Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Celebrate New Year's Eve in Asheville

Coming to Asheville for New Years? Check out these shows recommended by the Asheville Citizen Times.

The Avett Brothers play a two-night stand Thursday-Friday at the Asheville Civic Center arena, and that promises to be the largest gathering anywhere in town.

Officially, it's sold out, though tickets can still be found at various online sites. The show will bring thousands of fans downtown, adding to the overall madness.

Another brother act

Sons of Ralph, one of the city's most popular bands, mixes bluegrass and rock New Year’s Eve at Jack of the Wood, 95 Patton Ave.

These boys are sure to pack the place, so get over there early, get something to eat and bring in the new year.

Groove at the Grove

The historic Grove House, 11 Grove St., downtown, has a solid New Year's Eve package planned with entertainment in three venues.

Club Eleven brings out electronic and video production with A/V Club producers Nicodemus and VJ Loopy Jenkins and Tech Tribe producers Yorgo Simou, J-Hecht & Luis Armando.

Scandals Nightclub has DJ Stratos and dance music.

And the Boiler Room has drag performers and DJ Acolyte with club house, tech house and Top 40 music.

Admission is $15 for club members, $20 everyone else (ages 18 and older). Visit

On the Avenue

The new Avenue M restaurant, 791 Merrimon Ave. (that's the former Usual Suspects location) is celebrating with a band featuring Whitney Moore, Chuck Lichtenberger, Ozzie Orengo and Grant Cuthbertson.

Everybody smile

Mangolia's, 26 Walnut St., has Crocodile Smile Friday night at 10 p.m. The next-door Cinjade's nightclub will be thumping with dance music.

These folks have been toasting in the new year since well before downtown was so hot (Cinjades opened in 1984; Magnolia's in '88).

All you need is love

White Horse Black Mountain, 105 C Montreat Road, Black Mountain, is one of the area's finest music venues. Their New Year’s Eve party features John Leo and the Eggmen with a John Lennon tribute, plus Asheville's own Swayback Sisters.

It's a $20 cover and worth it.

Family fun

We still miss Asheville's old First Night celebration, but Marion has picked up the tradition. That town's second annual First Night New Year's Eve Celebration happens Friday evening and features music, food and entertainment.

At midnight, a replica gold nugget will be dropped onto the platform of the Marion Fire Department's tower truck. Rock!

If you are traveling this way and need a place to rest your head after the ball drops then check out these great hotels.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Be Festive with Santa in Biltmore Park

Santa Claus is coming to town - Biltmore Park Town Square that is. This Friday, December 24th from 3PM to 6PM Santa will be available to hear all the last minute requests. As an added bonus you are welcome to have your child's photo taken for free. Just be sure to bring your own camera with you.

Biltmore Park is located off of I-26 at exit 37. If there is inclement weather then you can find Santa in the lobby of the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park. While you're there you can enjoy a delicious meal or appetizer at Roux, one of the best values for a meal in Biltmore Park.

Special thanks to my friends Michael and Chance for use of their photo.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Holidays from Biltmore Farms Hotels

From all of us at Biltmore Farms Hotels in Asheville, North Carolina - We hope that you have a bright and happy holiday season.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Manna Food Drive at Doubletree Biltmore Hotel

If you're in the Biltmore Village area this weekend, please drop off any canned good items or other food donations at the Doubletree Biltmore Hotel in support of Manna Foodbank.

The food drive was started as a collaboration with the Doubletree and Estes Elementary School to teach children the importance of caring about world hunger. Doubletree representatives went into each classroom at Estes and the students have banded together to try and collect 2,000 cans of food for hungry families across Western North Carolina.

The Doubletree Teaching Kids to Care campaign goes into the classroom twice a year each time with a different message of why it's important to care for others. Previous topics include planting trees for Arbor Day, sending out cookies to U.S. troops in Iraq and aiding the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The food drive is scheduled to wrap up this week, but there is still time to get your donations to the hotel. Click here for directions.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dickens in the Village this weekend in Asheville

This weekend in Asheville you can experience Dickens in the Village taking place in Historic Biltmore Village. There are special events planned each day starting this Friday, Dec. 3 and ending Sunday Dec. 5th. Here you will find strolling musicians and vocalists, horse drawn carriage rides and old fashioned holiday cheer.

Here are a few hightlights of what to expect:

Friday - From 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm - The Village comes alive with the annual holiday lighting display. Also, the Montford Park Players will present scenes from "A Christmas Carol".

Saturday - From 11:00 am - 7:00 pm you can enjoy entertainment from the Vance Chorus, Flat Rick Youtheatre and the Biltmore Brass Ensemble.

Sunday - From 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm check out the Men's Morris Dancers, N8 the Great (juggling and magic), and the Appalachian Folk Choir.

There is of course so much more planned. Visit the Biltmore Village site or click here for the full list of events.

Of course there are also many great places to eat and shop while visiting. We offer hotels in Biltmore Village if you are looking for Asheville accommodations.

Photo taken by Mark File with Romantic Asheville.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Festival of Trees at the Doubletree Biltmore in Asheville

I just walked through the hallways of the Doubletree Biltmore Hotel in Asheville and took in the sites of the Festival of Trees presented by CarePartners Hospice Foundation. There are so many trees everywhere and viewing is open to the public. The event lasts from November 24th until November 28th with two special events planned.

On Saturday, November 27 from 10 am - 2 pm bring your children out for a milk and cookies with Santa event.

On Sunday, November 28 there will be musical performances with live choral music starting at 2 pm and followed by Harp & Bass by Michelle Bonn and Steve Jamesson starting around 3 pm.

All proceeds from this fundraiser benefit the patients and families served by CarePartners Hospice. For more information about this event please call 828-277-4815. For more information including directions to the venue please visit the Doubletree Biltmore website.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The 2010 Holiday Season Hits Asheville

This weekend in Asheville the holiday season will be in full swing. With activities planned throughout the city, this would be a perfect time to get a jump start on your holiday shopping. For more information and a complete list of retailers please visit the Biltmore Park website.

Ring in the season at Biltmore Park Town Square with a Holiday Lighting Celebration this Friday, November 19th from 6 pm to 8 pm. There will be strolling carolers, children's storytellers and even Mr. & Mrs. Clause. It's a perfect family outing and there are some great stores and restaurants to visit while you're there.

This Saturday, November 20th starting at 11 am you can catch the Asheville Holiday Parade in downtown Asheville. Marching bands, dancing troupes and multiple floats will be taking over the streets to help spread some holiday cheer. The estimated time for the parade is about two hours.

If you're visiting from out of town and need a place to stay please check into these great hotels.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Food Drive this week at Vinnie's to support MANNA

Vinnie's Family Italian is hosting a food drive this week from November 15 through November 19th. Bring some extra cans of food when you come to dine this week and receive a free order of their famous garlic knots or a free cannoli for dessert (with the purchase of an entrée).

