Columbus leaders visit Asheville, N.C. for annual intercity trip

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:27 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - City of Columbus business and community leaders took a two day trip to Asheville, North Carolina last week for the Chamber of Commerce’s 27th annual intercity trip. This, to explore and compare how Columbus currently stands... and also how it can grow.

Asheville, North Carolina: a city in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains known for a vibrant arts scene and historic architecture. With a population of a little more than 95,000, the city is home to the Biltmore Estate, a host of breweries and performing arts.

“Not only do you get a chance to look at things other communities are doing that you may want to bring home, but it also occasionally validates things Columbus is doing as being on the right track or being ahead of the host sites we are going to,” Mayor Skip Henderson said.

Henderson attended this trip saying Asheville has a big craft beer industry and active art culture, a big reason why tourism is steady: “We are moving in the right the direction. We saw how embracing public art is... It really does give that community a sense of place.”

Also on the trip: Vice President of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Brian Silleto. He pointed out like Columbus, the city is struggling with a police shortage and crime.

“I know on the crime front, that’s made some recent headlines as well... hearing how they’re tackling things and giving us feedback on how we can do things either better or different as a city,” Silleto said.

“When you look at our community and all the vibrancy created in our downtown area and some developments in the North and South ends, as well as Midcity Yards and Highside Market, it gets me energized,” Henderson explained. “People don’t understand what an incredible place Columbus is.”

The two day trip wrapped up Friday. This is nothing new for business and city leaders with the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Every year they select a city to visit to gain ideas from for the Fountain City.