations today by calling 828-209-2715. Seating is limited and is filling up quickly. If you are in need of a hotel reservation for this holiday weekend please visit here. We look forward to having you at our place for Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Blue Ridge Parkway turns 75

This month marks the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is noted for its scenic beauty. It runs for 469.1 miles (755 km) through the famous Blue Ridge Mountains, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. Land on either side of the road is maintained by the National Park Service and in some stretches, by the United States Forest Service.

Begun during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the project was originally called the "Appalachian Scenic Highway". Work began on September 11, 1935 and took over fifty-two years to complete, the last stretch (near the Linn Cove Viaduct) was completed in 1987 around Grandfather Mountain. The Parkway runs from the southern terminus of Shenandoah National Park's Skyline Drive in Virginia to U.S. 441 at Oconaluftee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, North Carolina.

Special events are planned throughout the weekend starting this Thursday. Below is a list of activities you can attend.

Thursday, November 12th at 6:00 PM
“Natural Resource Stewardship — An American Indian Legacy and Model for our Future,”
Located at Cherokee High School Auditorium.

Friday, November 13th at 12:00 PM
Passing of the torch from Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Blue Ridge Parkway
Located at Ravensford Overlook, milepost 467. Park at the Cherokee Transit Lot on U.S. 441 and take a shuttle to the overlook.

Starting at 12:00 PM
Guided tours of the southern end of the parkway from the Museum of the Cherokee Indian , 589 Tsali Blvd., Cherokee. Cost is $20 and includes a box lunch. Reservations required by calling 497-3481.

Saturday, Novermber 14th from 10:00 AM - 3:00 P
Parkway History Day
Located at the Folk Art Center, Milepost 382.

Starting at 7:00 PM
Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary Benefit Concert, featuring Nanci Griffith and The Blue Ridge Bluegrass All-Stars, Doyle Lawson, Sammy Shelor, Bryan Sutton, Tim Surrett, Jim Van Cleve and the Warriors of AniKituhwa. Hosted by David Holt.
Located at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville. Tickets start at $35 and are available at the Asheville Civic Center Box Office, online at Ticketmaster or by calling 800-745-3000.

If you are traveling to the Asheville area for the event please check out these great hotels.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Christmas at Biltmore begins this week in Asheville

Christmas at the Biltmore House officially begins Friday, November 6th through January 3rd, 2010 in Asheville, NC.

The Biltmore Christmas celebration is a tradition that spans 114 years. Although George Vanderbilt moved into Biltmore House in October 1895, the house did not officially open to guests until Christmas Eve of that year. Great efforts were made to ensure all would be ready by this special day. Mr. Vanderbilt was still a bachelor during the first Biltmore Christmas and his mother, Maria Louisa, presided as hostess. Correspondence between Vanderbilt and his staff indicates that planning was intensive and no detail was left unattended.

Did you know that when the holiday ends Biltmore recycles the live trees used during the season? Asheville Treecyclers will make wooden Christmas ornaments out of the trunk. Look for these decorations to be available next Christmas!

There are a variety of activities planned. Here is a list of all the important things you should know while planning your visit.

River Bend Farm Holiday Season Activities:

-Santa Claus visits the River Bend Farm for photo opportunities and to hear wish lists!
Saturday and Sundays from November 7- December 20

-Farm Life Demonstrators/Crafter’s Corner
Watch skilled crafters demonstrate traditional crafts in the River Bend Farm
1:00pm- 5:00pm daily

-Blacksmith, Woodworker, Butter Churning, Quilting, Jewelry, Weaving
Turn of the Century Games: Children and adults can experience games that were common during the days of the Vanderbilts.

Holiday Dining Options:

Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2009

-Bistro: Advance reservations by phone required at the restaurant (225-6230)
12:00pm- 7:00pm
$45 per person

-Deerpark Restaurant: Advance reservations by phone required at the restaurant (225-6260)
11:00am – 6:00pm
$36.95 (adults); $19.95 (youth); $11.95 (ages 5-9)

-Stable Café Dining: Reservations are available, walk-ins accepted. (225-6370)
11:00am- 4:00pm
$12.00-$27.00 (entrees)

-The Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate: Not available to daytime guests for Thanksgiving Day.

Biltmore Hours of Operation:

November 6- January 2, 2009
Biltmore Admission’s Gate for daytime: 8:30am – 4:00pm
Biltmore Winery: 12:00pm – 9:00pm
Candlelight Evening visits begin as early as 5:30pm. Evening visit requires separate ticket that is date and time specific.

Biltmore Ticket Prices:

Nov 6, 2009 – Jan. 3, 2010
Gate Price: $60 daily (1-day ticket)
Online Price: check here.
Guests can upgrade daytime tickets to include evening visit for only $10. Guests need to check with a Biltmore Guest Service Station for availability.

