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Biltmore Celebrates Annual Christmas Event, Nov. 6 – Jan. 2

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – One hundred fourteen years ago this Christmas Eve, George Washington Vanderbilt first opened Biltmore House to family and friends. Vanderbilt’s legacy for legendary hospitality lives on today and especially during the holiday season when Biltmore House is elaborately decorated for Christmas, offering guests a glimpse of what it may have been like to be one of his guests during that special holiday season in 1895.

Known for being one of the largest holiday displays in the Southeast, Biltmore House and the surrounding 8,000 acres of the estate will celebrate its annual Christmas at Biltmore, Nov. 6, 2009, through Jan. 2, 2010. For ticket and booking information, call 877-BILTMORE or visit www.biltmore.com.

As in years past, the event will feature 100 decorated Christmas trees; hundreds of wreaths and bows; hundreds of poinsettias; 30,000 lights in the house with another 150,000 lights used around the estate; 10,000 feet of fresh garland; and more than 25,000 ornaments. Biltmore House’s holiday centerpiece, a 34-foot Fraser fir, spends the holidays in the 72-foot high Banquet Hall, adorned with lights and surrounded by hundreds of brightly packaged gift boxes. The Biltmore House front lawn will glow with a lighted 55-foot Norway spruce, surrounded by eight “islands” of smaller lighted trees and nursery shrubs.

Christmas at Biltmore

Christmas at Biltmore during the daytime includes tours of Biltmore House, the Gardens, the Winery with complimentary wine tasting, River Bend Farm and Barnyard. Inside Biltmore House, the Banquet Hall organ will serenade guests with music of the season.

Candlelight Christmas Evenings

Candlelight Christmas Evenings, where luminaries and a brilliant display of twinkling lights on the Front Lawn set the tone for tours of Biltmore House, requires separate entry. New this year will be ballroom dancers in vintage costume gliding across the floor in the Winter Garden. A story teller will regale visitors with readings from traditional holiday tales such as “The Little Match Girl,” “The Gift of the Magi” and Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Choirs will perform European carols, with musicians providing seasonal music.

Get Inspired by Biltmore Decor

The restoration and preservation of the magnificent Louis XV Suite in Biltmore House has inspired this year’s holiday decor theme. Guests who come to Biltmore before diving into their own holiday decorating can’t help but pick up tips and ideas. In fact, Biltmore staff will give free holiday seminars on how to create Vanderbilt-inspired decorations for their own homes. Reservations for the seminars are not required; however, space may be limited so guests should arrive early. Here is the seminar schedule:

– Deck the Halls, daily, Nov. 6-22: Biltmore’s Floral Displays staff will give decorating tips for the home. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Biltmore House Library Den.

– Centerpieces for Holiday Entertaining, daily, Nov. 6-Jan. 2: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at A Gardener’s Place in the Conservatory.

– Decorating a Christmas Wreath, daily, Nov. 6-Jan. 2: Learn how to turn an ordinary silk Christmas wreath into an elegant and interesting design. 1 and 3 p.m. at A Gardener’s Place in the Conservatory.

– Red Wine and Chocolate, daily, Nov. 6-Jan. 2: Discover why chocolate and red wine is a match made in heaven by pairing Biltmore Estate wine with several varieties of chocolate. 2, 3, 4 and 6 p.m. at the Winery.

Give the Gift of a Memory

Christmas at Biltmore is the perfect gift that families can give themselves. With the estate transformed into a magical wonderland, families will create memories to last a lifetime. “Family” is an unofficial theme at Biltmore this year since one of four rooms that opened to the public in Biltmore House for the first time was where two generations of the Vanderbilt family were actually born.

Across Biltmore

Holiday hospitality extends across the entire estate. Biltmore Winery offers self-guided tours and complimentary wine tastings. Santa Claus will visit River Bend Barn on Saturdays, Nov. 7-Dec. 20. Guests may enjoy a festive meal at Bistro, Deerpark Restaurant, Stable Cafe or The Dining Room at Inn on Biltmore Estate. Guests looking to extend their stay at Biltmore, the four-star Inn offers several packages for holidays, including special New Year’s Eve packages.

Biltmore boasts retail shops, all perfect for holiday gift shopping. Other activities include taking a cozy horse and carriage ride (blankets provided) and exploring acres of landscaped gardens.

The Hilton Asheville Opens Roux

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville now has a unique addition to its dining scene, Roux, the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park’s new restaurant, featuring an innovative menu that incorporates small plates and comfort food with a creative twist. The Hilton Asheville along with Roux opened this August.