All food donations will help benefit MANNA Food Bank which helps distribute food to needy families across Western North Carolina.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Roux serves up Thanksgiving dinner in Asheville

Looking for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in Asheville this year? Roux, located in the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, will be serving a fantastic menu - buffet style - from 1PM until 7PM Thanksgiving day. However, if you want to have Thanksgiving at home, and don't have the time to cook, then take advantage of the Thanksgiving To Go option. Your turkey will be slow cooked early so when you come to pick it up on Thanksgiving day it will be hot, fresh and ready.

The following is what you can expect.

- Organic Spinach Salad with Shaved Fennel and Bermuda Onions, Figs, Gorgonzola & Orange Cider Vinaigrette
- Curried Sweet Potato Salad with Honey and Pine Nuts
- Sesame Green Bean Salad with Soy Glazed Almonds
- Artisan Breads with Herb Butter & Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Wild Mushroom Bisque
- Roasted Medley of Brussel Sprouts, Carrots and Parsnips
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel and Marshmallow Topping
- Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
- Traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Homemade Turkey Gravy

From the Carving Board:
- Roasted Tangle Wood Farms Turkey with Orange-Cranberry Relish
- Baked Ham with Pineapple-Mustard Glaze

- Pumpkin, Pecan or Buttermilk Pie Served Table Side with fresh Whipped Cream

Prices for the Thanksgiving buffet are $21.99 per adult and $12.00 for children 12 and under. If you are interested in the To Go program then the prices are $164 to feed 10-12 people and $87.00 to feed 4-6 people. Please call 828-209-27145 for reservations. You will need to place all To Go reservations by November 19th.

For more information call the number above of visit the Roux website.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hilton Asheville achieves LEED Silver Certification

The Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, announced that it has been awarded LEED® Silver certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

“The Hilton Asheville is a great example of how to combine sustainability with exceptional features and amenities to create a memorable guest experience,” said Ron Storto, Vice President of Hotel Development. “From a destination spa and fine dining to eco-conscious products and operations, this new addition to our hotel portfolio pairs environmental stewardship with Biltmore Farms legacy of service, style and innovation.”

Hilton Asheville achieved LEED certification for incorporating a variety of sustainable strategies. The largest factor being that Hilton Asheville is among the first hotels in the country to install a solar hot water system. It is the largest system installed in Western North Carolina to date. Water throughout the hotel, including the pool, is heated using solar power, eliminating 25 tons of carbon dioxide per year, which is the equivalent of planting 7,000 trees. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings, such as the Hilton Asheville, save money for families, business and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”

LEED certification of Hilton Asheville was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:

• Solar Powered Hot Water System.
• Low volatile organic compounds used as building materials.
• All ENERGY STAR® qualified CFL lighting throughout the hotel.
• Saline pool reduces purchase, transport & storage of chlorine chemicals.
• Full scale recycling program including guest rooms.
• Farm to table menu items.
• Donation of cooking oil for alternative fuels.
• Donation of food waste for composting.
• A linen and towel reuse program to reduce water consumption.
• Shuttle service provided in an alternative fuel vehicle.
• Special parking for all hybrid vehicles.
• Bicycle racks available for alternative transportation

Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park is the first hotel in Western North Carolina to achieve a LEED certification and it is one of only three in the state of NC. To learn more about the sustainability efforts of the Hilton Asheville and all of the Biltmore Farms Hotels please visit our sustainability site. For more information on the Hilton Asheville please visit here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Essential Journeys Open House in Asheville

Buy local is a mantra in Asheville and here is a chance to take part in that. Asheville-based Kimberly Masters, is the founder of Essential Journeys which specializes in handcrafted soaps, lotion, lip lube and soy candles, all made from natural ingredients and inspired from travels around the world. The studio is hosting an open house for everyone to explore the studio and learn about the soap making process.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, December 4, 2010 from 1:00p.m. - 6:00p.m. The soap studio is located at 77 Vermont Ave, Asheville, NC. It will be a wonderful opportunity for some holiday shopping and mingling. Hot cider and snacks will be provided. There is no cost to attend and guests will have a chance to meet Kimberly and ask any questions.

For more information you can call 828-350-0395.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween 2010 in Asheville

It's that time of year to find fun activities all geared towards spine tingling fun and eating candy. I'll opt for the eating candy part myself. There are a ton of activities going on in Asheville this weekend. The largest of the events is MoogFest which still has some day passes available. I'll be going to see Big Boi, Pretty Lights and the School of Seven Bells. Other big artists like Massive Attack and Thievery Corporation are on the list as well. You can visit here for more information on that.

For other options check out what has to say. They have a great list of kid friendly and adult only activities.

For those in the downtown Asheville area Sunday night around 8PM, you may be lucky enough to catch a Thriller flashmob which will be a true Halloween treat.

During the day you can still see a lot of great leaf looking as the trees are in full color. Be sure to check out the fall color report.

Hotels are booking up fast, but we still have some availability at our Biltmore Farms Hotels. Be sure to check us out if you're looking for a place to stay.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jeff Hamilton Trio this weekend in Asheville

This Sunday, October 24th starting at 7:00 PM, the Jeff Hamilton Trio will be performing at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, NC.

Renowned drummer Jeff Hamilton has mastered dynamics and subtlety, an exceptionally rare achievement. Fortunate audience members on October 24 will experience why jazz bible JazzTimes magazine assessed Jeff's Trio's 2009 recording "Symbiosis" so glowingly:

"Jeff Hamilton's Trio integrates parts like a master chef integrates components to make a mouth-watering dish. Individually each instrument has a neutral glow, but when the parts are bridged together, the result metamorphoses into a grand montage with big band muscle. The trio's rapport is inspiring and their dialogue is aurally melodic, producing music with dancehall style and swing-jazz sophistication. With tracks that are sentimental, exuberant, and consoling, Symbiosis exudes characteristics that touch human emotions."

Tickets are $25 for members of the WNC Jazz Society and $35 for non-members. Students p[ay $10 with ID. This will be the final performance of the 2010 series. There will be a pre-show meet and greet with refreshments and entertainment starting at 6:10. For more information visit WNC Jazz Society's website.

If you are traveling form out of town and need a place to stay please check out these great Asheville hotels.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Warren Haynes Christmas Jam lineup announced

The holidays are fast approaching and nothing says Christmas in Asheville like the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam scheduled for Saturday, December 11th at the Asheville Civic Center. This week the preliminary lineup was released and there are a ton of great musicians that we be present this year.

This is the twenty second year that this festival has taken place and it is always a sellout show. You want to make sure you purchase your tickets early if you want to go. The London Times has called this "one of the top ten concerts in the United States." That's a pretty impressive statement, but then again check out the bands that are playing.

The featured list includes:

-Steve Miller Band
-The Warren Haynes Band
-Gregg Allman
-Widespread Panic's John Bell
-Widespread Panic's John "JoJo" Hermann
-Drive-By Truckers
-Umphreys McGee
-The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
and there's more to be announced in the next few months.

