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Archive for October, 2014

WCU Predicts Increase in October Tourism for WNC

Friday, October 10th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Students in a senior-level “Tourism Strategies” class taught by Steve Morse, economist and director of the Hospitality and Tourism Program in WCU’s College of Business, are predicting even more “green” this fall, as their analysis of October travel and tourism trends portends an increase in hotel occupancy rates across 21 WNC counties.

The students analyzed data supplied by Smith Travel Research, a leading source of information for the hospitality industry, to develop the second annual “October Tourism Forecast for Western North Carolina.”

In addition to travel data from previous years, the students’ forecast also is based on declining gasoline prices, new tourism marketing campaigns by the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau and by Smoky Mountain Host promoting WNC as an outdoors destination, improving economic conditions and “pent-up travel demand,” Morse said.

“The federal government shutdown during the first 15 days of October in 2013 resulted in little growth in tourism last year because of the closure of campgrounds and visitor centers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway,” he said. “Our analysis indicates those who did not travel to the mountains last October may have a stronger desire this year to feed their fall foliage yearning.”

Another factor, Morse said, is the improving outlook for leaf-lookers in the mountains, as WCU fall foliage forecaster Kathy Mathews, associate professor of biology, says the chances are increasing for a brilliant fall color season this year. “Brighter colors should attract even more tourists this year,” Morse said.

In the tourism study, the WCU students divided 21 WNC counties into five groups; examined the total number of hotel rooms sold and the overall occupancy rates for October 2013; compared weekday and weekend occupancy rates from last October; and determined the average change in the number of hotel nights sold for October during the previous three years. The students’ predictions, by region:

Region 1 – Cherokee, Clay, Graham and Macon counties: A 2.7 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.

Region 2 – Haywood, Jackson, Transylvania and Swain counties:  A 3.3 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.

Region 3 – Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga and Wilkes counties: A 2 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.

Region 4 – Burke, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell and Yancey counties: A 1.7 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.

Region 5 – Buncombe and Henderson counties: A 3.7 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.

Ty Marion, a senior from Hendersonville majoring in hospitality and tourism, said the project provided a new perspective on the annual fall color show. “Since the leaves start changing colors in early October and continue for the rest of the month, tourists travel from all over, which increases everything from the demand of hotel rooms to revenue,” said Marion, a 2007 graduate of East Henderson High School and the son of Jim and Lisa Marion.

“I think this study is important because many people overlook how much of an impact is made from fall foliage,” he said. “Being from Hendersonville, I never thought much of the yearly change, but from a business standpoint October is the month you wait an entire year for. Tourists flock to see the colors of the leaves, which means they stay at a hotel, spend money in local businesses and help our economy.”

The “October Tourism Forecast for Western North Carolina” is part of a series of reports about travel trends in the mountain region to be provided by Morse and his students. For more information about WCU’s Hospitality and Tourism Program, visit the website hospitalityandtourism.wcu.edu. For a copy of the tourism forecast report, call 828-227-3386.

Celebrate World Kite Day with Us! Oct. 11

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – For thousands of years kites have delighted flyers and onlookers. Kite Come fly a kite with us!designs range from the simplest to the intricate and dramatic.

Bring your favorite kite or come to watch.

October 11 is World Kite Day  and the event is 1 – 4 p.m. Come to Field #8 at the Buncombe County Sports Park in Enka – there’s always a gentle breeze blowing!

Want to make your own kite to fly? View these helpful instructions. The Library, Recreation and Culture Department will have some basic Kites on hand for use. This is a FREE event. For more information, contact Jay Nelson at 250-4269 or [email protected].

Airport Main Entrance to Close

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Asheville Regional Airport’s main entrance will close permanently Wednesday, October 8. All traffic will then access the airport through the south entrance at the light near Fanning Bridge Road, and this traffic pattern will be in place through early 2015 when a new main entrance will open. Signs will be posted to direct traffic. The closure of the main entrance is due to a North Carolina Department of Transportation project on Airport Road. The airport’s main entrance will be relocated slightly south of its current location (at the light directly across from J&S Cafeteria and the Fairfield Inn), and is slated to open by January 2015.

Step Afrika! Dance Performance at UNC Asheville

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
ASHEVILLE NC – The first professional company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping, Step Afrika! will bring it’s high-energy percussive dancing to UNC Asheville. Originating from the song-and-dance tradition created by African-American college students, stepping uses the body to create sound and rhythm through hand clapping, foot stomping and spoken word. Step Afrika! will be offering a performance at 8 p.m Thursday, Oct. 23 in UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. Their performance is free and open to the public.

