ASHEVILLE, NC (May 11, 2012) — Festiva Hospitality Group has donated $50,000 to the Western North Carolina Nature Center (WNCNC), Asheville’s Wildlife Park. Festiva’s commitment will support the center’s 2020 Vision, a long-term improvement and expansion project already underway at the Nature Center that will help transform this diamond in the rough into one of Asheville’s favorite treasures for locals and visitors alike.
The donation is coordinated by Friends of the WNCNC, a nonprofit committed to supporting the WNC Nature Center’s mission of connecting people with animals & plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountains by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, & advancing conservation of the region’s rich biodiversity.
“We are very excited to be involved with the Nature Center’s improvements and future expansion,” said Butch Patrick, president and co-founder of Festiva Hospitality Group. “We feel that the center is a wonderful attraction for visitors as well as local families here in Asheville, and we are proud to support the expansion and improvement of the center’s education and conservation efforts.”
Festiva’s donation is specifically being used to transform the historic and iconic red barn on the property into the center’s new main entrance. This new entrance will provide a more interactive and integrative first impression for all visitors and will also allow for the current entrance’s transformation into an education center that will increase the center’s indoor offerings for year-round use.
“We’ve already had a record-breaking spring this year in terms of visitor numbers,” said Kimberly Brewster, executive director of Friends of the WNC Nature Center. “The Friends have provided significant support to the Center through marketing and it is showing a great return. This increased attendance along with support from donors and partners like Festiva are critical to the Center’s operations and our goals in the 2020 Vision.”
“Since Festiva will be bringing visitors to Asheville through our recent management contract with Festiva Biltmore Village and with nearly 100 employees in Asheville who can enjoy the center with their families for years to come, our partnership with the Nature Center is a natural fit,” said Patrick.
The Mission of the Friends of the Western North Carolina Nature Center is to create awareness and provide financial resources, through fundraising and events, in support of the Nature Center – Asheville’s Wildlife Park. For more information about the nature center and how you can become a member, visit www.wildwnc.org.
Festiva Hospitality Group is one of the most successful privately held hospitality companies in the United States. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Festiva owns, markets and manages 24 hotels and resorts throughout the Southeast, Midwest, Northeast and Caribbean. Festiva also owns a fleet of luxury catamaran yachts. Festiva has nearly 70,000 members and employs approximately 100 people in Asheville and nearly 1000 people overall.