Biltmore House Reservations:
As we move into the holiday season, the estate will become more popular and guest volume will be higher. Having a time to go into the house prevents guests from standing outside in line to get into the house. Guests can obtain a time to enter Biltmore House at the Stable Archway to the right of the house. Then, guests can visit the Conservatory, shops, restaurants, or even the Winery prior to visiting Biltmore House. All guests visiting Biltmore House must have a reservation.

Hotel packages are also available.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I-40 Detour Information

For anyone traveling via I-40 through Western North Carolina please be aware that a rock slide has occurred near the Tennessee / North Carolina border that is blocking traffic in both directions. While the DOT is working diligently to remove the debris they are having to be cautious due to the fact that the mountain is still moving. Early estimates say this could take anywhere from three to eight months to get the road open again.

Asheville is still easily accessible from all points north, east and south. From the west there are two detour routes in place as shown on the map below. These detour routes will take drivers through some of the most picturesque scenery in Western North Carolina. They will add some time to your trip so just be sure you plan accordingly before heading this direction.

For up to date information please visit the I-40 Detour website. For those who are traveling through the area and need a place to rest before taking on the extra drive, we can help.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween 2009 in Asheville

Halloween is just a week away, and Asheville is filled with spooky fun for all ages. Check out our Halloween events and activities:

Only-in Asheville Halloween Fun
• “The Legend of Tommy Hodges” walking outdoor mystery, October 23 and 24
• LaZoom Haunted Halloween Bus, October 29-31
• “Skeered,” an Evening of Local Ghost Stories, October 29-31
• Appalachian Ghost Stories Beneath the Stars, October 30
• Appalachian Mountain Mysteries, October 30
• Spirits of Asheville Masquerade, October 31
• Haunted History & Murder Mystery Ghost Trolley Tour
• Haunted Asheville Pub Crawl
• Haunted Asheville Ghost Tour
• Haunted Asheville Trolley Tour
• Haunted Biltmore Biltmore Village Tour

Family Friendly Halloween Events
• Halloween Dog Event, October 24
• Howl-O-Ween at the WNC Nature Center, October 24
• Harvest Hoe Down, October 31
• Cold Mountain Corn Maze, open through October 31
• Castle in the Corn Maze, open through October 31
• Blue Ridge Corn Maze, open through November until harvest

Grown-Up Halloween Fun
• Pinhead’s Graveyard through November 1
• The Woman in Black at Flat Rock Playhouse through November 1
• Screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” with the Montford Park Players, October 24 and 31
• Screamfest at the Grove House, October 27-November 1
• Graveyard Book Party at Malaprop’s Bookstore, October 31

Thank you to Explore Asheville for this comprehensive list.

Need a place to stay? Try one of these haunted houses, er... I mean hotels. We don't have ghosts, but we do have candy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Biltmore Park Concert Series

During the entire month of October, Biltmore Park is featuring live music every Saturday night from 7:00 - 9:00 PM in the park outside of Brixx Pizza. The schedule is as follows:

October 3rd - 96.5 House Band

October 10th - The Scenic Roots (special early show starts at 5PM) & The Firecracker Jazz Band

October 17th - The Caribbean Cowboys

October 24th - Robin Rogers

Admission to this event is free. Biltmore Park is located in South Asheville right off of I-26 at Long Shoals Rd. If you are traveling there is lodging available just steps away from the event at the brand new Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park hotel.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oktoberfest in Asheville

Asheville's first Oktoberfest will be held on Saturday, October 10 from 1-5pm on Wall Street in downtown Asheville.

“Our Oktoberfest will mix Bavarian traditions with Asheville’s eclectic vibe,” says Adrian Vassallo, event organizer and ADA treasurer. He adds, “With Asheville’s recent recognition as ‘Beer City USA,’ the timing couldn’t be more perfect to celebrate our local beer scene. Plus, Wall Street is an ideal venue for this event with its old world feel and original cobblestones.”

The event will feature beer tastings from local breweries including Highland Brewing, Asheville Brewing Company, Pisgah Brewing, Green Man Brewery, and French Broad Brewing Company. Many brewers are featuring seasonal ales for Oktoberfest, and will be on hand to discuss their beers.

Also, Wall Street restaurants Cucina 24, Jack of the Wood, and The Market Place will be preparing authentic German food fare served with local mustard from the Lusty Monk.

Entertainment will cross the Bavarian-Asheville divide as well with the traditional from The Stratton Mountain Boys and the eclectic from Asheville’s own The Goodies. The Stratton Mountain Boys have brought the haunting sounds of four alphorns, happy yodeling songs, shoe slapping dances, and lively spirited Polka music to audiences across the U.S for more than 30 years. The Goodies are the epitome of Asheville’s funky and diverse music scene playing a gypsy-style eclectic hard rock and funk. Their live performances are known for being theatric and vaudevillian.

The entertainment doesn’t stop there. Festival-goers can participate in one or more of the many fun contests including yodeling, a costume contest, a stein race, and more. Prizes will be awarded.