Tickets will go on sale on October 23rd through Ticketmaster and the Asheville Civic Center ticket office. There is a pre-sale planned starting this Thursday, October 14th through Friday the 15th (while supplies last). VIP passes are also available and include tickets to the pre-show at The Orange Peel and the main concert, early admission to the show, a special catered private party, a VIP viewing area close to the stage and lots of other goodies. For more information visit the official website.

If you're traveling out of town there are great deals available at these Asheville hotels.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Elton John coming to Asheville

For the second time in a decade Elton John will be playing in Asheville. He is gracing the stage of the Asheville Civic Center to perform on the Greatest Hits Tour. His music has spanned the decades giving him worldwide fame from an early age. He has produced numerous gold and platinum albums and has sold more than 250 million records worldwide.

The concert is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 16 starting at 8 p.m. Tickets ($47/$87/$137, plus applicable fees) go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 4, online at, at all Ticketmaster outlets, or via charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000. There is an eight-ticket limit per customer.

If you are traveling from out of town and are looking for a great hotel check out Biltmore Farms Hotels, Asheville's premiere hotel group.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Roux restaurant hosts wine dinner to benefit Animal Compassion Network

Roux, the restaurant of the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, will be hosting a special reception and wine dinner to benefit the Animal Compassion Network's Foster and Adoption Program. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, October 5, from 6:30 until 9:00PM. The dinner, prepared by Chef Randy Dunn, will be a five course gourmet vegetarian meal. Wine pairings generously donated by Biltmore Wines will be presented by Biltmore Winemaker, Sharon Fenchak.

The course menus are as follow:

- Display of figs, gorgonzola & honey-spiced pecans
- Shiitake mushroom crustini with pear chutney
- Thai red curry deviled eggs
- Endive with fresh ricotta, cracked black pepper, tart apples and pine nuts
- Wine pairing: Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blanc - North Carolina

1st Course
- Summer roll of tamirand infused tofu & pineapple with yuzu ponzu
- Wine pairing: Biltmore Estate Riesling - North Carolina

2nd Course
- Salad of arugula & fennel with sweet potato croutons & local pistachio chevre
- Wine Pairing: Biltmore Estate Chardonnay - North Carolina

3rd Course
- Smokey mac & cheese with porcini mushrooms & grilled vegetables
- Wine pairing: Biltmore Reserve Pinot Noir - Russian River Valley

4th Course
- Grilled risotto and vegetable stack with roasted tomato buerre rouge
- Wine Pairing: Antler Hill Syrah - Napa Valley

5th Course
- Dark chocolate polenta cake with hazelnut-cherry mousse
- Wine Pairing: Biltmore Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Ticket prices are $60 per person and $100 per couple and must be purchased in advanced. You may purchase tickets at Pet Harmony, Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, Sensibilities Day Spa, or online at Animal Compassion Network. Tickets are limited so buy early to ensure a spot at the event. In addition the Hilton Asheville is offering a room package. For an additional $99 you would be able to stay the night. To reserve the room package please e-mail Stan Turner, General Manager of the Hilton Asheville at

The photo above is of Hilton, one of the many dogs rescued through the Animal Compassion Network.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Help end childhood hunger at Vinnie's

From now through September 25th you can help eradicate childhood hunger by dining at Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian, Asheville's newest Italian restaurant located at 641 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville. Vinnie's is participating in the Great American Dine Out Week and a percentage of all sales will go to support this cause.

Funds raised through the Great American Dine Out support No Kid Hungry™, Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Great American Dine Out funds help Share Our Strength connect needy families with food in the following ways:

- Enroll more eligible kids in school breakfast, after-school snacks and meals, and their families in SNAP (food stamps).
- Bring community gardens and farmers markets to low-income neighborhoods
- Bring affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables to urban corner stores.
Teach at-risk families how to plan, shop for, and prepare healthy, low-cost meals at home.
- Help local food pantries, food banks and soup kitchens meet the pressing demand for more nutritious food.
- Increase awareness and understanding of childhood hunger and solutions to it.

Vinnie's is open seven nights a week and there is plenty of free parking. Their hours are Sunday through Thursday from 4:40PM - 9:30PM and Friday through Saturday from 4:30PM - 10:30PM. They are also offering an early bird special of 15% off from 4:30PM to 5:30PM. Learn more about Vinnie's here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Leaf lookers prepare for a colorful season in Asheville

This year promises to be a colorful leaf season in Asheville. Check out this information released by the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

ASHEVILLE, NC (September 14, 2010) – In the tricky business that is forecasting the whims of Mother Nature, it is rare that experts agree as they make fall color predictions. This year, biologists and naturalists in Western North Carolina and the Asheville area are singing the same tune: Seasonal weather patterns and early climate indicators may trigger the most colorful leaf season in years.

Good News for Colorful Fall Vacations

As the last week of summer arrives, travelers can look to fall foliage experts to learn what is in store for autumn travel in 2010:

Expert Forecast Quotes

“A long spell of dry weather during the spring and summer could provide some of the most brilliant colors seen in several years for leaf-lookers headed to the mountains of Western North Carolina this autumn,” reported Katherine Mathews, Western Carolina University’s assistant professor of biology specializing in plant systematics.

“While there were periods of low rainfall with some higher than normal temperatures, the mountains around Asheville have had plenty of rain toward the end of the summer. With cooler, clear weather moving in this September, fall seems to be setting up nicely,” said Parker Andes, director of horticulture at Biltmore in Asheville.

“A few weeks ago the weather transitioned to clear, sunny days–the ideal combination for a really beautiful fall,” said Dr. Howie Neufeld, professor of plant physiology at Appalachian State University.

“When people remember a good color season, it is usually because they got those brilliant reds contrasting against the rest of the fall color spectrum. The bi-product of photosynthesis is sugar, and sugar triggers red pigment production. So, these bright sunny days we’re seeing will build up that intense red pigment in the leaves. We’re on course for a colorful fall season,” continued Dr. Neufeld.

Fall Color Wars: Scientifically Substantiated Bias

Extreme elevation variations and biologically diverse microclimates combine to give the Southern Appalachian Mountains one of the longest and most colorful leaf seasons in the country. Regional experts weigh-in on who has the best fall color:

“New England’s color comes primarily from birch, beech and maple–a beautiful, bright autumn display with big blotches of color. But, the South has more than 100 species of deciduous trees. The combination of topography and color diversity here can make our fall colors spectacular. Out West you see more evergreens and yellow, but you don’t get a lot of that vibrant red that makes up the eastern fall patchwork. I’ve lived in the Northeast and the West, and I think North Carolina has some of the best fall color in the country,” said Dr. Neufeld.