Although stepping began with historically black Greek letter college fraternities, Step Afrika! has taken its exciting dance style to a wide variety of audiences. On top of its annual 50-city tour of American colleges and universities, Step Afrika! partners with the U.S. State Department, Navy Entertainment and other international organizations to hold performances and workshops for communities around the world.

Step Afrika! is known for bringing its art into the classroom and will lead a free masterclass from 12:30-2:00 p.m. in UNC Asheville’ Humanities Lecture Hall.

Step Afrika! events are co-sponsored by many UNC Asheville offices and programs, including the Office of Multicultural Student Programs, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Africana Studies, Connections Peer Mentoring Program, the Center for Diversity Education, the Black Student Association, International Student Services, Campus Recreation, the Department of Education and Transition/Parent Programs.

For more information, contact UNC Asheville’s Office of Multicultural Student Programs or 828.251.6577.

Get Local Gets in the Fall Spirit, Celebrates Apples This October

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Local apples are at the core of our region’s agricultural economy. So what a better way to celebrate fall in the Southern Appalachians than with local apples? Area farmers grow them all – Arkansas Black, Cameo, Fuji, Mutsu, Pink Lady, and the list goes on. Chefs at Appalachian Grown™ partner restaurants take advantage of the abundance of local apples for sweet and savory dishes all month for ASAP’s Get Local campaign.

This month The Market Place is featuring two delicious specials on their menu with apples from Barber Orchard – an apple and goat cheese salad with almonds, shaved roots, apple mostarda, and aged sherry vinaigrette as well as an apple crisp with cinnamon crumble and buttermilk ice cream. At Early Girl Eatery their menu is packed with local apples from Odell Barnwell & Sons including an apple, walnut and goat feta salad as well as a special apple stack cake. Need more apple sweets? Over at King Daddy’s Chicken and Waffles try some fried apple pie topped with Looking Glass Creamery Carmelita with local apples also from Odell Barnwell & Sons. The French Broad Chocolate Lounge is featuring apples from Creasman Farms in their sweet treats this month including an apple trifle with bourbon apple compote and a seasonal vanilla cake with apple compote and salted caramel buttercream.

Join Chef Jason Brian of Jack of the Wood on October 19 from 1:30 to 5:30 pm for Get Local on the Mountain – a multi-course small plate event on top of Little Pisgah Mountain in Fairview. The menu will feature rabbits and apples from Imladris Farm. Tickets are $60 per person, which includes food, beer, wine, and the view! Proceeds of the event benefit ASAP. To purchase tickets visit asapconnections.org

Can’t make it to Fairview? Then head to Black Mountain on October 19 from 3 to 7 pm to celebrate Foothills Deli and Butchery’s anniversary with a block party featuring live music, food, drink, and local apples from Moss Farms. Foothills Deli and Butchery is also featuring local apples in the deli case with apple based sausages and apple glazes on deli hams. They are hosting the Butcher’s Table dinners through October. To RSVP contact Casey at [email protected].

Visit ASAP’s website at asapconnections.org/getlocal to find details on what’s happening this month. You can also Get Local at home: Find each month’s featured food—and other seasonal products—at your neighborhood farmers tailgate market, roadside stand, or grocery store. Browse for markets, stands, and stores via ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)

ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

Sing Together Series at Diana Wortham Theatre

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, North Carolina announces the schedule for its 2014/2015 Intersections Sing Together events. The series, which runs October 2014 through April 2015, is designed for family and friends to celebrate the joy of music and singing in spirited sessions led by musicians Beth and Jim Magill, bringing community together through song. The Forum, a large multi-purpose space adjacent to the theatre and accessible from the theatre’s main lobby, is the venue for all Sing Together events.

The 2014/2015 Sing Together Series opens with Songs of the 60s (October 10, 2014). Relive an era when the tides of change were turning in America with familiar classics by Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell. Kicking off the holiday season, one of the most popular Sing Together sessions is Winter Songs (December 12, 2014), where seasonal songs are shared with the entire family. Slow down during the busy holiday season and spend a precious hour singing with the ones you love. Back by popular demand is Freedom Songs & Spirituals with guest artist Becky Stone (February 13, 2015), a vibrant song-filled exploration of that great network of passengers, conductors, shepherds and stationmasters on the Freedom Train. And new this season is Carl Sandburg’s American Songbag (April 17, 2015). Experience American folk music – songs representing the hearts and voices of thousands of men and women – performed, collected, and preserved by the renowned poet and national icon.

All Intersections Sing Together sessions take place at 6:30 p.m. in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre. $10 adults/$8 children 12 and under; children 2 and under are free. To obtain more information on the Diana Wortham Theatre’s Intersections Sing Together Series or to buy tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.