Tickets are $25 and include beer samples and a commemorative Oktoberfest glass. Tickets are available now at www.ashevilledowntown.org. Space is limited, so purchase early. If you are traveling to Asheville and need a hotel please check out one of these great places to stay.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

LAAFF festival in Asheville celebrates it's 8th year

The Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival (LAAFF) will celebrate it's 8th year this Sunday, September 6th from 11:00AM to 9:00PM. Known for it's eccentric costumes (and personalities for that matter) the LAAFF festival provides entertainment for the entire family.

Musical performances are planned throughout the day. You can get your groove on to the always popular music of the Blue Rags, the wide ranging sounds of the Hillbillionair$ and a local favorite, and winner of the 2009 Battle of the Bands competition, Now You Seem Them. Here is the complete list of performers.

There will also be special events planned such as special priced LaZoom tours, an adults only comedy show presented by the Feral Chihuahuas and the ever popular bicycle jousting.

The LAAFF festival was created by the store owners on Lexington to help support and promote local creative entrepreneurship; to support and protect alternative culture and the culture of Asheville and Lexington Ave in particular; to promote right and responsible relationship with the environment and each other. This year's festival is presented by Arts 2 People, a non-profit social service organization devoted to promoting the role of the arts as an integral part of our culture by serving the entire community through arts outreach, bringing the arts to those in need of the healing power of art, supporting the careers of artists, and through community cultural development.

Visiting Asheille and need a place to stay? Try one of these great hotels.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sneak Peek of the new Hilton Asheville - opening soon!

The new Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park Hotel is scheduled to open within the month and once completed will be the greenest hotel in Western North Carolina. Located in the Biltmore Park neighborhood of south Asheville, the Hilton is working towards becoming a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Design) certified property.

This 165 room hotel is one of the first in the nation to utilize a large scale solar water heating system. This system will eliminate twenty five tons of carbon dioxide per year, which is the equivalent of planting 7,377 trees. Other sustainable elements included in the development of the Hilton are the use of CFL light bulbs, a linen reuse program, an airport shuttle that relies on alternative fuel, special parking for Hybrid vehicles and the use of only environmentally friendly cleaning products. Also, during the construction of the hotel they used building material consisting of low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) which will result in lower emissions of toxins from the building.

The hotel will offer guest rooms that are decorated with a modern utopian appeal designed to match the exciting surroundings of Biltmore Park. Each guest room offers a 37 inch TV, refrigerator, and various other creature comforts you would expect from a Hilton property. The bathrooms are appointed with floor-to-ceiling marble and an inviting glass enclosed shower. The executive suites are spacious and inviting. They boast luxurious bathrooms some feature Whirlpool tubs.

The entire hotel is 100% non smoking and will feature complimentary high-speed wired and wireless Internet. The hotel's ultra-modern fitness center contains Precor® cardio-theater equipment, an indoor lap pool and whirlpool. The Hilton Asheville will also be home to Sparrow Spa, a luxurious destination spa featuring natural, organic products and a full menu of relaxing and rejuvenating services.

The really convenient aspect of the Hilton's location is that guests can enjoy walking the shops and dining at the various restaurants of Biltmore Park. Local businesses include REI, Barnes & Noble, Sensibilities Day Spa, Reuters YMCA, PF Changs, Brixx Pizza, 131 Main, Roux, and more. There is also a stadium seating movie theater, the Regal Biltmore Grande 15, which is just a few steps away from the Hilton's front door.

For more information or to reserve a room you can visit here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bele Chere 2009 in Asheville

It's that time again. Bele Chere 2009 begins Friday of this week in downtown Asheville. The event promises to be a little smaller this year, which is good in the sense that there are no ticketed events. All entertainment is 100% free to the public. There is also stronger emphasis on the local artists, musicians and businesses of Asheville. This is a welcomed effort on the the part of local organizers and citizens of Asheville. This lively street festival began 31 years ago as part of an effort to revitalize the downtown area and bring locals together. Today the vision of the festival has been realized as downtown is a vibrant city center with unique shops and restaurants.

Local and national vendors will be on hand with beautiful artwork and crafts. Metalwork, fabric, paint, ceramics, woodwork and a variety of other mediums will be featured throughout the festival.

There will be plenty of food and beverage vendors on hand. Two food court stations have been established. One area is for the 'Taste of Asheville' where local restaurants will be serving their favorite dishes. The other is for all of your favorite street festival foods such as corn dogs, cotton candy, candied apples, funnel cakes, etc. Alcohol is sold on Friday and Saturday, however Sunday is alcohol free.

There are four stages this year and the musical lineup includes some local favorites such as Stephanie's Id, Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, Laura Blackley, Sons of Ralph, GFE and the young and very impressive band Skinny Legs and All. For a complete list you can visit the official site of the festival.

The event begins Friday, July 24th and goes until Sunday July 26th. Hotel rooms are still available for this weekend, but they are booking fast. You can make your reservation here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jazz in Asheville featuring Joey Calderazzo

This Sunday, July 19 at 7:00PM the Western North Carolina Jazz Society presents the sounds of the Joey Calderazzo Quartet.