“The mountains of Western NC have the most forest diversity of anywhere in the country, which gives us a uniquely broad range of fall color and a longer season. From the yellows of cucumber magnolias around Balsam Mountain to the burgundy of black gums along the Davidson River, there is a rainbow of colors to be seen here. And, because of the different altitudes, microclimates and mild weather, visitors can always find good color and lots of activities throughout the region,” said Andes.

Timing Your Fall Vacation

“We’re already starting to see signs of color at the highest elevations here at the end of September. Our American ash trees are beginning to tinge with purple and the bright red berries on the mountain ashe are putting on a good show. Leaf peepers should look for high elevation habitats to color-up first, such as heath balds on mountain ridges,” said Jesse Pope, chief naturalist at Grandfather Mountain.

“I’m very optimistic about the intensity of color we could see this year. However, the duration and timing of fall greatly depends on these last couple of weeks in September. Rapid changes in temperature could start the color action early, and we want to avoid wind events that would stress and prematurely down the leaves,” continued Pope.

Weekly Fall Color Reports:

To help visitors locate where the autumn color is peaking from week-to-week, the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau is working with park officials, attractions and biologists around the region to compile weekly fall color reports for the mountains of Western North Carolina at Asheville’s fall color experts will also be tweeting up-to-the-minute color updates, travel tips and deals at @FallColorHunter on Twitter.

With the fall season fast approaching now is a great time to book your room reservation as hotels in the Asheville area will start selling out. Check out these great hotels and plan your getaway today.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Black Keys change date of Asheville performance

Due to a death of a family member, The Black Keys are rescheduling their September 14th show at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC to Thursday, September 16th. All previously purchased tickets will be honored for the rescheduled date. All show details will remain the same - the show will start at 9pm with doors at 8pm on Thursday. If you are unable to attend the new date, refunds will be available at the Orange Peel box office until Thursday, September 16th at 5:30pm. For questions, contact the Orange Peel at (828) 225-5851 or by email, before Thursday at 5:30pm. No refunds will be offered past this deadline. The band and the Orange Peel apologize for any inconvenience to our fans. We'll see you at the show on Thursday, September 16th

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spotlight on Asheville Artist Mitchell Lonas

Asheville is well known for being a cultural and artistic mecca. The plethora of galleries, studio strolls, and art & craft fairs that occur throughout the year are a testament to the size of the artistic community in Western North Carolina. Many artists take up residency in this vibrant mountain community including Mitchell Lonas.

The following is an excerpt from Mitchell's bio on his website.

The Tennessee native, who studied art history at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, was for many years a respected portrait painter before transitioning to his current style. A portraitist’s sense of focus, line, and beauty continues to inform his latest work, showcased in exhibitions such as The Wrench Series at Gallery Bienvenu in New Orleans.

Lonas, who now lives and maintains a studio practice in Asheville, North Carolina, personally developed many of the processes that imbue his work with its unique sense of materiality. “The challenge,” he observes, “is to create something original using unconventional materials and methods.” To that end, beginning in 2005, he evolved a method of applying paint to metal panels and incising them with iconic imagery. Working from sketches, he uses customized cutting tools to create rapturous stylizations of trees, feathers, birds’ nests, and other subject matter culled from the plant and animal kingdoms. As viewers behold the completed works from different vantage points, the myriad beveled lines in each composition glint and shimmer in the light.

Mitchell Lonas’ work has been widely exhibited and is featured in notable private, public, institutional, and corporate collections, among them a series of large-scale commissions for Nordstrom department stores.

Mithcell's Metal Nest series is currently on exhibit at the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, a hotel that adorns all of it's walls with the work of local artists.


—Bio excerpted from “Mitchell Lonas: The Wrench Series” by Richard Speer. Speer is contributing critic at ARTNews and Art Ltd. magazines. His essays have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, Newsweek, Salon, and Opera News.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flower Carpet starts next week at Biltmore

The Flower Carpet returns next week to the South Terrace of Biltmore Estate. Daytime guests can admire a living work of art from August 20 until September 12th, 2010. The Biltmore's horticultural team have used their artistic abilities to select and weave 155,000 plants into a pattern inspired by a rare stained glass window now on display in The Biltmore Legacy.

On select Friday and Saturday evenings, guests can experience the magical combination of a candlelight visit to Biltmore House, the flower carpet dramatically lit, live jazz music and soft moonlight. Reservations are required and guests and upgrade their daytime tickets to an evening visit for only $10. Evening visits are available August 20, 21, 27, 28 and September 10,11.

If you're traveling to the Biltmore and need a place to stay we have three hotels conveniently located in Biltmore Village, just next to the Estate.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

TEDx Asheville coming soon

For the second year in a row, Asheville will host a TEDx conference providing a forum for people who believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately the world. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, however the scope of TED presentations extend far beyond those categories. TED conferences offer knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

On August 29, 2010 TedX Asheville will come alive at the Orange Peel located in Downtown Asheville. Seven speakers are planned including Doc Hendley (2009 CNN Hero) and "The Last American Man" Eustace Conway. Once the Orange Peel has filled to capacity people will be directed to offsite LiveStream events. One offsite event planned is at the Doubletree Biltmore Hotel in their Burghley Ballroom. Directions to this hotel can be found here.

For more information about this event please visit the TedX Asheville website. If you are traveling out of town the following hotels have special rates established for this event. Reference the TedX rate when making a reservation. Please note that there are a limited amount of rooms available with this special rate so please book early.

Doubletree Biltmore Hotel - reservations 828.274.1800
Residence Inn Biltmore - reservations 828.281.3361

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MoogFest line up announced

This year Asheville is going to get a special treat during the Halloween weekend. MoogFest is a three day musical event celebrating the life and accomplishments of Robert Moog who was a longtime resident of Asheville. AC Entertainment (creators of Bonnaroo) is organizing this event and they have just released their lineup for this year's festival.

With major artists such as Big Boi, Thievery Corporation, Massive Attack, MGMT and more on the schedule, tickets will sell quickly for this multi-venue event. Tickets go on sale this Friday, August 13th.

More information, as provided by the official MoogFest website, is provided below.

Moogfest – the annual event honoring the remarkable vision of Robert Moog and his amazing musical inventions that changed the course of music – is reinventing itself. This year, moogfest 2010 will move from New York City to Asheville, NC – the place Bob Moog called home for the last 30 years of his life – and will expand to a 3-day, multi-venue event during the weekend of October 29 -31, 2010. During the festival, moogfest 2010 will host artists and audiences from throughout the world in different venues throughout Asheville’s beautiful, historic downtown.

Moogfest 2010 will celebrate Bob Moog’s legacy as a sonic pioneer, which will be the thread that unites the festival’s rich array of musical offerings. While the wide range of Moog instruments – the Minimoog Voyager, the Little Phatty, the Etherwave Theremin, Moogerfoogers, and the new Moog Guitar – will play prominent roles throughout the festival’s events, the artists performing will certainly not be limited to those who create their work on Moog instruments. Instead, artists will be chosen for their role in creating unique and groundbreaking musical experiences that embody the essence of Bob Moog’s visionary and creative spirit.

