Grove Park Inn warms up its act
Asheville’s Omni Grove Park Inn is adding an events center aimed at attracting smaller meetings and weddings throughout the year, including the winter months. Lots of wedding parties have occurred in tents set up for cold-weather occasions since the 513-room inn opened in 1913. But the new Seely Pavilion will include six pairs of floor-to-ceiling doors and windows that “will allow us to have events offering a panoramic view of the mountains without worrying about the elements,” says spokeswoman Tracey Johnston-Crum. It’s the latest upgrade of the hotel owned by Dallas-based Omni Hotels & Resorts, which acquired the 104-year-old property from KSL Resorts for $120 million in 2012. Utah-based KSL held it for 14 months before selling the hotel to Omni. The Sammons family of Dallas owned the business for the previous 58 years. About 1,100 people work at Grove Park, more than all but one other privately held company in Asheville, Johnston-Crum says. The new project, which includes 3,200 square feet of meeting space, is named after Fred Loring Seely, the inn’s designer and original general manager.
Going with the flow
Medical-equipment provider Aeroflow Healthcare says it will add 50 jobs over the next year after buying a 35,000-square-foot industrial building in Arden. The site will be a distribution center that will consolidate two separate locations. The Asheville-based company plans to employ 30 workers at the site when it opens this year, then add another 50 by the end of 2018. With conference rooms, meeting spaces and more natural lighting, the center will provide a better working environment, says Katie Combs, the company’s chief culture officer. Aeroflow, which started in 2001, supplies wheelchairs, ramps, automatic lifts and other products. It ranked No. 2,450 on Inc. magazine’s listing of the nation’s fastestgrowing companies, with a revenue growth rate of 146%. Aeroflow, which had 2016 revenue of $73.6 million, has made the list for three straight years.
ASHEVILLE — The U.S. Department of Transportation will provide more than $5 million for an airfield redevelopment project at the Asheville Regional Airport. It will result in a new replacement runway and taxiway scheduled to open next year.
ASHEVILLE — Mission Health System CEO Ron Paulus told senior employees in an email that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is “the most unethical, bullying foe that I have ever faced.” Mission stopped accepting Blue Cross insurance after Oct. 4, saying reimbursement rates are inadequate.
ASHEVILLE — French Broad Chocolates raised $500,000 in equity, according to a filing with the SEC. The company, which opened in 2008, has grown from a two-person business to more than 80 employees.
MORGANTON — Continental is investing $40 million to expand its 25-year-old brake-system plant here. The German company expects to add 150 jobs.
MORGANTON — The city’s downtown district lost retailers The Music Center and Wicked Smoke BBQ, following recent closings of a bakery and another restaurant. The Music Center has other stores in Asheville, Gastonia, Hickory, Lenoir and Statesville.