Asheville (Marketing)

Important Dates:

Application Opens: September 1, 2020
Deposit Deadline:
 February 1, 2021
Final Payment Deadline: February 18, 2021
Mandatory Orientation Meeting: Spring semester 2021

ashveille students by waterfall

MKTG 4950: Hospitality Case Study
Professor: Dr. Marsha Loda
Millennials now comprise the largest living demographic segment in the US. The Asheville area is a ‘millennial magnet’ for tourism and hospitality. This course analyzes and explores the hospitality industry in the Asheville region and why it is so attractive to this demographic. The Asheville area encompasses many of the traditional tourism segments: urban, art, gaming and scenic tourism. It also showcases more contemporary hospitality segments: festival, adventure, and food and beer tourism. Students prepare for the trip by analyzing these various segments. The regional visit includes business and cultural exploration in both Asheville and the surrounding area including visits at tourism offices, area attractions, and volunteering at the annual Brevard Blues and Barbeque Festival housed at the acclaimed Brevard Music Center. Both natural and man-made tourism products are purposefully included. A post trip analysis will include suggestions for improvement as well as application of experiences to make the Augusta area more attractive to the millennial market.

*Prerequisites: MKTG 3700

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*Subject to change*

Class will meet on campus prior to departure.

Day 1 – Travel/Welcome to Asheville 
- Depart Augusta
- Check into hotel. Lunch at Buxton Hall Barbeque
- Dinner at Mamacit'as.
- Depart for LaZoom Beer and Band tour. This will provide an overview to the Asheville Ale Trail. 

Day 2 – Experience Urban Tourism
- Breakfast on your own daily



- Lecture and discussion
- Tour newly reopened Asheville Museum of Art 
- Explore Asheville on your own/Lunch


- Amazing Pubcycle Tour (1.5 hours)

- Dinner at Salvage Station, a railroad yard turned into a tavern, greenspace, picnic venue and tubing destination enjoyed by Millennials, often with their children or pets.

Day 3 – Experience Adventure Tourism
- Depart for French Broad Adventures, Marshal NC; discussion en route; whitewater rafting & lunch (3.5 hrs), then zip line (2.5 hrs). Adventure tourism is another central theme of the Asheville tourist brand. Students will experience the product as well as meet with owners about the legalities involved in providing such experiences.
- Dinner at The Lobster Trap.

Day 4 – Experience a Tourism Marketing/Gaming Tourism 

Lecture and discussion
Meet with Mark File, the founder of
Lunch at Village Wayside, a casual and popular pub with Millennials Depart for Cherokee. Stop to tour Waynesville en route & have lunch at BooJum.
Tour Ocanaluftee Indian Village. Students will experience this traditional cultural and historical attraction and discuss with managers the trends they see in the age of their customers.
Arrive Harrah's Cherokee & have dinner in the buffet. Return to Asheville after dinner.

Day 5 – Experience Scenic Tourism

- Depart for Blue Ridge Parkway. Lecutre and discussion en route. Hike followed by lunch at Pisgah Inn. This is one of few accommodations on the entirety of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Students will meet with owners to hear about how the venue was to be closed by park officials but ‘saved’ by public comments.
- Drive to Sliding Rock and Whitewater Falls in Pisgah Forest, followed by a hike to the waterfalls in DuPont Forest. 
- Meet with Matt Hartell at the Reeb Ranch main barn for overview.
- Depart for tour and dinner at Sierra Nevada Brewery. Sierra Nevada has recently opened its elaborate east coast operation in Asheville and is quickly becoming a top tourist destination. The “Trip in the Woods” tour will explain the operation’s ‘full circle’ environmental commitment to sustainability.
- Depart for Downtown Inn After Dinner

Day 6 – Experience a Major Attraction/Upscale Hospitality

- Breakfast, lecture and discussion

- Check out of hotel; check in at The Grand Bohemian Hotel. After five nights in budget hotel, students will have an upscale, high service hotel experience. There is opportunity in both the low price/low service and high price/high service ends of the hospitality spectrum. It is important for students to experience and understand the specific differences in product development

- Lunch at Village Wayside, a casual and popular pub with Millennials
- Tour The Biltmore (general and Behind the Scenes tour). This historic landmark was the backbone of Asheville’s tourism industry before the explosion in adventure and food/beer tourism. Students will experience the venue and meet with estate marketers to understand the challenges of marketing an ‘old’ attraction to a Millennial audience.
- Dinner at the Bistro at Biltmore Estate. This high service/high quality dining venue is an important experience for hospitality students. They will contrast it to earlier experiences, and discuss which they, as Millennials, find preferable and why.

Day 7 – Return to Augusta
- Walk to breakfast at Well Bred Bakery; lecture and discussion
- Walking tour of Biltmore Village shops and galleries for another type of retail experience
- Depart for Tryon International Equestrian Center. Meet Kathryn C. McMahon, the director of Community Engagement for a tour.   

- Lunch at Legends Grille, explore the area. 
- Depart for Augusta; discussion enroute
- Arrive Augusta University

Rainy day possibilities:

Tour Kennelworth neighborhood and Tobacco Barn antiques, both authentic to Asheville and popular with both its citizens and visitors.  Students will discuss whether older craft built homes and antiques will continue in popularity with the Millennial generation or be replaced by more modern offerings. What are the implications of this for the hospitality industry?

Take LaZoom downtown comedy tour. Students will see more of downtown with this unique tour that is a tourist favorite. Both the cycle tour and comedy tour demonstrate to students that city tours can be done creatively to draw Millennial tourists versus the ‘standard’ Grey Line-type of tour

Tour Grove Park Inn and Grovewood Galleries

*Subject to change due to weather or new opportunities available in 2021.

** If program travel is cancelled due to travel restrictions from the State Department, University System of Georgia, or Augusta University, this course will NOT be offered during Summer 2021.

Financial Information:

Program Fee: ~$1500 Tuition & Fees

Deposit: $200

Final Payment: Remaining balance, Spring 2021

Tuition & Fees: Click here to calculate how much yours will be
What's included? Transportation, lodging, some meals
Additional Expenses: Some meals


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Updated 6/30/2021