In addition to fantastic concerts by renowned performers of all kinds, moogfest 2010 will also offer opportunities to engage with the artists in panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and workshops. There will also be interactive experiences for the audience to explore their own musical creativity with a variety of Moog instruments. The festival will also offer visual art exhibitions, installations, and film screenings throughout the weekend.

Asheville hotels will book quickly for this event. If you would like to reserve a room please visit here.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Anticipation builds for the WNC Wine & Food Festival

Well known for being a culinary destination, Asheville will be celebrating its local “foodie” community with a weekend filled with delicious activities.

The WNC magazine Asheville Wine & Food Festival will be held indoors on August 14, 2010, in the new expo facility at the WNC Agricultural Center across from the Asheville Regional Airport and adjacent to Interstate 26 with easy connections from Interstate 40. With more than 60 regional, national, and international wineries already committed to this year’s festival, along with regional restaurants and local food producers, this event will allow attendees to experience the diverse culinary offerings of Western North Carolina. (More information about the festival can be found at WNC Magazine's official site.

In conjunction with this event, the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park is providing you a special package that includes:

- Deluxe overnight room with King Bed or Two Queen Beds
- Complimentary Hilton Shuttle service to and from the event
- (2) Tickets to the Asheville Wine & Food Festival
- Champagne Sunday Brunch for Two

Total cost of this package is $189 per night, plus tax. To book, call the Hilton directly at 828-209-2700 or click here to book on-line.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Don't miss the Freddy Cole Quartet

Jazz lovers in Asheville are in for a real treat this Saturday, July 31st as Freddy Cole, brother to Nat King Cole, takes the stage starting at 8:00PM in the Diana Wortham Theatre.

With his signature elegance and authentic cool, legendary vocalist-pianist Freddy Cole's performances make every audience members' heart smile. The New York Times recently heaped rare praise in Cole's direction: "Freddy has an impeccable sense of swing...he is, overall, the most maturely expressive male jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive."

Cole doesn't apologize for a style that faintly echoes his brother, Nat "King" Cole. There are certain unmistakable similarities. He plays piano masterfully and sings and performs live with guitar and upright bass, just like Nat. Yet his voice is raspier, smokier, jazzier even. In truth, his phrasing is far closer to that of Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday than that of his brother and his timing swings a little more. His vocals-suave, elegant, formidable, and articulate-are among the most respected in jazz.

If you would like to learn more about the show visit the WNC Jazz Society's site. There you can also listen to select audio clips of Freddy's music. If you are traveling in from out of town and need a place to stay, check out these great hotels.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The stars come out at Biltmore

The Biltmore Summer Concert Series is in full swing and this weekend is packed with large name acts. The South Terrace at the Biltmore is the perfect backdrop for an outdoor concert with mountain views, a glorious home and bright stars in the sky and on stage.

On Thursday night Mary Chapin Carpenter will grace the stage. Over the course of a 12–album recording career, Carpenter has won five Grammy® Awards and sold over 13 million records. Carpenter will celebrate her return to a favorite venue, playing the music of her latest album, The Age of Miracles, which was released this spring.

On Friday night, after much anticipation, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard kick off their North America tour at Biltmore. Concert goers can expect an entertaining evening as two friends and colleagues blend their talents for an unforgettable show. Clay and Ruben will be performing their renditions of classic hits from the past five decades. In 2003, on the second season of American Idol, with over 24 million votes cast by the TV viewing audience, Ruben Studdard won the title, while Clay Aiken was the very close runner up.

The concert starts at 8PM and Biltmore recommends you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to show time. Tickets range from $40 for general admission to $75 for premium seating. You can also purchase packages that will include an Estate pass so that you can tour the home, winery and gardens prior to showtime. For more information on the concerts please visit here. If you are traveling in from out of town and need a place to stay check out these great hotels.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Parkway Playhouse presents: Annie

This weekend the Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC will be running it's final four performances of the classic stage show Annie.

The popular comic strip heroine takes center stage in one of the world's best-loved musicals. Annie is a spunky Depression-era orphan determined to find her parents, who abandoned her on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations, befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and finds a new family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

Annie first appeared on the scene in 1924 and her daily comic strip ran for almost 85 years ending just last month (June 2010). You wouldn't know it from the infectious smile and the curly red ringlets of hair, but the story of Annie was, at times, considered controversial for its political undertones and the way it highlighted the more darker aspects of human nature such as the disparity between the rich and the poor.

During the 1930's a radio show called Little Orphan Annie hit the airwaves and lasted for ten years before ending in 1940. Also during the same decade two films were created based on Annie. In 1977 the first Broadway stage show was created and it ran until 1983. Another movie was released in 1982 revitalizing the popular songs such as Hard Knocked Life and The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.

You can enjoy those songs again this weekend. The show at Parkway Playhouse begins at 7:30PM this Thursday running through Saturday with a special matinee show beginning at 2PM on Saturday only. Tickets range from $12-$22 and can be purchased here.

If you're traveling in from out of town and need a place to stay check out these great hotels.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Live Music in Biltmore Park this Saturday

This Saturday, June 19 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM you can enjoy the music of The Business in Biltmore Park. There is no cost to anyone who would like to attend.

The Business is a collection of musicians that have devoted their lives to creating memories through music. Their good time feel and their repertoire of songs that span decades make them a group you don't want to miss.

Listen to their music here and then head out on Saturday night. Make sure you get a bite to eat at one of Biltmore Park's great restaurants. I recommend roux. There you can enjoy some great meals and local brew for a lower price than most Asheville eateries. Saturdays are also half off appetizers! Roux is located inside the Hilton Asheville.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Festivals in Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina (June 8, 2010) Summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains brings many wonderful music, art and food festivals – and much of the fun is free! Here are the Top 12 Summer Festivals this year in the Asheville area, as selected by Travel Guide:

June 11-12: Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival in Tryon features Hog Heaven with 80 cook teams, live music and craft fair.

June 12-13: River District Artists Studio Stroll in Asheville is your chance to tour the studios, meet with the artists and purchase artwork.

June 25-August 8: Brevard Music Center Festival features 400 of the most talented students in the world, joining Brevard's artist faculty to present more than 80 concerts in a beautiful setting.

July 3, 10, 17, 31 August 14, 21, 28, September 4: Shindig on the Green attracts musicians and dancers from Western North Carolina on Saturday nights to share the region's Southern Appalachian mountain culture in downtown Asheville.

July 8-11: Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is considered to be the grandfather of Scottish Games in the United States.

July 22-August 1: Folkmoot USA is North Carolina's Official International Festival, a two-week celebration of the world's cultural heritage through folk music and dance.

July 23-25: Bele Chere is the largest free outdoor street festival in the Southeast, held in downtown Asheville.