The restaurant’s entrees and small dishes create fusions of southern comfort and sophistication: its macaroni and cheese is truffled, its barbeque sliders are salmon and its bistro meatloaf sauce is a red-onion marmalade. Roux’s wide range of dishes range from grilled portobello and radicchio to lemon roasted chicken and sweet and spicy wings.

The basis for the restaurant name, roux, is the cooking mixture classically used to thicken the principal sauces of French cuisine. Roux, the restaurant, also blends the best of both gourmet and southern comfort food worlds.

The restaurant uses the concept of the old blue plate special to create ‘small’ and ‘larg’’ plates but with a spin- rustic potato frites in white truffle-scallion aioli and similar innovations replacing the usual ketchup and French fries- just the kind of twist Roux will become known for.

Roux’s Executive Chef Randy Dunn of Sparta, Tenn., has 15 years of culinary achievement behind him. He attended culinary school in Charleston, S.C., has worked at the Marriott in Birmingham, Ala., and had the opportunity to cook for Julia Child while at Sydney’s Grill in Cambridge, Mass. “I believe Roux will really offer something very different from your typical hotel restaurant. Here you’ll find a fun dining experience, something very social yet with great food and attentive service,” said Dunn.

The restaurant will use as much local, Asheville-based food as possible following in the footsteps of the Hilton Asheville’s commitment to sustainability. “My goal is to support local farmers and merchants and become a responsible neighbor in the town I am very excited to now be calling home,” said Dunn.

The Hilton Asheville is a luxurious, new, LEED Registered hotel located in the heart of Biltmore Park Town Square, just minutes from Biltmore Estate and just steps from dining, shopping and entertainment. Hilton Asheville is located just off Interstate 26, Exit 37 on Long Shoals Road in Biltmore Park Town Square. This location is just 5 minutes from the Asheville Regional Airport and 15 minutes from Biltmore Estate and downtown Asheville.

To learn more about the Hilton Asheville and Roux, visit the website at www.biltmorefarmshotels.com.

Biltmore Estate: a One-Stop Destination for Fall Color Immersion

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – For travelers short on time, but big on taking in all that fall has to offer, Biltmore is a one-stop shop for everything autumn.

With one of the most extensive fall garden displays in the Southeast (where “Mum” is the word), world-class activities, a winery, culinary temptations, the Inn on Biltmore Estate and the stunning 250-room Biltmore House, Biltmore offers an expansive – yet efficient – way to experience a full fall immersion.

Cloaked in rich hues of harvest gold and burgundy, deep plums and amber, Biltmore’s 8,000 acres await exploration. Enjoy gardens bursting with thousands of colorful mums, pastoral and mountain views, vibrant colored forests and rolling countryside. At Biltmore’s Outdoor Center, activities include carriage rides, horseback riding, guided Segway tours, fly fishing and sessions at the Land Rover Experience Driving School. River Bend Farm welcomes curiosities with demonstrations of what it was like to live and work on the estate in the 1890s, including a barnyard full of farm animals to visit.

Panoramic views star on guided rooftop tours of Biltmore House. Particularly dramatic during the fall, with crisp air and clear vistas all the way to Mount Pisgah, this birds-eye view of the estate is one of Biltmore’s most popular tours.

Biltmore House offers an array of indoor beauty, complete with the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Four, never-before-seen rooms opened earlier this year after an extensive restoration. Known as the Louis XV Suite, these rooms are the most grand bedrooms in the house, and served as birthplace of two generations of Vanderbilts.

Savor festive menus at one of the estate’s five restaurants, which celebrate a legacy of sustainable agriculture, serving fresh produce grown in the gardens right on the estate. Barbecue and Bluegrass Saturdays take place at the Winery through October, and Deerpark will feature an Appalachian Harvest Buffet.

Biltmore’s award-winning winery offers tastings, tours, culinary demonstrations and seminars. And, for those looking to capture the romance of fall overnight, the Inn on Biltmore Estate offers year-round packages.

There’s something for every leaf peeper at Biltmore. Visit www.biltmore.com for more information.

Blue Ridge Parkway 75 Announces Artist Program

Friday, August 28th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The states of Virginia and North Carolina share many beautiful things – mountains and forests, farmland and coast, rich heritage and friendly towns. They also share the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway and an appreciation for the many talented artists who live along its route.

Two of the most gifted artists from Virginia and North Carolina – P. Buckley Moss and Teresa Pennington, respectively – have created special works of art to commemorate the Parkway’s 75th Anniversary.

Moss will unveil a new work commemorating the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary at events September 11 and 12 at The Framer’s Daughter, 121 N. Main Street in Galax, VA. The artist will be at the gallery from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. September 11 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. September 12. Representatives from the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th committee will join her at the September 11 appearance. For further information, contact Kay Weddle at 276.236.4920 or by e-mail.

