The list of largest employers in Asheville, North Carolina reads like most small cities in the U. S. — the usual suspects being education, health systems, and government at various levels and functions. But with my feet finally on the ground in downtown (with the arrival of better weather), it’s clear to me that tourism plays a big role here (tell-tale sign: Christmas stores). Art is an important attraction along with the natural beauty and the Biltmore estate.
The streets were crowded today with shoppers because, well, it’s Black Friday. But there are also plenty of places to shop and plenty of variety — including touristy Christmas ornaments. My daughter, who attends college here, reports the streets are lively here much of the time.