August 6-7: Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair is the oldest and largest crafts fair in the Blue Ridge with 250+ craftfolk showing their work in downtown Burnsville.

August 7-8: Village Art & Craft Fair in Biltmore Village hosts 125 artists from 20 states representing the full spectrum of craft media – jewelry, ceramic, wood, fiber, metals, two-dimensional art and more.

August 14-15: Sourwood Festival fills the streets of downtown Black Mountain with great music, lots of fun, and plenty of great mountain cookin'.

August 27-29: Goombay is an African-Caribbean style festival in downtown Asheville with entertainment including steel drums, African-America dancers, local gospel groups, and contemporary rhythm bands, plus crafts and great food.

September 3-6: NC Apple Festival in downtown Hendersonville features more than 150 vendors with continuous entertainment. The King Apple Parade, always held on Labor Day, culminates the Main Street activities.

If you are traveling to Asheville for any of these great events then check out these wonderful hotel options. For more information on area festivals visit here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dine to support Relay for Life

On Tuesday, June 8th you can support the Biltmore Park Relay for Life event by dining at one of the restaurants listed below. Each restaurant will be donating ten percent of all proceeds to the American Cancer Society.

Participating Restaurants Include:

- Brixx Wood Fired Pizza
- 131 Main
- Hickory Tavern
- Cold Stone Creamery
- roux at the Hilton Asheville

Each restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and roux will also be open for breakfast. All are located in Biltmore Park Town Square in South Asheville. If you would like to support the Relay for Life in other ways please visit the official site for this event.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Asheville wins Beer City USA title for a second year.

Asheville has won the title of Beer City USA for a second year in a row. With a number of new breweries opening in the Asheville area this win comes as no surprise for local beer enthusiasts. To celebrate this title there is an upcoming festival in June. Details on that in a minute - first more about the contest.

From the Beer Examiner blog - Asheville, North Carolina represents the spirit of beer enthusiasm, taking top honors in BeerCity USA 2010 poll.

Asheville, North Carolina is BeerCity USA 2010. While Portland, Oregon organized a healthy challenge against the western North Carolina city of Asheville, in the end the relentless craft beer enthusiasm for Asheville won out. Enjoy the hundreds of comments on the original poll site.

There’s no doubt about Portland, Oregon. Anyone who has enjoyed beer in Portland will agree, it’s a craft beer experience and highlight of the American beer experience. Asheville has 6 breweries who enjoy terrific support from their local community. Beers experienced from breweries in both cities, I can attest to, are worth the journey to these American beer Meccas. In fact beer enjoyed in most American cities is worth the journey. Beer drinkers are on notice: You can leave home now – better beer awaits.

What about the 1,500+ other craft brewers and the cities, towns and villages they call “local?” The growth in enthusiasm and support for celebrating American Craft Beer Week last week is a clear indication that there are many BeerCity USAs worth visiting. Savoring the American beer landscape has turned out to be a fun journey for 90 million American beer drinkers. American Craft Beer Week coincided with BeerCity USA poll and ended with an outpouring of votes for the relatively smaller city of Asheville, North Carolina. In the end the 7-day BeerCity USA 2010 poll reflected a clear winner. Most Americans, on average live within 10 miles of a brewery.

It’s always time to celebrate beer. Here are the results of BeerCity USA 2010 Poll.

19,040 votes were cast by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, May 23 (MountainTime). Here’s the finally tally for the top 10 vote getters:

Top Ten BeerCities USA 2010

Total Votes
Pecentage Votes

1. Asheville, NC

2. Portland, OR

3. San Diego, CA

4. Philadelphia, PA

5. Missoula, MT

6. St. Louis, MO

7. Seattle, WA

8. Denver, CO

9. Milwaukee, WI

Fort Collins, CO

Congratulations to the beer enthusiast network and beer passion expressed in the BeerCity USA Poll 2010 by Asheville, North Carolina.

Asheville will be celebrating this win with the Beer City Festival on June 5th. It will take place at the new Roger McQuire Park in downtown Asheville. There is a full line up of bands and of course a variety of tasty brews. Tickets are available online. If you are traveling in to Asheville for this event then check out these great hotels.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Charles Schwab info session at the Hilton Asheville

On Wednesday May 19th, investors of all experience levels are welcome to attend an educational seminar presented by Charles Schwab & Company at the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park. The topic for this session will be how best to use to research investments; place online trade orders for stocks, bonds and mutual funds; and manage your finances with convenient online tools.

There are two sessions planned for the day. The first one starts at 9:30 AM and the other begins at 2:30 PM. The seminar is free for anyone who wants to attend. If you have questions regarding this event you can e-mail for more information.

To learn about how you can book your next meeting with the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, visit us here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fanaticon this weekend in Asheville

This weekend the streets of Asheville will be inundated with comic book and sci-fi characters as Fanaticon makes it's inaugural debut. This free convention will be held at the Asheville Art Museum downtown this Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM, hand there are special events planned all weekend long.

Exhibitors will be on hand selling many types of costumes, collectibles and comics. Special guest Butch Guice will also be on hand to meet fans. He has worked on many notable characters in the comic book world including Captain America, Superman, X-Factor and more. For the Star Wars fans out there be sure to look for the Rebel Legion which specializes in exact costume replicas of your favorite characters. This may be a great time to buy a Wookie costume for Halloween (or any other day you feel like dressing up like Chewie).

Speaking of dressing up, one of the activities planned is a costume parade. Come dressed in your favorite hero (or villain) attire and make a scene on stage of the Diana Wortham Theatre. Everyone who participates will receive a special prize.

To learn more about this event check out the Fanaticon website. If you are traveling into town and need accomodations there are still rooms available at these great hotels.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Brunch at roux in Asheville

This Mother's Day why not treat the special mother in your life to a delicious brunch menu specially crafted by Chef Randy Dunn at roux, a restaurant located inside the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park. The brunch is this Sunday May 9, 2010 from 11am - 2pm.

The theme of roux is southern food with a twist and this menu certainly delivers on that. Where else can you find applewood smoked bacon layered between peanut butter and banana pancakes? Perhaps your palate prefers a more traditional brunch item such as the Eggs Benny, but there are options to spice it up with smoked salmon or fried oysters. The crab and swiss omelet is sure to be a winner as well, but still there's more.

Other menu items include the maple-ginger glazed salmon, slow cooked pork belly, fried chicken and waffle or a 12oz prime rib. There are delicious desserts as well such as the caramel pecan bread pudding with white chocolate whiskey sauce or a fresh strawberry shortcake trifle.

In addition to the menu items there will also be a full buffet that includes, cooked to order eggs, omelets, waffles, pancakes, french toast, greek pasta primavera, carved to order salmon wellington, roasted potatoes and mushroom bisque. The buffet costs $16.95 and includes a beverage.

