November 2016 

Vol 9, Issue 3

Doug & Jodee Sellers
     We hope you have had a lovely, enjoyable fall and if you were in the path of hurricane Matthew  that you weathered that storm well.  Asheville and the rest of western North Carolina is about to wind down from the busy leaf looking season for a brief rest before the holidays.  The last week of October has been the most colorful here at the Lodge. Don't take this wrong, fall is always my favorite season, but the dry, warm weather made for a less than stellar color season this year.  But on the other hand the mild temperatures made it nice to get out and enjoy the outdoors and kept our firewood stack healthy.  
     Despite the unusual weather, October was one of the busiest months ever for Asheville. The downtown hotels' rates and occupancy certainly reflect the high demand. The Asheville Citizen Times recently reported that the lowest room prices ranged from $399 at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel, to $522 at the Hotel Indigo Asheville Downtown. And there were very few rooms available even at those prices.   Himanshu Karvir, one of the members of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, said the situation represents Asheville getting closer to a "mature tourism market."  Like myself, I am sure some of you would be ok with a little less maturity in that case.  Those of you that stayed at Bent Creek Lodge, just in case you didn't know, got a great deal this October and we plan to continue to give you the best bang for your bucks.  
     Speaking of color I just had to share with you a couple of photos from this fall. The picture of the rainbow trout  is included strictly for the way the water captured the silver, green and red reflections that were also matched in the trout's skin.  It had nothing to do with the fact that it was the best fish I caught all season.  The picture of Lake Logan is also pretty nice.  Both were made by guest and fishing buddy, Rodney Noll.  

The Holiday Season in Asheville 
The holiday  season will soon be here and Asheville is a great place to visit for shopping, holiday decorations and outdoor winter fun.  Below is a list of some of the special events, click on the title or visit  Romantic Asheville for more information and many more events.  
Christmas at BiltmoreFriday, November 4, 2016  to  Sunday, January 8, 2017, 
River District Artists Studio Stroll, Sat., November 12, 2016 to Sun., November 13, 2016
Taste of Asheville,   Thursday, November 17, 2016
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum November 18, 2016  to   January 1, 2017
Thanksgiving Day & WeekendThurs., November 24, 2016  to  Sun., November 27, 2016
National Gingerbread House CompetitionSun., Nov. 27, 2016  to  Thurs., Jan. 5, 2017

RDA Studio Stroll

Taste of Asheville

Winter Lights at Arboretum


Gingerbread Houses

Mushrooms are a Success!
     Some of you may recall that Tom
our first mushroom
Record $etting $hiitake
MacGruder, conducted a mushroom growing workshop here last November.  In fact a few of you attended the class and took home inoculated logs of your own.  I would love to hear how it worked out.  I ended up with about a dozen logs drilled and filled with Shiitake spores and eight big Poplar logs with pancakes of Oyster mushroom spores and sawdust sandwiched between the rounds. After the work shop Tom and I put my Shiitake logs in my old vegetable garden area since it had too much shade to grow vegetables any more. But Tom informed me that it didn't have enough shade for mushrooms so I bought a big blanket of shade cloth and hung it over the logs.  The oyster "shrooms spent the winter in heavy duty plastic bags in the garage and were added to the garden area in the spring.  I mulched the area, watered them regularly, (well, semi-regularly).  In late spring the Shiitakes popped off a few of the wax seals and crowned a small dark head out but then turned black and shriveled away. Then in early fall we had a short cold spell and the oyster mushrooms started to "pin". Again I felt like an expectant father.  But then they turned into a gooey, rotting mass.   I was beginning to doubt I could even grow a decent fungus.  I tried everything, at one point beating the logs with a hammer to induce "force fruiting".  Then one morning I discovered a perfectly shaped Shiitake.  I was a proud daddy.  As well I should be, who else had a $300 mushroom for their breakfast omelet.  A couple of days later there was another one, then a third one and soon they were all over the logs.  Jodee and I collected about 4 lbs. one morning.  When the weather got a little cooler the oyster mushrooms did the same thing.  Last night I had mushroom ravioli in a mushroom sauce with a mushroom salad on the side.  Actually we are sauteing them, using some for breakfast and putting some in the freezer.  We had an Oyster Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche the other morning.  I hope it keeps up.
Shiitake Harvest

Oyster Mushroom Logs

The Group That Wears a T-Shirt Together Stays Together
     Nothing says you belong like a uniform, or at least a group T-shirt.  We couldn't be happier than having a group celebrate at Bent Creek Lodge with their custom shirts.  We have had two groups this year.  The first ones we call the "Professors".  They are a group of six, Southern Illinois University professors and their spouses that that have been meeting up here every March since 2008.  This year they came with their shirts silk screened with a picture of them taken on our front steps.  
The Professors

     Then James and Barbara Buckley hosted a 5 day family reunion here in August. Everyone wore their custom shirts with Bent Creek Lodge emblazoned on the back.  They had a great time here taking in everything from shopping to riding the zip lines.  

The Buckley Family with their 
Bent Creel Lodge shirts

Tourism Development Authority Grants 
      I thought you might like to know what the occupancy tax that you pay on room reservations in Asheville buys.  The tax was increased from 4% to 6% last year and will bring in over $14 million this year.  The 11 member board of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority are in charge of budgeting the funds in keeping with the guidelines set by the N.C. legislature.  A large part of the money goes to marketing; including websites, ads and publications.  However, about 25%, $3.9 million this year, is allotted to community projects that will increase hotel guests.  The various organizations submit applications for grants that are then selected by the board. This year the projects that were funded include:
  • Asheville Community Theatre: $1 million awarded for renovations and expansions; fully funded request; estimated room nights, 6,148
  • U.S. Cellular Center: $1.5 million awarded for arena upgrades, conference rooms; $1.5 million requested; estimated room nights, 19,315
  • Montreat College: $350,000 awarded for lighting, seating and parking at Pulliam Arena in Black Mountain; fully funded request; estimated room nights, 2,879
  • WNC Farmers Market: $380,000 awarded for new doors and facility upgrades; $500,000 requested; estimated room nights, 193,840
  • Pack Place Performing Arts: $700,000 requested for new performance spaces in Diana Wortham Theatre and other upgrades; fully funded request; estimated room nights, 2,500
        We hope you can take advantage of these improvements during your future stays


Doug & Jodee Sellers           

Bent Creek Lodge
Remember Bent Creek Lodge Gift Certificates make great gifts and they are now available for purchase on our website.