Pianist and composer Joey Calderazzo has carved a reputation as one of the most fearless and commanding of the new jazz generation. In addition to building an impressive recording and performing career as a leader, Joey has held the piano chair of one of the leading groups in jazz, the Branford Marsalis Quartet, for ten years. Previously he contributed similarly to the Quartet of the late, great, Michael Brecker for ten years.

The Society's pre-concert reception from 6:15-7:00 has a delicious new twist this year. Audience members are invited to enjoy a sampling of Frankie Bones Restaurant's American-Italian cuisine as they offer complimentary tastes of signature items from their lunch and dinner menu as well as specialties from the Chef. While there is no charge for these items, donations of cash or food for MANNA FOOD BANK will be appreciated. 100% of proceeds will go to MANNA. Beverages will also be available at a cash bar operated by Frankie Bones.

If you are traveling to Asheville you can take advantage of special packaging offers with Biltmore Farms Hotels. See you at the show!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day In The Life Of Asheville

From now until August 14th the Day In The Life Of Asheville (DITLOA) photography exhibit will be on display at the Pack Place library. This community photo project took place in May and over 200 photographers took part in documenting Asheville over a 36 hour period.

The exhibit contains 100 photos selected by three judges as well as a photographers choice photo that every participant could submit. The judges of the event were Marti Saltzman, Heff Wignall and George Schaub, all leading experts in the field of photography. There were a total of 890 photographs submitted for judging. You can view these images here.

During this same weekend the Citizen Camera project was also put into place by DITLOA volunteers. Disposable cameras were placed at various stations around Asheville asking whoever stumbled across it to take a picture. These were later collected and the images have been recorded here.

This is an annual event open to photographers of all skill levels.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Biltmore Summer Concert Series is almost here

Summer is here and with it comes the Biltmore Summer Evening Concert Series in Asheville. This is the 13th year of this popular concert series. Many musical celebrities have graced the stage at Biltmore including Travis Tritt, KC & The Sunshine Band, Clay Aiken, Loretta Lynn, The Four Seasons, The 5th Dimension and many more. Each show takes place next to the Biltmore House on the South Terrace with the Blue Ridge mountains as a backdrop. There is no denying that Biltmore is one of the best outdoor venues for a concert in Western North Carolina.

This year's line up includes:

July 23 - Mercy Me

July 24 - ABBA The Music - A Tribute

July 25 - Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers

July 30 - An evening with Tom Jones

July 31 - Rick Springfield with special guests, Loverboy

Aug. 1 - The Oak Ridge Boys and Doc Watson & David Holt

All concerts begin at 8PM. For ticket information please call 866-336-1255 or book online. If you need a hotel reservation please visit here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Asheville's River Arts District hosts a studio stroll this weekend

For the 15th year in a row, the Asheville River District artists will be opening their doors this weekend for one of their bi-annual studio strolls. For two days the public can see the work of over 110 artists. This event is always very popular and is a great way to see the work of some of Asheville's best local artists.

This year, Asheville Historic Trolley Tours will be providing shuttle service to the event. For $5.00 you have hop on and off privileges all day. Drivers will provide narrative history during the ride. The Trolley stops at many hotels in the area.

The Studio Stroll is free and open to the public. Most studios are in walking distance of each other and there is plenty of free parking. There are also some great restaurants you can check out including the local favorite Twelve Bones, Clingman Cafe and Twin Cousins Kitchen.

If you're looking for a hotel in Asheville then Biltmore Farms Hotels can help.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Faces of Asheville

Now showing at the Satellite Gallery in Downtown Asheville is a photo project two years in the making. The Faces of Asheville premiered last Friday with a large group in attendance at the opening. Jenny Bowen, the artist behind the camera, took hundreds of photos of the people that make Asheville so unique.

The project was designed to showcase the individuals that make up this great community. Participants spent about 20 minutes with Bowen during each shoot. Everyone was encouraged to bring an item of significance to help reflect their character in the photo. Everyone was also asked to write about their experiences in Asheville and how they would like to see the city grow over time. These stories along with the photos will be archived at the University of North Carolina Asheville library for future exhibitions.

Doing this project has been no easy task for Bowen. In 2007, after she had already started the project, her home was broken into and all of her computer and camera equipment was stolen. With the equipment went the initial photographs she had taken. However, the community believed so much in this project that they came together with funding to help her get started again. The payoff was evident this past week as the gallery opened it's doors to reveal the final product.

Everyone should go see this intriguing show while in town. If you're visiting Asheville and need a hotel room, visit here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Huge Music Week in Asheville!

This week is going to be great for all types of music fans as Asheville is about to jam with some of the most influential names in music.

