by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 01, 2015

Local Update

 When Omni Hotels & Resorts purchased what's now the Omni Grove Park Inn in 2013, the 513-room property was in the midst of a $25 million renovation. Furnished with arts-and-crafts pieces by Stickley and Roycroft, the hillside hotel offers 10 dining areas and lounges; a new entry is Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen, serving inventive Southern comfort food in an open-air setting. The 25 meeting rooms and two ballrooms combine for 55,000 square feet of space, and the 43,000-square-foot subterranean spa features a wide range of treatments.

 The 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate will open the 209-room Village Hotel on Dec. 14. The property also offers the 201-room Inn on Biltmore Estate and a two-bedroom cottage. The estate offers its own winery, plus activities like biking and fly-fishing.

Meeting Hotels: Group properties in the area include the 513-room Omni Grove Park Inn, 410-room Biltmore Estate, 277-room Renaissance Asheville Hotel, 274-room Crowne Plaza Tennis and Golf Resort, 197-room DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore and 165-room Hilton at Biltmore Park.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, go to

Convention Center: U.S. Cellular Center; exhibit space, approximately 25,000 square feet; arenas, two; number of meeting rooms, nine. (828) 259-5743

Airport Transit: Asheville Regional Airport, about 10 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, about $35. Many hotels offer free shuttle service.

Taxes: Room tax, 4%; local taxes, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms within city limits, 11%

Group Venue: The latest way to fly above the Blue Ridge Mountains allows participants to touch the treetops as they go. The Navitat attraction features three side-by-side ziplines, allowing friends to step off together for a ride that runs about two-thirds of a mile. Groups of eight to 10 people take the journey every 20 minutes; larger groups can book several tours back-to-back. (828) 626-3700

Contact: Explore Asheville, (828) 258-6101