Plus, explore Trackside Studios' expanded space.
February 29, 2024 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

53º | 1% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 7:00 a.m. | Sunset 6:25 p.m.

A Swannanoa site gets a new life
Rendering of phase one of Beacon Village features a large green space with a bike park in the upper right corner area and a walking path lining the perimeter of the property.
Beacon Village has big plans for outdoor recreation in Swannanoa. | Photo via Beacon Village
The 40-acre site of the former Beacon Manufacturing Company (once the largest blanket manufacturer in the world), in the heart of Swannanoa, is undergoing a revitalization. The site has been nonfunctioning since its closure in 2002 and the subsequent fire at the mill in 2003 — but it plans to once again become a thriving area of growth with the development of Beacon Village, a hub for outdoor recreation and industry + residential and commercial uses.

Phase one

Phase one of the revitalization will include an event lawn and a multi-use bike park from international bike design and construction company Velosolutions, complete with slopestyle, jump lines, and pump track lines. The bike park, designed for users of all skill levels, welcomes everything from bikes to skateboards, inline skates to adaptive wheelchairs.

Plus, a natural surface pedestrian trail will line the perimeter of the area for walking, running, and biking.

bike park.png

Are you ready to ride a pump track like this one?


Photo by Velosolutions

In addition to these exciting developments, Beacon Village also hopes to include a few other elements in phase one of the revitalization:
  • Bioswales and rain gardens
  • Frisbee and picnicking area
  • Food truck staging area
  • Sustainable landscaping
Phase one is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

Future phases

Future phases of the development will introduce residential, commercial, and industrial elements. Beacon Village has partnered with the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County to bring “living-wage, community-minded, and outdoor industry businesses” to the area.

Plus, a 10-acre portion of land will be reserved for manufacturing employment to spur economic growth. As for residential use, Beacon Village expresses a focus on providing “attainable housing,” although regulations on the site will not permit single family homes.

More details on this multi-phase project will be released as additional partnerships are formed.
Thursday, Feb. 29
  • Intro To Belly Dance | Thursday, Feb. 29 | 12-1:30 p.m. | The Well, 3 Louisiana Ave., Asheville | $15 | Learn a new way to express yourself and move your body during this series.
  • Leap Day at Leveller | Thursday, Feb. 29 | 6:30-9 p.m. | Leveller Brewing Co., 25 N. Main St., Weaverville | $5-$10 | Local artist Old Sap will share poetry, tall tales, and acoustic folk music at this storytelling event.
  • Dobra After-Hours: Avatar: The Last Airbender | Thursday, Feb. 29 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Dobra Tea East Asheville, 1011 Tunnel Rd., Ste. 180, Asheville | $10 | Curl up with a cup of tea and cozy blankets to screen four episodes of the original series’ first season.
Friday, March 1
  • Craft Thinking & Making: Craft Studies Conference | Friday, March 1-Sunday, March 3 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Southern Highland Craft Guild, Milepost 382 Blue Ridge Pkwy., Asheville | Free, RSVP | The worlds of makers and scholars will come together at this inaugural conference, featuring presentations, demonstrations, and panels.
  • Broadsway! A One WoMAN Musical Revue | Friday, March 1 | 5-6:30 p.m. | pleb urban winery, 289 Lyman St., Asheville | $15-$25 | Hear Divine Holeburn sing her fabricated yet fabulous story of making it on Broadway with classic tunes from musicals including “Cabaret,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” and “A Chorus Line.”
Saturday, March 2
  • Chatham County Line Listening Party | Saturday, March 2 | 1:30 p.m. | Citizen Vinyl, 14 O’Henry Ave., Asheville | Free | Enjoy the band’s blend of bluegrass, folk, country, and rock + roll at the album release party for its latest record, “Hiyo.”
  • Winter Works | Saturday, March 2 | 7 p.m. | Diana Wortham Theatre, 18 Biltmore Ave., Asheville | $15-$30 | Dancers from the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville will perform to neoclassical and contemporary works.
  • Donna The Buffalo | Saturday, March 2 | 7 p.m. | Salvage Station, 468 Riverside Dr., Asheville | $30-$35 | Catch a show from the roots rockers, with support from The Steel Wheels.
Sunday, March 3
  • Introduction to Mountain Biking 101 Clinic | Sunday, March 3 | 1-3 p.m. | Adventure Center of Asheville, 85 Expo Dr., Asheville | $75-$100 | Folks ages 15 and up will learn the fundamentals of mountain biking — from braking to basic positioning.
  • Cease and Desist: The Melting Cauldron | Sunday, March 3 | 5 p.m. | Cultura, 147 Coxe Ave., Asheville | $60 | Grab a table for Cultura’s spin on the classic fondue experience with innovative twists and bold flavors.
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👀 Check out UNC Asheville’s summer programs for high schoolers
a group of high school students look at small rocket take off
All programs include hands-on learning and projects, and many programs feature off-campus excursions. | Photo by UNC Asheville
How’s this for “summer camp”?