This Tuesday, the Asheville Civic Center will play host to one of the largest jam bands ever. To the delight of many fans, Phish returns to the stage after a five year hiatus. Tickets for this event sold out immediately, but you can bet that it will not deter the thousands of people who did not get a ticket from coming to the venue. Anyone who has ever attended a Phish show knows that the band is only half of the action. The scene surrounding a concert has historically been huge. According to the Asheville Citizen Times, an earlier performance this year at Hampton VA, had 5,000 people without a ticket surround the venue. To prepare, Asheville streets are being blocked off to accommodate the possibility of such a large number of people. If you have tickets you need to come early!

However, it doesn't stop there. This Wednesday, Asheville is getting a surprise visit from the Beastie Boys! The show, which was announced just last week, also sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale. They will be playing at The Orange Peel, one of the top venues to see a show according to the Rolling Stone Magazine. All tickets purchased are at will call and cannot be transferred. That's bad news for scalpers, but even worse news for fans who hoped to get a ticket the night of the show. For the 900 fans who were lucky enough to score tickets then they will enjoy an intimate club show that only The Orange Peel can provide. This show is part of nine show series by the Beastie Boys and precedes next week's show at Bonnaroo. Coincidently, Phish will also be playing two shows at the same festival in Tennessee next week.

The week rounds out with a performance by the punk group X. The band that hails from Los Angeles had minimal mainstream success, but was considered very influential for the genre. They will also be playing at The Orange Peel this Thursday. The show starts at 8:00PM and tickets are still available.

Need a hotel room in Asheville. Biltmore Farms Hotels has what you need.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Annie Sellick to visit Asheville for a night of jazz singing

Starting at 7:00 PM on Sunday, June 7th, the Diana Wortham Theatre will be hosting a youthful rising star in the world of jazz. Vocalist Annie Sellick is being presented by the WNC Jazz Society who specializes in bringing jazz greats to the Asheville area. They say that Annie connects to her listeners because of her inimitable style, the goal of all jazz musicians, a style featuring unique phrasing, a deeply relaxed, swinging pulse, and heartfelt emotion.

Annie has won a devoted following and earned rave reviews, including numerous “Best Jazz Artist” awards. A Nashville native, she has enjoyed performing world-wide during the last few years, with frequent stops on the USA’s west coast.

Annie’s third CD, “A Little Piece of Heaven” was recorded live in Los Angeles in 2005 and features the Gerald Clayton Trio with special guest Bruce Forman. It captures the free-spirited and playful quality that Annie exudes in live performance. Her impressive 2008 release features the Gerald Clayton Trio and the Jeff Hamilton Trio and is a project that she and renowned drummer Jeff Hamilton co-produced.

Annie’s jazz journey began auspiciously when she sat in with guitarist Roland Gresham's group at a club near her college. After her performance, the crowd rose to their feet cheering, and it was clear she had found her calling.

After working a year with that trio, she returned to her hometown, where she honed her skills at the Nashville Jazz Workshop. Within a few years of her debut, Annie had become a mainstay at the major jazz venues, worked with all of her favorite jazz artists there, including famed guitarist Bela Fleck, was profiled in every major Nashville paper, and gave a celebrated sold-out performance accompanied by the Nashville Symphony.

Annie is a regular member of and vocalist for the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, with whom she has recorded.

This performance is funded, in part, by a Grassroots Arts Program Grant of the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency, and the Asheville Area Arts Council.

· $22 members
· $30 non-members
· $10 students w/ID
· Memberships available at the door.
· Purchase a membership the night of show
to receive immediate discount towards member's ticket price.

Don't forget to join us at 6:15 pm for the pre-show to mingle with fellow jazz enthusiasts over refreshments and during the social hour in the Lower Lobby of the Theatre prior to the Annie Sellick performance. Wine, beer, water, soda and coffee sales along with a variety of desserts will be provided by Frankie Bones Restaurant. We hope to see you there!

If you're traveling from out of town don't forget about the special hotel packages being offered for the performance.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Asheville ties as winner of Beer City USA 2009

An online poll conducted by the Examiner.com resulted in Asheville tying with Portland as the best beer city in America. The results were incredibly close. Charlie Papazian of the Examiner had this to say about this poll.

Who gets top honors? I’m honoring both Portland, Oregon and Asheville, North Carolina this year. They are number one in the east and number one in the west with about 6,000 votes apiece. What, no definitive Number 1 and Number 2? Correct. Is that a cop out? I don't think so, but of course beer drinkers are an opinionated group of individuals and may beg to differ.

If you're one of the many beer fans out there, you should check out Asheville to see for yourself why it was given top billing. You can look here for a list of places to visit while in town.

USA Today lists Asheville as a top five bargain destination

Asheville was featured in a recent USA Today article focusing on traveling within a budget. Below is the excerpt from that article.

Asheville earns top-five status by being an already affordable destination with new low-cost airline service. AirTran will begin flying between Orlando and Asheville starting June 11, with introductory fares of $69 one-way. You might also check flights into Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (about an hour and thirty minutes away) and Charlotte Douglas International Airport (about two hours away) to compare fares if the lowest price is a priority.

