#Asked: Who offers senior discounts in AVL?

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UNCA Asheville's OLLI program offers "college for seniors" via 4-6 week courses on a wide range of topics.
UNCA Asheville's OLLI program offers "college for seniors" via 4-6 week courses on a wide range of topics.

A few weeks ago, we got a request from a reader about local senior discounts. Which businesses offer in town them, and how old do you have to be to use them?

Asheville just landed in a prime spot on Forbes’s list of the top 25 places in the U.S. to retire. The city rankings were based on the area’s natural beauty and its retirement-friendly features, like walkability, median home price, taxation for pensions + Social Security income, crime rates + more.

But today, we’re zooming in one step further – to the deals that the fabulously over 50 (or 55, or 60, or 65) can take advantage of on the daily.

DYK: Of the 71,425 adults counted in the last census, 14,968 are seniors. Asheville also gets more visitors (around 56%) in the 55+ set.

So chances are that either you’re enjoying your golden years, or you have friends, family, or visitors who are. Here’s how you – or they – can be savvy and save a penny or two on events, restaurants, entertainment, services, shopping + more (so you can spend all that extra dough on local art, fine dining + maaaybe your grandkids – if they’re behaving 😉).⬇

Protip: Discounts are at the discretion of the business and are subject to change; check in before you head over to take advantage of them.

Also, many places offer discounts when you show your AARP card. If you aren’t an AARP member already, you can find out more about membership + sign up here. Membership starts at $12/year for people 50+, and includes a free membership for spouses + partners (even if they’re not 50 yet).

 

⛰Outdoors

Area national parks | 62+ | $20 off annual pass or $80 lifetime pass | Good for the Blue Ridge Parkway + Great Smoky Mountains campgrounds, Nantahala National Forest + more (see sites here). Covers park entrance fees + may provide amenity discounts on camping, boat launch + more.

WNC Nature Center 📍75 Gashes Creek Rd. |(828) 259-8080  65+ | $9.95 admission ($7.95 for Buncombe County residents)

 

🎓Continuing Education

A-B Tech | 📍 340 Victoria Rd. | (828) 398-7900 | 65+ | Seniors may audit courses free of charge (any textbook charges + small fees not included)

UNC Asheville |📍UNC Asheville Reuter Center | (828) 251-6140 | $25/year (parking fee $125/year)| “College for seniors” that makes everyone wish they could take these 4-6 week courses including cooking for two, fine art photography, how to solve sudoku puzzles, Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, East Coast swing, yoga, crime fiction books + more. Register + see full schedule here. They also host special interest groups ranging from gardening, history books, hiking, travel, wine + more.

 

🛍Shopping

Ace Hardware | 55+ |📍812 Merrimon Ave. |(828) 505-3672 | 10% off

Goodwill | 60+ |📍 various locations | 10% off every Tuesday

JoAnn |📍80 South Tunnel Rd. | (828) 299-7687 | 20% off one Wednesday a month

Michaels |📍111-A River Hills | (828) 299-0183 | 55+ |  10% off with AARP card

Ross |📍80 South Tunnel Rd. | (828) 298-0973 | 10% off on Tuesdays

Walgreens |📍various locations | 65+ |  20% off once a month with Balance Rewards card (AARP members only)

 

🚗Services

Avis Car Rental | 📍3 South Tunnel Rd. | (828) 299-3644 | 10-25% off base rates, plus a free upgrade on on compact through full-size bookings, discounted GPS, and an additional driver at no cost with an AARP membership

Budget Rent A Car | 📍3 South Tunnel Rd. | (828) 299-4191 | 10-25% off base rates, plus a free upgrade on on compact through full-size bookings, discounted GPS, and an additional driver at no cost with an AARP membership

Hometrust Bank |📍various locations | 50+ | no minimum balance fee for primetime checking + savings accounts, discounted checks + safety deposit box

City of Asheville Transit | 📍49 Coxe Ave. | (828) 253-5691 | 65+ | free monthly bus pass

 

🥡Food + Drink

🍔Fast food

Arby’s |📍180 Hendersonville Rd. | (828) 274-1666 | 55+ | 10% off + some locations offer a free drink.

