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In This Issue | October 13, 2021
Local Faces & Places on National TV | Seeking Holiday News & Products + What's New in '22 | Spotlight on RAD | Safe Meetings in Asheville | Event Calendar | Homelessness Resource Guide | Asheville Resilience | Creative Sector Summit | Q of the Month | COVID Resources & Relief



Asheville & Partners: Live on GMA!
Asheville's resilience, creativity & generosity is the focus

If you tuned into Good Morning America today, you saw a few familiar faces and places when the top-rated morning show broadcast live from Biltmore, focusing on the resilience and generosity of Asheville's wedding and hospitality partners. As part of Explore Asheville's work to support our community’s creative spirit and deliver balanced recovery, our PR team worked with ABC producers for months on this amazing opportunity, sharing insights and partner stories to help GMA showcase Asheville. Be sure to view until the end of the segment: A special surprise brings applause and a few tears!

View: GMA in Asheville
Mountain Bike

Asheville: East Coast Hub for Outdoor Rec
OutsideTV takes local partners on epic adventures

What happens when a professional guide creates an epic outdoor adventure for a nature newbie? That's the premise behind Park2Park: Venturing Out, a video series on Outside TV and Places.Travel with episodes featuring Asheville people and places paired with an adventurer who takes them on a transformational experience. Explore Asheville pursued this exciting opportunity as part of our commitment to support the outdoor economy and our strategic imperative to Encourage Safe & Responsible Travel. Click through to see how the owner of MTN Merch, Mariko Walker, conquers mountain biking with adventure guide Raheim Robinson. Tune in Oct. 17 at 9 p.m. for the latest episode as Brett McCall, owner of the virtual reality business Better Than Unicorns, trades in VR for the real-life experience of bouldering.

View: Park2Park Venturing Out


Have you sent us your holiday news? Deadline is Oct. 14!

Earlier this month we sent out a call for holiday news and happenings as well as an invitation to submit products for consideration in our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.

The deadline for holiday news is Oct. 14. For the Holiday Gift Guide the early bird deadline is Oct. 22, with a final deadline of Nov. 5. Get all the info you need on both opportunities here.

Info on Submitting Holiday News + Gift Guide Products

What's new with you in '22? Send us your news & business updates by Oct. 28!

Help us spread the word about Asheville! The Explore Asheville PR and content teams are gathering insights to help echo your news across the 2022 calendar year. What's happening with your business? New experiences, expansions, openings? Uniquely Asheville packages, offerings, tours? Group-friendly experiences? Art and music story ideas, creative collaborations, historic connections, sustainability efforts? We're looking for all of it! To be included in media pitching and pre-publicity for the coming year, submit your news by Oct. 28. (Not yet ready to share your news? Email us anytime!)

Submit 2022 News (Deadline Oct. 28!)

Make sure you're ready for fall & holiday visitors: Order Visitor Guides this week for free delivery

The monthly deadline to stock up on Official Asheville Visitor Guides is this week. Place your order by Oct.15 at 5 p.m.; orders received after that date will be processed for delivery next month. Run out of guides between deliveries? Stop by the Asheville Visitors Center at 36 Montford Ave. to pick up an extra case.


Artists & businesses of the River Arts District profiled in new RAD microsite, video & social media campaign

One way we're taking action on our strategic imperative to Deliver Balanced Recovery & Sustainable Growth is by inviting visitors to explore Asheville's neighborhoods and nearby towns. This month we launched a new microsite for the River Arts District on that includes a promotional video, rotating artist profiles and business features. Find it on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and feel free to share on your own channels!

View New RAD Video


Science-driven national campaign promoting safe business meetings features successful Asheville events

Science-driven campaign materials for "Let's Meet There," the U.S. Travel Association's effort to highlight safety and business travel, include case studies of two meetings safely hosted in Asheville – one of only a handful of locations nationwide to be recognized. Download a fact sheet and the case studies from USTA here.