You can also take advantage of the site's Asheville budget travel planner, with free activity ideas and more savings opportunities. Plus, Asheville is an ideal jumping-off point for a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway, known as "America's Favorite Drive" and a can't-miss (and free) activity. For more information, the Asheville Travel Blog offers a current look at events and activities in town.

Click here to start planning your Asheville vacation today!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Asheville featured in the Toronto Sun

Asheville was recently featured in the Toronto Sun in an article that explored the High Country of Western North Carolina. Below is an excerpt of that article.


On the way to Asheville, there are (at least) two places worth stopping.

- Mount Mitchell: It's the highest point in North America east of the Mississipi River. When I was there, it was closed because of a landslide. There are still detours but you can get there now by taking Hwy. 80 off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The main entry point is expected to re-open by mid-June. See virtualblueridge.com.

The second place to stop on the way to Asheville is the Blue Ridge Arts Center (blueridgeartscenter.com) where mountain crafts, both traditional and contemporary, are on display.

Now Asheville. Ahh, Asheville. It's Funky Town in the Mountains. It seriously reminds me of Key West in the '70s -- but with mountains instead of ocean -- before the super-rich took it over and destroyed it.

With about 75,000 people, Asheville is home to Billy Graham, seven colleges and two universities. So it has soul, no matter how you look at it -- but I think the colleges win.

Asheville makes every U.S. magazine's list of "Top 10 Places To Do This Or That," so get there quick -- before the super-rich take it over and ruin it.


- Biltmore Estate: Everyone goes there but I skipped it because self-important faux monuments bore me. But as it is the biggest privately owned house in North America (Loire chateau style, more than 250 rooms) you should probably go. Built by one of the Vanderbilt heirs in the 1890s, it's twice as big as Aaron Spelling's mansion in Hollywood. Go wild.

- The North Carolina Arboretum has 26 hectares of cultivated gardens and 15 km of forested trails.

- More to my taste is Sliding Rock, a natural 20-metre waterslide that plunges you into an ice-cold pool. It's loads of fun on a summer afternoon for $1 park admission fee. It's about 10 km down Hwy. 276 off the Blue Ridge Parkway, about an hour's drive south of Asheville.

- One of my favourite mountain places is Chimney Rock, a half-hour drive southeast of Asheville on Hwy 74. A filming location for 1992's Last of the Mohicans, it's a magnificent hiking area with great vistas. There's a 26-storey elevator cut through the rock if you don't feel up to hiking to the top. Some of the more spectacular paths will be closed for the spring while they are upgraded, but it's still well worth a visit.

You can read the full story here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

May Day Festival Coming to Biltmore Village

Historically May Day has marked the end of the winter season by celebrating the coming of Spring and Summer. It’s good-bye to cold, windy days and welcome to those wonderful warm, flowerful summer days. In the early 1900s, May Day was a community celebration of hope and joy, and, was popularly celebrated.

This year, Biltmore Village is re-establishing May Day as a special commemoration for everyone to enjoy.

The festivities will begin at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 2 with music and dancing around the May Pole in the Village Plaza. May Pole Dancers will circle the pole each holding colored ribbons attached to the pole and then retrace their steps to unravel the ribbons.

That will be followed at 12:00 by two bluegrass bands playing until 4:30 pm. First on the schedule is the Moore Brothers, featuring 11 year old Jacob and his 6 year old brother Isaac. Next will be the Southern Crescent Bluegrass band playing in their traditional bluegrass style. Bluegrass music has been specifically chosen because of its happy foot-stomping rhythms, and its origin in the hills of Appalachia.

During the afternoon, local a cappella singing groups will perform as they stroll through the Village. And back by popular demand, there’ll be carriage rides providing the feel of yesteryear.

Everyone who attends is urged to bring canned food items for a special May Day basket which will be donated to MANNA Food Bank.

Restoring the May Day celebration was inspired by a 1906 photo of a May Pole dance occurring at the Biltmore Village plaza and recounts of a 1905 New York Times article that brought to light a colorful May Day celebration in Historic Biltmore Village.

“The Village has a hundred plus year history of being one of Asheville’s focal points. Celebrating the transition from Winter to Spring and Summer seemed like a great way to continue that,” said Stan Collins, president of the Merchants Association.

Biltmore Village is conveniently located across the street from the Doubletree Biltmore and Sleep Inn Biltmore Hotels. If you're coming in from out of town you can find reservations here.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Asheville ranked the #2 small city arts and crafts destination!

AmericanStyle Readers Name Asheville One of Nation’s Top Arts Destinations

Baltimore, Md. (April 17, 2009) — Exciting, reliable, budget-friendly locales captured readers’ hearts and votes as cities nationwide vied for top ranking in AmericanStyle magazine’s 12th annual Top 25 Arts Destinations poll.

For the second year, Asheville, N.C., with a storied crafts legacy dating to the turn of the century, held the No. 2 spot among small cities. Santa Fe, N.M., received top honors in the category, while Sedona, Ariz., placed third.

