ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- The Asheville Area Convention & Visitors
Bureau said it is beginning to recognize the value in marketing the
city's rural environs as an adventure destination.
Natural settings such as Great Smoky National Park, The Blue
Ridge Parkway, Pisco National Forest and the Bent Creek
Experimental Forest all lie in and around Asheville.
Also located in Asheville is the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate, a
country retreat created more than a century ago by George
The Biltmore Estate, in addition to offering tours of
Vanderbilt's mansion, winery and grounds, features a program called
Explore Biltmore Estate.
Guided by staff, guests can enjoy hiking, mountain biking,
horseback riding, float trips and carriage rides.
"When an agent calls, we find out what his group wants to do and
connect him with the appropriate people," said a spokeswoman for
the CVB's group sales department.
Asheville attracts tourists year-round, with fall foliage and
spring flower blooms the big draws. Some ski trails are open in
winter, and rafting is a summer option, she said.
There also is a mix of ages and interests among visitors, she
added. Seniors are drawn by the foliage, while youth groups are
attracted by the history and adventure that the destination
Although packages are not available through the CVB, the bureau
is mobilizing itself to harness the resources available to clients
by working with Nantahala Outdoor Center, an outdoor recreation
provider, and the Biltmore Estate, according to the
The Biltmore Estate offers packages with accommodations at a
number of hotels as well as the newly opened Inn on Biltmore
Estate. Packages include admission to the home and grounds.
For package information, call (800) 411-3910. For more on the
estate, visit the Web at www.biltmore-estate.com.
The Asheville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau can be
reached at (828) 258-6101. For group sales, call (828)