Are you hungry yet? Reservations can be made by calling 828-209-2715. You can learn more about roux and get directions here. If you're traveling to Asheville this week you should check out our Hilton hotel where roux is located for your lodging needs.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Little Shop of Horrors starts this weekend in Asheville.

Starting this weekend and running each weekend through May 16th, the Asheville Community Theatre will be presenting Little Shop of Horrors.

The musical is centered around a shy man named Seymour who is trying to get the girl of his dreams, Audrey. That is if the alien plant Audrey II doesn't eat her first. The stage musical first premiered in 1982 in an off-Broadway production and was an adaptation of a low budget 1960's film by the same title. Audiences were again treated to another film adaptation in 1986.

Due to it never going On Broadway it was unable to receive a Tony Award, however the musical did receive many other awards and was one of the longest running and highest grossing Off-Broadway productions ever. Many songs are well known in pop culture including Skid Row, Dentist! and Suddenly Seymour.

For tickets and show times please visit the ACT site. If you are planning a trip to Asheville and need a place to stay then check into one of these great hotels.

Here is a behind the scenes interview with Director Mark Jones.

Interview with "Little Shop" director Mark Jones from William Tiernan on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Karrin Allyson Quartet brings Jazz to Asheville

This Sunday April 25th, you can see Karrin Allyson perform at the Diane Wortham Theatre at 7:00PM This marks the next installment of the Western North Carolina Jazz Society's 2010 series.

On June 30, 2009, Concord Jazz celebrated Karrin Allyson's illustrious career with her 12th album for the label, By Request: The Best of Karrin Allyson, a 13-track collection that provides a remarkable overview of the musical journeys the thrice Grammy-nominated vocalist has embarked on in the last 15 years.

One of the most noteworthy characteristics of Allyson's career is the diversity of material she has explored, which is fully represented on By Request. "Karrin has expanded the jazz vocal repertoire," says Concord VP Nick Phillips, who cites her ease and authenticity in both French and Portuguese as well as her embrace of the Great American Songbook, roots music, blues and jazz. "She is remarkably talented."
Karrin's Grammy nominated 2008 release Imagina: Songs of Brasil earned rare accolades in JazzTimes magazine's review:

"To suggest that this is Karrin Allyson's finest album to date would be a disservice to such solid accomplishments as her 2001 Coltrane tribute and 2006's bold, brave Footprints; but ranking it among the best nods to Brazil ever crafted by an American singer seems fully justified"

Selections from this heralded recording will be performed on April 25. Audience members will experience why Karrin Allyson is consistently voted a leading vocalist in critics' and readers' polls.

Tickets for this event are $25 for members and $35 for non-members. Students pay $10 with a valid student ID. For more information and to hear samples of Karrin's music, please visit here. If you need a place to stay while you are in Asheville I recommend you look no further than here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

George Clinton in Asheville tonight!

Be sure you head out to The Orange Peel tonight for George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic. Think of George Clinton and you'll likely conjure an image of a crazy black man with rainbow dreads and garb befitting a galactic shaman literally barking at phat bottomed girls with a sub-atomic "WOOF!" This lovable nutcase is the legendary and internationally renowned grandfather of funk and the founder of the Parliament-Funkadelic MOB, taking the sonic innovations of James Brown and Sly Stone to both outer space AND Neptune while selling millions of records and concert tickets in the process. Quiet as its kept, however, George Clinton's initial approach to the ladies was crooning (when he wasn't cutting hair) as the leader of a standup vocal group he formed in `55 called The Parliaments, emulating the doo wop and love songs that were popular when he was in diapers (well...he STILL wears those on occasion).

The doors open at 8:00 and tickets are $33. For more information on upcoming Orange Peel shows check here.

HATCH Asheville starts this weekend

The second year of HATCH Asheville starts this weekend with a number of panels, workshops and events open to the public. What is HATCH? It is a program that provides mentorship, education, inspiration and recognition to the next generation of creative innovators. The focus is on creative industries and how to best leverage creative professions to impact the community and the planet in a positive and sustainable way. HATCHfest brings together luminaries in the arts and entertainment world to serve as mentors to groundbreaking new creative talent. They host panels, workshops, keynotes, exhibits, networking parties, and mentoring sessions for four days in the heart of downtown Asheville.

One of the highlights for 2010 is the participation of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus and acclaimed singer/songwriter Matt Morris. Matt released his chart-topping debut album, “When Everything Breaks Open” in January. The record has received critical acclaim, radio airplay and has landed him on several TV shows including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the George Lopez Show and David Letterman. Matt’s has toured extensively with such artists as the Indigo Girls and Joan Osborne and has been featured at the Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits Music Festivals. Matt is one of music’s most renowned songwriters. His songs have been performed by Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguillera and Kelly Clarkson.

For a full schedule of events visit here. If you are traveling from out of town and need a place to stay visit here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

ActionFest comes to Asheville

It's going to be a big weekend in Asheville. ActionFest kicks off this Thursday and there are event scheduled each day through Sunday. What is ActionFest? It's a first of its kind film festival dedicated to the action movie genre, and its happening right here in the beautiful city of Asheville. There will be 30 new movies and several world premieres to see and one of the more exciting events planned is the closing night ceremony where Chuck Norris will be present to receive a life time achievement award.

Check out the official ActionFest site for a full schedule of movies and event times. Also be sure to head out to the Carolina Cinema this Saturday at 3:00PM for a special aerial stunt show. It's going to be explosive!

The Doubletree Biltmore Hotel is offering a special rate for anyone who is traveling out of town and it is conveniently located just down the street from the theater and special events. If that hotel is booked try one of our other great hotels.

Click here for the trailer.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Orange Peel special for friends of Biltmore Park

The Orange Peel is offering friends at Biltmore Park buy-one-get-one free tickets to two shows this month! Choose between the Corey Smith concert April 8th or to the Temper Trap show April 10th! Click here to hear a sample of Corey Smith; click here to hear the Temper Trap (you may recognize them from the Diet Coke commercial!).

This offer is limited to the FIRST 8 RESPONDERS for each show, so please reply quickly if you want to be guaranteed a spot! Send your request to with your name, email address, and affiliation with Biltmore Park (resident, retail tenant, etc) You will receive an email confirmation with instructions for picking up your free ticket!

Monday, March 22, 2010

David Sedaris in Asheville April 16, 2010

Celebrated author and humorist David Sedaris will be speaking in Asheville at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium on Friday, April 16 2010 starting at 8:00pm. David's writing style is best explained by his publicist (see below).