Once again, the winners’ list features a mix of traditional destinations and emerging arts scenes where galleries contribute to community revitalization.

“Remember the vital roles played by artists during the last recession,” said Wendy Rosen, publisher of AmericanStyle. “They moved in to dying Main Streets, shuttered factories and warehouse districts, and converted them into galleries and art scenes. Their murals, outdoor sculpture and other public art enchanted tourists and helped spark new investment. Artists led the way then, and they are leading the way now: Just look at what young artists have done to bring tourism to Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, and how artists have made Asheville, N.C., a must-visit destination off the beaten path.”

“Tough economic times also make consumers conscious of where their products come from,” Ms. Rosen added. “Art lovers know they can make a positive impact by buying from local galleries and local artists, so their dollars recycle in the community and support homegrown talent. We all know that art and handcraft galleries are among the few remaining places where you can find authentic, made-in-America gifts and art products.”

With so large a selection of arts cities to choose from, readers will be itching to hit the road. Luxury travelers will not be able to resist destinations boasting premier museums, galleries and festivals, while “staycationers” will be pleased to find great art cities within driving distance.

AmericanStyle Top Arts Destinations in 2009

Small Cities (Populations of less than 100,000)

1. Santa Fe, N.M.
2. Asheville, N.C.
3. Sedona, Ariz.
4. Taos, N.M.
5. Saugatuck, Mich.
6. Key West, Fla.
7. Berkeley Springs, W.V.
8. Boulder, Colo.
9. Carmel, Calif.
10. Corning, N.Y.

Complete lists of all 25 winning cities in each category, plus tips for affordable travel and information about exciting arts destinations in the United States are featured on www.AmericanStyle.com and in the June issue of AmericanStyle, now on newsstands and at major booksellers across the country.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jazz Master Kenny Barron comes to Asheville


This Sunday, April 26, at 7:00 PM, you have an opportunity to watch the performance of one of the leading jazz musicians on the planet. Kenny Barron will be playing a solo piano concert at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville.

Come see the artist that Stan Getz claimed was "the other half of my heart." Barron's career included a stint with the legendary Dizzy Gillespie in which Barron declared, "From Dizzy...I gained a real appreciation for be-bop and Latin Music." Honors, awards and winning international jazz polls are commonplace for Kenny. His latest honor was receiving the Bank of New York Mellon Jazz 2008 Living Legacy Award at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Presented by the NC Jazz Society, this show will definitely be a crowd pleaser. There is a pre-concert reception from 6:15-7:00 in which audience members are invited to sample the American Italian cuisine of Frankie Bones Restaurant. Asheville vocalist Sharon LaMotte and pianist Bill Gerhardt will be performing during this reception. While there is no charge for the pre-concert event, donations of case or food for Manna Food Bank will be appreciated. 100% of proceeds will go to Manna. Beverages will also be available at a cash bar operated by Frankie Bones.

Special hotel packages are available through Biltmore Farms Hotels.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

HATCHfest comes to Asheville for its East Coast Debut

Next week ushers in a new event for Asheville. It’s called HATCHfest and it will run from April 15 – 19th. This event originated in Bozeman, Montana and for the first time it has moved east to the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.

So what is HATCHfest? It’s a festival that provides mentorship to young artists in the fields of film, music, photography, architecture, fashion, journalism, design & technology. It’s designed to connect the young innovators of tomorrow with the veterans of the arts communities.

With special events planned all over Asheville there are many opportunities to take part in this festival. HATCHfest Asheville's panels, workshops and educational presentations during the day are free and open to the public. Tickets to screenings, opening receptions and some other evening events and performances may have a minimal ticket cost.

The Mountain Express has a list of the mentors being featured at the festival. For more information please visit the HATCHfest website. If you’re traveling from out of town please be sure to stay at one of these fine hotels. Look for me at the festival. See you there!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Blue Ridge Roller Girls kick off their new season in Asheville

The Blue Ridge Rollergirls had their season opening roller derby match against the Savannah Derby Devils this past weekend. The event took place at the Asheville Civic Center with an always interesting mix of Ashevillians.  The all female team took to the flat track with one thing in mind, "to get down and derby". The team is comprised with many colorful characters, including Sugar Magmaulya, Jane Gretzky and Caslamity Jane. Team Blue Ridge outskated their rivals to win 180 - 87. 

Proceeds from the ticket sales went to support Loving Food Resources, an organization that provides basic needs to people living with HIV/AIDS through food. Performances at the event included the barber shop quartet, Shakedown; the lively band, Shake it like a Caveman; as well as music from GFE's Cricket.

The next bout is scheduled for Saturday May 30th, starting at 7PM at the Asheville Civic Center. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. If you're traveling to Asheville during that time you should check out the fun. Rooms are available at one of these great hotels.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Enjoy Easter Brunch in Asheville

This Easter, let the team of the Doubletree Biltmore Hotel do all the work.