Ben & Jerry’s |📍 19 Haywood St. |(828) 424-7153 | 60+ | 10% off

Boston Market |📍1644 Hendersonville Rd. | 65+ | (828) 274-8955 | varies by location; ask at the register

Chick-fil-A |📍various locations | 50+ | Most Chick-fil-As offer a free small drink or coffee with a purchase or 10% off

Dairy Queen |📍various locations | 55+ | 10% off or a free drink

Dunkin’ Donuts | 📍 various locations  | 50+ | Buy a large or extra-large drink and get a free doughnut

Hardee’s | 📍various locations | 60+ | 33 cents beverages or a 10% discount

KFC | 📍various locations | 55+ | free small drink with purchase of a meal

Krispy Kreme |📍 960 Patton Ave. |(828) 254-6007 | 50+ | 10% off

Long John Silver’s | 📍various locations | 55+ | discounts vary by location; ask at register

McDonald’s |📍 various locations | 55+ | discounts on coffee every day

Subway | 📍 various locations | 60+ | 10% off

Taco Bell | 📍various locations | 65+ | 5% off or free beverage

TCBY |📍 1800 Hendersonville Rd. |(828) 274-1100 | 55+ | 10% off

Wendy’s | 📍 various locations | Vary depending on location, ask at register

Zaxby’s | 📍 various locations | 60+ | 10% off

 

🥘Casual restaurants

Bonefish Grill | 📍105 River Hills Rd., Ste. C | (828) 298-6530 | AARP members | 10% off check at lunch, brunch, or dinner (excluding alcohol + tip)

Carrabba’s |📍10 Buckstone Pl. |(828) 281-2300 | AARP members | 10% off  

CiCi’s Pizza | 📍148 S. Tunnel Rd. | (828) 298-0010 | 60+ | 10% off

Chili’s | 📍 253 Tunnel Rd. | 252-4999 | 55+ | 10% off

Fuddrucker’s | 📍 130 Charlotte St. |(828) 254-2161 | 55+ | 10% off any senior platter

Golden Corral | 📍230 Chimney Rock Rd., Hendersonville | (828) 693-6445 | 60+ | 50 cents off the buffet, or $7.59 for the early bird special (Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–4 p.m., drinks included)

IHOP | 📍various locations | 55+ | special senior menu or a 10% discount

Waffle House | 📍 various locations  | 60+ | 10% off every Monday

Outback Steakhouse | 📍20 Tunnel Rd. | (828) 252-4510 | AARP members | 10% off entire check (excluding alcohol + tip) for lunch or dinner

 

🍿Entertainment

Biltmore | 📍 1 Lodge St. | (800) 411-3812 | 65+ | $10 off daytime admission every Tuesday + Wednesday

Carolina Cinemark |📍1640 Hendersonville Rd. | (828) 274-8811 | $7.25 tickets

Fine Arts Theatre |📍36 Biltmore Ave. | (828) 232-1536 | $7.50 tickets

Grail Moviehouse | 📍45 South French Broad Ave. | (828) 239-9392 | $7.50 tickets

LaZoom | 📍 76 Biltmore Ave. |(828) 225-6932 | 65+ | $3 off all tours

Regal Cinemas | 📍 292 Thetford St. | (844) 462-7342 | 60+ | $7 for senior tickets

 

Events

🎡WNC Mountain State Fair | 📍 775 Boylston Highway | discounted entry for seniors ($5)

 

🥕Grocery Stores

Earth Fare | 📍 various locations | Get 5% off of your total on Mondays

Harris Teeter |📍136 Merrimon Ave. |(828) 255-1817 | 60+ | Receive 5% off every Thursday when you mention it to your cashier

Publix |📍1830 Hendersonville Rd. |(828) 274-6287 | 60+ | 5% off every Wednesday

 

🏨Lodging + Event Space

Have visitors coming to town? Many chain hotels offer discounts for seniors with AARP memberships (as well as AAA memberships) when you book.  

Grove Park Inn | 📍 290 Macon Ave. | (800) 438-5800 | 60+ | Senior rates for rooms, discount varies

Hidden River Events | 📍 30 Hidden River Drive |(828) 333-3401 | 55+ | $2,000 off non-Saturday weddings and $100 on weddings under 50 people, discounts for vow renewal

Hilton Hotels & Resorts | Up to 10% off with AARP membership

Wyndham Hotels | 10% off with AARP membership

 

I’m still a few years away from becoming a card-carrying member of AARP, but I’m excited to share this lists with my friends + family who are over 50 – but still young at heart. I also have wonderful memories of hitting up the early bird senior specials as a child with my grandma. She was allll about eating dinner at 4 p.m. for the savings. And getting pie by 5 o’clock was basically a dream come true for 5-year-old me. 🥧

I’m particularly excited about some of those meal dealsif y’all want some company for Carrabba’s I’ll be right here. 😉

– Ali