The painting will be released as both a limited edition offset lithograph as well as a poster. Its unveiling coincides with the Parkway’s celebration of its 75th year September 11, 2010. The print and poster will be available after the unveiling on the P. Buckley Moss Web site www.pbuckleymoss.com and at authorized Moss dealers.

In addition to Moss’s commercial success as an artist, she has worked to raise over $4 million for charitable organizations and has established the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education, promoting the use of art in school curriculums as a learning instrument for students with learning differences.

Teresa Pennington has created four drawings in her series of limited edition giclees and lithographs. Pennington’s work will be unveiled the evening of October 9 at T. Pennington Gallery in Waynesville, NC.

Pennington has also created four series of drawings for Biltmore Estate over the past 17 years. Her work has also been commissioned by the U.S. Forest Service and the Western North Carolina Diocese of the Episcopal Church

Proceeds from the sale of the commemorative prints by both artists will benefit the Parkway’s 75th anniversary.

Just Ducky’s Asheville Store is Moving to Biltmore Village

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Just Ducky Originals, LTD, an Asheville-based children’s clothing manufacturer with stores in Asheville and Waynesville announced today that it will be relocating its Asheville store from 100 Charlotte Street to 10 All Souls Crescent in Biltmore Village. The new location has a planned opening date of Friday, September 4th – Labor Day weekend.

“We are excited to become a part of Historic Biltmore Village and its quaint shopping atmosphere,” said Sallie Broach, owner of Just Ducky Originals. “The location at the entrance to the Biltmore Estate with its large tourist draw for Asheville is what helped convince us to move.”

Sallie started Just Ducky nearly 30 years ago in the attic of her Asheville home. The company has grown to a multi-million dollar venture with over 300 women selling the children’s line in home shows across the country. Two Just Ducky retail locations specialize in classic fashions for boys and girls, where you’ll find the Just Ducky line at 30%-50% off, as well as other beautiful children’s lines, unique baby gifts, and a large selection of accessories.

Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Opens in Asheville

Thursday, August 6th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The new 80-room Country Inn & Suites By Carlson(R) Asheville West today announced it is open for business at 1914 Old Haywood Road in Asheville near Biltmore Estate.

“We’re very excited to bring another Country Inns & Suites By Carlson hotel to this region,” said Steve Mogck, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Country Inns & Suites By Carlson. “All employees will participate in our ‘Be Our Guest’ service training program, to ensure consistent delivery of quality customer service at our hotels.”

“This custom-built hotel featuring Biltmore-inspired French decor is a wonderful addition to our community. We are confident that this recognized brand and lodging concept will help us grow and prosper in the future,” said Vinod Patel, general manager of the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Asheville West.

Visitors to the hotel are welcomed with beautiful landscaping including waterfalls and a gazebo. The 100 percent non-smoking property features an outdoor heated pool, whirlpool and fitness center with treadmill, elliptical machine and freedom trainer. Other amenities include a complimentary hot breakfast and flexible meeting space that can accommodate up to 10 people. The hotel offers a variety of guest room styles including standard rooms, studio suites, one bedroom suites and Jacuzzi rooms. All rooms feature complimentary wired and wireless high-speed Internet access, hair dryer, 32-inch LCD television, microwave and refrigerator.

Conveniently located off I-40 at Exit 44 near Biltmore Estate, the hotel is less than 15 miles from Asheville Regional Airport and within 120 miles of Charlotte Douglas International. The hotel is also close to three golf courses, tennis courts and a variety of attractions including Blue Ridge Parkway, Biltmore Square Mall and Regal Biltmore Grande Theatre.

Country Inns & Suites By Carlson offer amenities such as complimentary hot breakfast, in-room coffee maker, in-room iron and ironing board, and weekday morning newspaper. Country Inns & Suites By Carlson embraces the love of reading through its Read It & Return Lending Library. A variety of titles for all ages are available for guests to borrow and read at their leisure at more than 465 locations in the U.S. and Canada and the brand supports literacy efforts through charitable donations. For reservations and information, visit www.countryinns.com or call toll-free 1-800-456-4000.

Biltmore Unveils Second Annual Flower Carpet

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Biltmore Estate Flower Carpet

ASHEVILLE, NC – Biltmore will celebrate its renowned landscape history with its second annual Flower Carpet August 14 through 30. On the South Terrace of Biltmore House, more than 100,000 live plants will be installed to create a design inspired from architectural elements found in America’s largest home. The 14,400 square foot carpet display represents months of planning and engineering, and offers guests a unique late summer garden experience.