Safe Meetings Fact Sheet

Bringing group business to Asheville is a team sport

Explore Asheville's Tina Porter, shown here with Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission President Demp Bradford, recently exhibited along with the N.C. Sports Association at TEAMS Conference + Expo, the world’s leading conference and expo for the sports-event industry. Click to learn more about the Group Sales Team's plans for this fiscal year and others ops for partners.

Trips & Tradeshows Work Plan


  • WHAT: Last day to provide feedback for African American Heritage Trail using the online survey
  • HOW: View panels online through Oct. 17 or in-person on Oct. 13 or 15
  • MORE INFO: Details here
  • WHAT: Monthly meeting of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, held virtually via Zoom webinar
  • WHEN: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
  • MORE INFO: Details here
  • WHAT: "Packaging Matchmaker" Partner Salon: Information & inspiration for collaborating to create compelling packages for guests
  • WHEN: 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
  • MORE INFO: Details to come here
  • WHAT: Deadline for quarterly submissions from local nonprofits to Buncombe County TDA for sponsorship of professional & community development ops
  • WHEN: Accepted on rolling basis; reviewed quarterly
  • MORE INFO: Details & application here


New guide provides businesses with tips & resources related to homelessness in Asheville

What are the do's and don'ts around addressing issues of homelessness as it pertains to your business? Where might you find the information you need for this complex issue – and the help needed by those who are experiencing homelessness? The City of Asheville has produced a comprehensive guide to answer those questions and more.

Download Resource Guide

Leadership Asheville hosts discussions on 'Resilience For All'; Oct. 26 event focuses on Asheville's economy

Leadership Asheville's Fall Buzz Breakfast series, sponsored in part by Buncombe County TDA, is focusing on how we as a community can recovery from the pandemic in a way that everyone benefits. On Oct. 26, Explore Asheville President & CEO Vic Isley will join fellow panelists Gene Ettison (Ettison Enterprises), Jeff Kaplan (Venture Asheville), Dewana Little (YMI Cultural Center) and Rosanna Mulcahy (Business Inclusion Office, City of Asheville) for a discussion on how to improve our economy for all.

Details & Register

Creative Sector Summit to address major issues impacting the local creative sector

The region’s only creative industry-specific annual conference takes place on Nov. 3. Planned by the Asheville Area Arts Council in partnership with the Arts Coalition and sponsored in part by Buncombe County TDA, the Creative Sector Summit will feature a series of panel discussions, a State of the Arts Address and the presentation of the inaugural John Cram Arts Leadership Award (aka "The Crammy").

Details & Register


Check out the TOURISM COMMUNITY UPDATE: Highlights of Buncombe County TDA Meetings
September's meeting included an update on occupancy tax collection – the highest in history! Check it out!

Q: Is there a recording of the presentation Explore Asheville President & CEO Vic Isley made to the Oct. Buncombe County Commissioners on the state of the tourism industry? A: Yes, there is! Check it out here.

With fall here and the holidays on the way, it's time to check the images on your listing. High-quality, high-res images can lead to more click-throughs. Photos should be at least 640px by 480px.

Each month, Explore Asheville generates a statistical report of our output, providing a snapshot of the local tourism economy month-to-month. Take a look at the latest edition of the Destination Dashboard here.

View Now
Learn More


Open Now


A roundup of new information for business owners

  • 'ONE BUNCOMBE' GRANTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: Applications for COVID relief through the "One Buncombe" fund are being accepted through Oct. 31 for local small businesses, including sole proprietorships to up to 25 FTEs.
  • ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS: The US Small Business Administration is lifting the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment and paying debt.
  • COVID TESTING GUIDE and VACCINATION GUIDE: Buncombe public health experts have created these downloadable resources for employers and workers.
  • SAFETY PROTOCOLS AT LIVE EVENTS: View the virtual AVL Arts Town Hall hosted recently by Asheville Area Arts Council on implementing health and safety protocols at local live events.
  • LEGALITIES AROUND VACCINES FOR EMPLOYEES: View the virtual Town Hall recently hosted by Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce with attorney Sabrina Rockoff
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