You and your family should join us for Easter brunch at the Doubletree Biltmore Hotel in Asheville, NC on April 12th, 2009. The event starts at 11:00AM and continues until 2:00PM. Our culinary team will be serving a wonderful menu including the following:

- Fresh muffins and pastries
- Roast leg of lamb
- Carved ham
- Belgian waffles
- Peel & eat shrimp
- Eggs, bacon and sausage
- Bagels, smoked trout and gravlox
- Pasta, cooked to order
And much, much more.

Other activities include egg painting, an egg hunt and a visit from the Easter Bunny. This event is open to the public and promises to be a lot of fun for the entire family.

The cost is $24.95 per person and only $12.95 for kids under 10.

For more information you can e-mail us at concierge@biltmorefarmshotels.com or call 828-771-2275 to make your reservation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Asheville is alive with the sound of music

There's a lot of great entertainment to be had in Asheville. Check out some of the upcoming events that you won't want to miss.

The Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club

There are some fantastic shows coming to the Asheville area over the next couple of months. Be sure to get your tickets early to enjoy the music of Ben Folds, Ani DiFranco, G. Love & Special Sauce, 311 and many more.

The Orange Peel was voted one of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 5 Rock Clubs in the country. It is Asheville’s premier downtown live music club and is a smoke free facility that features a state of the art sound and lighting system.

Be sure to secure your hotel rooms with one of the Orange Peel’s official hotels to receive a discounted rate. These hotels and phone numbers are listed below.

Doubletree Biltmore Hotel   828.274.1800

Quality Inn & Suites Biltmore South    828.684.6688

Residence Inn Biltmore   828.218.3361

Sleep Inn Biltmore   828.277.1800



WNC Jazz Society presents the Christian Tamburr Quartet

The 2009 season of the Western North Carolina Jazz Society starts Sunday, March 8 at 7:00p. Come celebrate the new season and enjoy the sounds of Christian Tamburr, a vibrant and talented vibraphone player who recently completed a stint as a musical director for vocalist Julio Inglesias. Christian has performed as a guest artist with Dave Brubeck and opened for Harry Connick Jr. In 2009, he will begin his roll as director of a new Cirque du Soleil production. He will be accompanied by pianist Scott Giddens.

There is a special Jazz Society Package available for this show which includes a discounted hotel room, tickets to the show and a $50 gift certificate to Vincenzo's, Asheville's premier northern Italian, Continental restaurant. For more information on this package please visit http://www.biltmorefarmshotels.com/doubletree/offers-jazz_society.aspx.

For more information on the WNC Jazz Society please visit http://www.wncjazzsociety.org.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Asheville is the perfect winter getaway

There are some great events coming up in Asheville over the next month. Be sure to check these out these special events and winter packages designed with you in mind. Come see us.

Chamber’s Culinary Affair

The Asheville Independent Restaurant Association and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce have come together to create a one-of-a-kind culinary evening in Asheville, a city that has become quite famous for its food and is considered a dining destination for many people. Now you can sample foods from a variety of local and independent restaurants in the Asheville area. Come join us at the Doubletree Biltmore Hotel for this special event. Ticket prices are $125, and the dress is black-tie optional. Proceeds benefit the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. The event is being held on Thursday, January 22, 2009. The schedule is as follows: 7:00 – 8:00 PM – Welcome cocktail hour. 8:00 – 10:00 PM – A four-course dinner is being served. 10:00 – 11:00 PM – Music and dancing. Tickets are available at any AIR restaurant or at the Chamber of Commerce.

Superbowl Sunday at the Doubletree:

Not sure where to watch the big game this year? Then you should come spend it with the Doubletree Biltmore Hotel in our Burghley Ballroom. We’ll be broadcasting Superbowl XLIII on three big screens, the largest being 220”. You’ve never see the game this big! Tailgate food and beverages will be available for purchase. Kickoff is set to begin at approximately 6:30 PM. This event is free to everyone we ask only that you RSVP to adams@biltmorefarmshotels.com.

Valentines Day special packages:

That special day is less than a month away and we have the perfect place for you to celebrate with the one you love. We are currently offering two specials for Valentine’s Day.

The Cupid Special:

  • This package includes 2 nights at the Doubletree Biltmore in an Executive Suite with Jacuzzi tub.
  • You have your choice of dinner at Vincenzo’s, Frankie Bones or Savoy.
  • Enjoy breakfast in bed with our in-room dining experience.
  • Red wine and chocolates waiting for you in your room.
  • An in room couples massage by Sensibilities Spa.
The hunk of burning love special:

  • This package includes two nights in a standard room at your choice of the Doubletree Biltmore, Sleep Inn Biltmore, Residence Inn Biltmore or Quality Inn & Suites Biltmore South.
  • You have your choice of dinner at Vincenzo’s, Frankie Bones or Savoy.
  • Red wine and chocolates waiting for you in your room.
  • An in room couples massage by Sensibilities Spa.

For more information or if you are interested in booking one of these packages please contact our package concierge at dholston@biltmorefarmshotels.com.