Rising high school 10th-12th graders are invited to UNC Asheville’s Pre-College Program — a weeklong summer immersion program that introduces students to college-level study, university life, career options, and industry professionals. Each one-week course offers:
  • Dynamic program offerings (think: robotics, creative writing, pottery, video game design, music composition, river ecology, and more)
  • Immersive, hands-on learning experiences in both classroom + recreational settings
  • The chance to experience university life — yep, on-campus lodging and meals are included
Programs run June 16-21 and June 23-28.
News Notes
  • Beginning today, the eastbound lane between 48 Patton Ave. and 76 Patton Ave. will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for roadway repairs. The two crosswalks connecting Patton Avenue to Haywood Street will also be closed. A projected end date for the closure has not been shared.
  • Early voting ends this Saturday, March 2. Check out the schedule + locations to cast a ballot at any of the county’s 11 early voting locations. Pro tip: The County will provide a wait map, which shows how long wait times are at each early voting location.
  • Trackside Studios is hosting Leaping Forward, its grand reopening celebration, to unveil the renovated space that now showcases the work of 60 artists — double the previous amount. Stop by this evening from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for food, drinks, and music.
  • At its Tuesday, Feb. 27 meeting, Asheville City Council unanimously approved allocating $501,384 to PEAK Academy, a public charter school primarily serving Black students with the mission of closing the achievement gap. The money comes from the remaining balance of American Rescue Plan Act funds. (Blue Ridge Public Radio)
  • An Aldi, Sheetz, and 340 units of housing could be coming to Candler. In addition to these “expected” tenants, documents for the proposed commercial + residential development off Smokey Park Highway also include a fast food restaurant and community center. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
  • Play ball. Single game tickets are now on sale for the Asheville Tourists’ 2024 season. Catch the first home game on Friday, April 5, and browse the schedule for promotions like pickleball paddle giveaways and Doggies at the Diamond.
  • Governor Roy Cooper announced that $1.3 million in grants will be distributed across 42 school districts, including Buncombe County Schools, to increase access to school breakfast. The NC Innovative School Breakfast Grants were provided through federal funds directed in October 2023.
  • See the works of one of UNC Asheville’s most renowned alumni. The “To Be An Artist Means to Never Avert Your Eyes” exhibition runs Feb. 23-March 23 and features the paintings of Connie Bostic, an NC-native whose works depict social issues + autobiographical takes on the female experience in North Carolina.*
  • The secret to spotless furniture: ChomChom’s reusable lint roller, which picks up pet hair and lint like nobody’s business. Get it on sale for a few more hours.*
How would you spend an extra 24 hours of an Asheville summer?
A close-up of a field of sunflowers with a forest in the background.

We can’t wait to see these blooms return.


Photo by AVLtoday

Happy Leap Day, Asheville. Earlier this week, we shared that without leap years, calendars would be off by about 501 days — so Feb. 26, 2024 would actually be July 11, 2025. That got us wondering how our readers would spend an extra summer day in Asheville. Here are a few of your ideas:

“Take a picnic lunch and drive the BRP from here (Asheville) to Ocunaluftee, stopping at key viewpoints along the way!” - Bette M.

“Hiking, hanging out with friends at outdoor restaurants, shopping the Marquee.” - Joan H.

“Walk the grounds of the Biltmore down to the waterfall and all along the sunflower trail. Eat lunch at the Sunset Terrace at Grove Park.” - Debra W.
The Buy
New tees for a new season. Freshen up your spring wardrobe with tees that feel as good as they look from Carolina Surf Dogs, Salt Monkey, and Sandlot Goods.
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The Wrap
Grace Powers.JPEG Today’s edition by:
From the editor
This ain’t Texas. But you can channel the vibes of the Lone Star State at Rhinestone Renaissance, a Beyoncé album release and dance party hosted by The Mule. Throw down at 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 — and listen, I know that’s a bit of a way away, but as a Beyoncé super fan, I had to share my excitement.
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