David Sedaris may well be the closest thing the literary world has these days to a rock star. His speaking engagements are now consistently standing-room-only, a far cry from his early days as a housecleaner in New York City. Sedaris made his comic debut recounting his strange-but-true experiences of his job as a Macys elf clad in green tights, reading his SantaLand Diaries on National Public Radios Morning Edition. His sardonic wit and incisive social critique have since made him one of Americas pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which Sedaris slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that he is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. David Sedaris is the author of the bestsellers Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked and Me Talk Pretty One Day, both of which became immediate bestsellers. Sedaris and his sister, Amy Sedaris, have collaborated under the name The Talent Family and have written several plays which have been produced at La Mama, Lincoln Center, and The Drama Department in New York City. These plays include Stump the Host, Stitches, One Woman Shoe, which received an Obie Award, Incident at Cobblers Knob, and The Book of Liz, which was published in book form by Dramatists Play Service. His essays appear regularly in Esquire and The New Yorker. Sedaris original radio pieces can often be heard on This American Life, distributed nationally by Public Radio International and produced by WBEZ in Chicago. In 2001, David Sedaris became the third recipient of the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He was named by Time magazine as Humorist of the Year in 2001. His book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim was published in June 2004, and an anthology of stories, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories, edited by David Sedaris, was published in April 2005. In 2005, David Sedaris was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album ("Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim") and Best Comedy Album ("David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall").

Tickets for this show start at $32.50. You can purchase them through the Civic Center Box Office by calling (828) 259-5736.

If you are traveling from out of town to see the show and need a place to stay for the night, please check out one of these fine hotels.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Amina Figarova Sextet in Asheville

On Sunday March 7th, starting at 7:00 p.m., the Diana Wortham theatre in downtown Asheville will be hosting a fantastic jazz sextet that you won't want to miss. Netherlands-based pianist Amina Figarova will lead her stellar Sextet in the kickoff concert of the Western North Carolina Jazz Series 2010. Featuring a cohesive three-horn front line of trumpet, tenor saxophone, and flute, Amina's group tours the globe.

Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and now residing in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, pianist and composer Amina Figarova earns praise from every quarter as she tours with the Sextet which creates recordings featuring her imaginative compositions. Jazz bible JazzTimes magazine’s review of Amina’s Sextet’s 2008 recording, “Above the Clouds”, lauded her as “among the most important new composers to come into jazz in the new millennium. She makes a sextet sound like an orchestra.”

Many successful jazz pianists got their start, at early ages, studying classical music. Then jazz lures them away. A constant surprise is the verve and energy so many of these classically trained musicians bring to improvisation. Amina Figarova began as a child prodigy who was composing and playing piano at the age of three. She trained as a classical concert pianist at the Baku Conservatory in Azerbaijan, followed by studies in jazz performance at the Rotterdam Conservatory and the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1998 she was invited to study at the Thelonious Monk Jazz Colony in Aspen, Colorado.

To hear some samples of this artist visit the site for WNC Jazz Society. Tickets are $35. If you are traveling to Asheville we offer special packages through these great hotels.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Haiti Benefit Presented By The Orange Peel & Asheville Pizza

In conjunction with Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, the Orange Peel announces a screening of world musician Bela Fleck’s award-winning documentary “Throw Down Your Heart,” on Thursday March 5th at the Merrimon Avenue location, at 7pm.

The film follows multiple Grammy Award-winning banjo player Bela Fleck as he travels through four African countries exploring their musical traditions and recording his new album, also entitled "Throw Down Your Heart," released in 2009. Along the way, Fleck searches for the banjo's early roots, which may have traveled along via the slave trade to America.

The album, released last year, just won 2 Grammy’s – for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Contemporary World Music Album – at the 2010 Grammy Awards. The documentary won the Audience Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the SXSW Film Festival in 2008.

Tickets for this event are only $5, and all ticket sales, as well as 10% of the bar and food proceeds collected, will be donated to the American Red Cross to aid in their earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

“We are psyched to partner with the Orange Peel on this event,” says Mike Rangel, owner and manager of Asheville Pizza and Brewing, “Viewers are getting a chance to see a wonderful film, knowing that they’re also doing something to help the victims of the disaster in Haiti.”

The following week, the Orange Peel is bringing the star of the film, Bela Fleck, to Asheville on Friday March 12th for his Bela Fleck: The Africa Project tour, featuring African musicians Bassekouye Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, and Anania Ngoliga with Guitarist John Kitime.

Tickets for the film are available in advance through the Orange Peel box office on Biltmore Avenue or online. They will also be available beginning the day of show, March 4th, at the Merrimon Avenue location of the Asheville Pizza Company.

Tickets for Bela Fleck’s concert at the Orange Peel March 12th are still available and can be purchased at the Orange Peel box office, or online.

For more information about other upcoming Orange Peel events please visit here.

Dine to Be Kind in Asheville

On Tuesday, February 23, join Animal Compassion Network and for the 7th Annual Dine to Be Kind event. Dine in or take out from any of the participating restaurants and they will donate a percentage of the day's dining to ACN's Spay/Neuter Assistance and Foster Programs. Since 2000, ACN's Betty Fund has funded the spay/neuter surgery for 10,000 pets belonging to low-income families, and the demand on the program has never been higher.

Please click on the restaurants below to find menus, directions, or hours!

Apollo Flame Bistro * Asheville Ale House * Battery Park Book Exchange * Blue Sky Cafe * Brixx Wood Fired Pizza * Bone-a-fide Bakery * Cafe Azalea * cafe ello * Cats & Dawgs * Charlotte Street Grill & Pub * Chorizo * Corner Kitchen * chai pani * Cucina 24 * Curras Dom * Dripolator Coffeehouse * Doc Chey's Noodle House * Filo Pastries * Frank's Roman Pizza * Green Sage Coffeehouse & Cafe * Grove Park Inn: Blue Ridge Dining Room, Horizons, Sunset Terrace Chophouse * Kilwin's Chocolate, Fudge & Ice Cream * Laughing Seed CafeLenny's Sub ShopMadison's Black Mountain * The Market PlaceMorning Glory Cafe * Mellow Mushroom * Mountain Brew Cafe & Bakery * Nine Mile IncOakie Dokie SmokehousePomodoros * Province 620Rise 'N Shine CafeRosetta's Kitchen * Roux at The HiltonSazeracSante Wine Bar * Sunny Point Cafe * Sunnyside Cafe * 12 Bones Smokehouse * Thai Basil * The Hop Ice Cream * Tomato Jam * Urban Burrito * Usual Suspects * Waggers Dog Depot * Wayne's Restaurant * Well-Bred Bakery & Cafe * West End Bakery Wine Studio of AshevilleWild Wing Cafe

Help us spread the word! Download an event flier from here and post in your office, school, church, community center, grocery store and any place else you go. Interested in being a Dine to Be Kind Advocate? Email Kelly Stoner for details:

Also, through the entire month of February, Sensibilities Day Spa will match any donations to ACN (up to $1000). Just bring your ACN donation to 59 Haywood Street or Two Town Square Boulevard in Biltmore Park, and help twice as many cats and dogs in need. Thank you, Sensibilities Day Spa, for all of the support you have given ACN and our rescues over the years!

If you're traveling from out of town, check out the Hilton which will be participating in this year's event.