This year’s design was created by a Biltmore employee and was interpreted from stone carvings and intricate details from around Biltmore House. Most notably, the design reflects a fleur-de-lis motif found on a stone pillar outside the house. These pillars were one of the architectural designs inspired by the Chateau de Blois in the Loire Valley of France. The plants used for the carpet will be Scaevola Top Pot Blue, Salvia farinacea Evolution, Begonia Prelude Rose, Marigold Janie Bright Yellow, Zinnia Profusion Fire, Iresine Purple Lady and Dusty Miller New Look.

“Flower carpets are popular in India. They’re part of a yearly spring celebration on the island of Madeira and they have been perfected in Belgium. We are very excited to be bringing this natural art to our region for the second year in a row,” said Parker Andes, director of horticulture for Biltmore.

A daytime visit to Biltmore’s Flower Carpet is included with the cost of regular admission. Seating will be available on the South Terrace and Library Terrace of Biltmore House, where the view is spectacular. The gardens are open to day guests until dusk.

On select evenings, the estate will open for Flower Carpet Evenings – August 14, 16, 21, 22, 28 and 29. On these special nights, the carpet will be surrounded by the glow of soft lighting, beautiful sunset views and live jazz. Evening tickets are $65, or guests may upgrade from their daytime ticket for an additional charge. These tickets also include a self-guided candlelight tour of Biltmore House from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Guests with evening tickets may enter the estate after 4:30 p.m. Picnic options are available by reservation online or by phone when purchasing tickets. A wine bar featuring wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase will be available on site as well as a dining concierge that will be able to assist with dinner reservations at an estate restaurant. Restaurants will also be taking dinner reservations in advance.

For additional information on the Flower Carpet event, please call 877-BILTMORE.

Sustainable North Carolina 2009 Nominations Now Open

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


Raleigh, NC – Calling sustainable businesses of all sizes, social entrepreneurs, and champions of environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic prosperity.

Nominations for the 2009 Sustainable North Carolina Awards are now being accepted online at www.sustainnc.org/2009awards. In the spirit of the 2009 theme of “Inspiring Innovation,” the nomination process will take a decidedly social media route to make it faster, easier, and more transparent. Nominee profiles will appear on an interactive website where the public can comment and ask questions.

Now in its eighth year, the Sustainable NC Awards is one of the most widely recognized programs in North Carolina honoring organizations and people who integrate social responsibility and environmental stewardship with sound financial performance. In 2008, winners included The Biltmore Company in Asheville, Green Planet Catering in Raleigh, and the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro and the US Fleet Readiness Center East in Cherry Point.

A judging panel comprising past award winners and sustainability specialists will select finalists and winners in each of five categories: Triple Bottom Line, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Catalyst, and Champion. Award finalists will be invited to present at breakout sessions on the day of the Awards ceremony. Event attendees will be able to cast a vote on-site for the winner of the brand new “Spark” award for the most inspirational finalist. All awardees will be honored at a ceremony and reception on November 11, 2009 in Raleigh at a venue to be announced.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities for the awards program and event are available. Please direct questions about the nomination process or sponsorships to Katy Ansardi at [email protected] and (919) 839-2111 x9304.

Biltmore’s Summer Concert Series Starts July 23

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Experience the exhilaration of a live concert at Biltmore. Enjoy star performances on the South Terrace, while savoring breathtaking sunset views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tickets on sale now.

Savings Tip: Spend a day at Biltmore and enjoy a live concert on the estate for one low price.

Summer Evening Concerts Lineup

* MercyMe – July 23rd

* ABBA The Music—A Tribute – July 24th

* BRUCE HORNSBY & THE NOISEMAKERS – July 25th

* Tom Jones – July 39th

* RICK SPRINGFIELD with special guests LOVERBOY – July 31st

* The Oak Ridge Boys and Doc Watson & David Holt – August 1st

Concert tickets permit estate entry at 5:30 p.m. Tickets being held must be picked up at the Welcome Center by 7:30 p.m.

For more information visit, www.biltmore.com

Kids Visit Biltmore for Free All Summer

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Biltmore Esate

ASHEVILLE, NC – Biltmore Estate guests, ages 16 and younger, are admitted free with a paying adult all summer through September 7, 2009 making this a great time to plan a Biltmore family day-trip or summer vacation. America’s largest house and one of the most visited attractions in the United States, Biltmore House has approximately four acres of floor space filled with priceless treasures and antique furnishings from around the world.

In addition to the magnificent house, there are 8,000 or so acres of estate gardens and grounds where you can spend enjoying an array of activities for all ages.