With 17 new hotels and about 1,659 more rooms in the pipeline, some worry whether Asheville’s tourism sector will be able to maintain demand for visitor accommodations.

Often lost among the attention given downtown’s upscale hotels are the area’s other lodgings. And there are plenty of them – with more on the way, another sign of the strength of the region’s tourism economy. Seventeen new hotels with about 1,659 more rooms are expected to come online in the Asheville area during the next few years, according to the most recent data available from the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Downtown hotels get the attention largely because of the location alone. But hotel owners and managers outside the central business district say they, too, have an important role to play in Asheville-area economy, though they face different challenges by virtue of being farther from tourism hotspots.

“They are the last ones to benefit from increased business and the first ones to suffer when business declines,” said Stephanie Brown, the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director.

That’s a dynamic that Himanshu Karvir, general manager of the Holiday Inn Asheville—Biltmore West on Smokey Park Highway, would like to change.

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