Profile: Asheville, North Carolina
By: Marla Hardee Milling
Population: 72,800 (city) 398,000 (metro area)
USDA Hardiness Zone: 7
Major Airport: Asheville Regional Airport
Companies With a Major Presence: Mission Health System and Hospital, Ingles Markets, Biltmore Company, Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa
Asheville has been long revered as a wonderful place to live, as well as a much-touted vacation locale. Tourism provides Asheville with a steady stream of people who come into town and pump their dollars into the local economy. But many visitors fall in love with Asheville’s charm, natural beauty and cosmopolitan attitude and end up moving here. Asheville has a vibrancy generally found in larger places. The city is the largest in the Western North Carolina region. Buncombe County, in which Asheville lies in, has a population that’s inching close to 225,000.
Asheville has many draws. The region has a rich history in arts and crafts, so there is a community of artisans and crafters here. In the past decade or so, the local housing market mushroomed and gated luxury communities sprung up all over town, luring retirees. Boomers have also come in droves to buy a second home. Young families are drawn to Asheville because it’s a great place to raise kids; the city has a relatively low crime rate, good schools, and a temperate climate. Young professionals enjoy the energized nightlife that has emerged in Asheville. In the 1980s, the Downtown was ghost town. Times have changed, and the city’s core is a hot spot for live music, bars, clubs, galleries and cafes.
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