Asheville tops many lists for its culinary and craft beverage culture, music scene, energizing outdoor recreation, and expansive arts. With an uptick of incentive planner interest in second-tier cities, Asheville is also widely recognized by the industry as a top incentive destination and was recently included in these destination round-ups:
Incentive planners know that once-in-a-lifetime experiences can be a powerful differentiator, and Asheville experiences like Biltmore, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the world-famous spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn help up the wow-factor. Combine one or more of these bucket-list activities with opportunities for guests to immerse themselves in authentic experiences offered in our scenic mountain city, and you can deliver a top-notch reward experience.
Bonus: When you send your RFP to Explore Asheville, you can take advantage of our “Have More Fun On Us” program, good for up to $2500 toward unique Asheville experiences and vendors like these local gems we’ve highlighted below.
The Omni Grove Park Inn, with 513 rooms and 86,000 square feet of meeting space, not only offers a world-famous spa, it also has a legendary 18-hole Donald-Ross designed golf course. America’s largest private home, Biltmore, sits on a spectacular 8,000-acre estate and hosts a slew of specialty tours and unique outdoor activity options like horseback riding, fly fishing, and clay shooting - just as the Vanderbilts did 125 years ago - and features on-site lodging at the Inn on Biltmore and the Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate. Western North Carolina is also known for its whitewater rafting, ziplining, and of course, miles and miles of hiking made even better when guided by a Blue Ridge Hiking Company expert, owned by 2012’s National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
To immerse attendees in the Asheville lifestyle, be sure book an art studio tour with Art Connections or Asheville Art Studio Tours or a glass blowing class at NC Glass Center -- these are a great way to treat incentive winners to something they haven’t done before while interacting with knowledgeable artists and local arts experts. Asheville's food scene, known as Foodtopia, offers many options for culinary adventures like a farm to table tour, a foraging tour or a dining experience at one of our James Beard nominated restaurants. With craft breweries nearing a total of 50 in the region, consider booking a private brewery tour or tasting or a guided pub crawl. Does the group deserve a little pampering? Asheville has unique wellness options like salt caves, guided hikes combined with yoga, sensory deprivation tanks, plus amazing spas.
Asheville also offers trendy venues with high design elements including downtown rooftop spaces that wow with their sweeping mountain views. Biltmore’s champagne cellar, Grand Bohemian’s intimate art gallery and the newly renovated Asheville Art Museum with magnificent views of downtown and the Blue Ridge mountains are other unique options for memorable events.
Booking rooms at the impressive Inn on Biltmore and The Omni Grove Park Inn always make for a splash with visitors, but we’ve got plenty of other four-diamond properties too, including Haywood Park Hotel, a downtown department store-turned-historic boutique hotel; Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, appreciated for its convenient location near great shopping, dining, and movie theater; and the Tudor-style Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection located in Historic Biltmore Village. Plus, our downtown accommodations inventory is rapidly expanding with the modern AC Hotel Asheville Hotel; the recently unveiled The Foundry Hotel Asheville, a boutique property comprised of three historic buildings with three new builds that joined the Curio Collection; and the soon-to-open Hotel Arras, a four-star luxury property opening in one of downtown’s few glass skyscrapers and recently named a Kimpton property.
And with the best connected regional airport in the U.S. that offers 19 non-stop destinations and connections to major hubs, plus our proximity to Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville, and Savannah, it’s easy to get here--something else incentive travelers surely deserve!
The sales team at Explore Asheville is your best first point of contact to find the right fit for your next meeting in Asheville. We’ll save you time and effort by sending your RFP to the hotels that fit your criteria, coordinating your site visits, and will provide insider knowledge into the best venues for any size meeting. You also receive exclusive perks when working with us including attraction value cards for attendees, amenity gifts for meeting VIPs, registration staffing assistance, and when you send your RFP through Explore Asheville, you may be eligible for our Have More Fun on Us incentive program.
Ready to get started? Contact our team today.
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“We chose Asheville for our conference not only for the beauty of the setting, but for its rich and diverse culture and support of the arts. As a very walkable city, Asheville provided our attendees a background of entertainment, amazing food, and creative drinks while learning about how to make a living in the field of jewelry and metals. The large amount of galleries in the downtown are provided for a rich exhibition crawl filled with unique and varied exhibitions.
Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith
Society of North American Goldsmiths