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Regardless of the time of year (or time of day, for that matter), Asheville is alive.
Asheville, NC: Growth Means it’s a Good Place to Do Business
December 15, 2008
Category: Corporate Travel: Asheville
by Elizabeth Kirwin
Asheville, North Carolina is an international vacation destination with an emphasis on outdoor adventures, luxury spas, and mountain views. Many visitors are unaware that Asheville is also a magnet for entrepreneurs and is quickly becoming a city where businesses are eager to move in and establish a base. There are numerous reasons for business expansion in the Asheville area. The steady growth in population, as well as median household income, is a good indicator that Asheville’s population will increase and pay will continue to be augmented throughout the coming years (Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, 2008). With an expanding customer base, Asheville is a great place to start a business or locate a business.
Asheville’s primary employers are the University of North Carolina Asheville, Biltmore Estate, and Mission Hospital. Tourism, health care, technology, and factory production are some of the major industries in the area. This base is expanding as closed down fabric factories are being retooled for new endeavors. On the horizon for Asheville’s business growth are industries such as green building and alternative energy. Within close proximity to Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, Asheville is developing into a small but important tech hub, ‘where technology meets creativity.’ A business group called Meet the Geeks organizes activities and events for technological talent in the area.
Other entities that help businesses to maximize their income and impact are The Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council (BREC) and the Small Business Incubator. BREC sponsors educational events in Asheville that bring the business community together. BREC also helps small businesses find venture capital funding for new endeavors. The Small Business Incubator offers businesses affordable office space, counseling, and related services that strengthen companies’ outlook and approach to their desired markets.
With exceptional resources to assist small businesses, an affordable labor force, and some burgeoning new commercial complexes and more in the works, Asheville is poised for business growth. Despite challenging economic times, indicators show that Asheville will continue to expand because individuals and companies are attracted to the Asheville lifestyle.
New hotels and long-term stay apartments are available that have been built in the last two years to accommodate out-of-town entrepreneurs and company representatives in search of a long-term stay or business accommodations in an Asheville hotel. Extended Stay America has opened a new hotel with amenities such as fully equipped kitchens and pet friendly rooms. Cranbrook at Biltmore Park provides corporate apartments with additional amenities like a sun deck, hot tub and walking trail on the premises. These extras create an environment where the business traveler may relax and unwind or entertain business associates.
The Residences at Biltmore will provide all of the above amenities along with Concierge services a traveler would expect from a luxury hotel. With travel Concierge services, business travelers can save time on everyday tasks such as dry cleaning or confirming dinner appointments, so there is more time to experience all that Asheville has to offer. A business center with conferencing and meeting accommodations for groups is another amenity The Residences at Biltmore offers the business traveler.
Business resources for out of town travelers to the Asheville area were not so numerous 10-15 years ago. With the current business climate in town, Asheville will continue to see new people, jobs, and companies locating to the area. This welcome influx of resources makes Asheville a prime destination for commercial activity, and business travel, for years to come.