Announcing: The First Annual, “Asheville Professional Domain Investor Meetup and Family Outing,” August 2019

Morning Folks!!

Before TRAFFIC was born or slightly after, I had a special dinner in Asheville. There were about 10 domainers in attendance. Was a very memorable event and very special. Mike Berkens, Roy Messer, Howard Neu, their wives, and a couple others. I had wanted to do it again, but I started TRAFFIC and the "Richmond Hill Inn," open since 1886, home of the fanciest restaurant in Asheville, burnt to the ground. (Jewish Lightning, aka Arson) But what a memory!!!

That was years before anyone really heard of Asheville as a destination. Today it is one of the coolest, hippest places in the USA and beyond. Some of the best most creative restaurants anywhere and named among America's top destinations in almost every survey done. The latest one was by and got the #1 spot. If I tried to list all the top awards it gets as a city I would bore you. Top 100 places to live in America and dozens and dozens of others. A very special place.

I discovered Asheville by accident. I was in my early 20's and was driving from the High Point Furniture market to Knoxville, TN. Well, I hit an ice and snowstorm and got stranded in this tiny mountain town called Asheville for 2 days. Those were "Days Inn" days. I liked the place and made a note about it. (Asheville, not Days Inn)

A few years later my mom called me. They were in Atlanta with their house trailer in the summer of 1985. It was 100 degrees hot. They wanted to know if there was somewhere they could go and maybe even cool off. So I told them about Asheville. This tiny "Vermont" looking town in the southern mountains with great summer weather. They went and never left. They left their trailer there and every summer for 10 years that is where they went.

In 2004 I bought a condo there. From Never even saw the place before I purchased. The realtor thought I was crazy. Maybe I was. But I used that place as a starting point to get familiar with the area and look for something more exciting. In 2005 I bought an 11-acre parcel with a large home on it. The house was owned and built by a New York to Palm Beach Socialite and her Doctor husband. They both died shortly after building this really well thought out custom home. It's a mix of North Carolina and Park Avenue. Not a good fit for a family in Asheville but a Perfect fit for me! It took 15 minutes to decide to buy it. And I have spent time there ever since.

To my amazement, a town with a handful of mediocre places to eat at best started to attract many young chefs coming out of these culinary schools like Johnson and Wales and others, and it has now become THE foodie and Farm to Table capital. It's also the microbrewery beer capital of the east as well ranked just behind Boulder, Colorado which I love too!!. But back to Asheville, it's just a fantastic place. It's also home to the largest private house in America. The Biltmore Estate. 125,000 square feet on over 8000 acres.

Asheville, a cool city with a cool summer breeze nestled in between the Smokey mountains of Western North Carolina. Famous Blue Ridge Highway goes right thru it and some of the best white water rafting is close by!

Asheville is homegrown. It's akin to Greenwich Village or Hate Ashbury but so much larger and more extensive with lots of southern hospitality. I love Asheville! Everyone falls in love with this place, and you will fall in love too! It's also a huge music town known for its history. According to Fodor's, "Their music scene is like nothing you have experienced."

Here is a NY Times article about what to do with 36 hours in Asheville. It will challenge you! There is so much to do I hope we have time for domains!!

The early evening line outside just to get into the best chocolate shop EVER!

The guy at the door allowing folks in 1 by 1.

Believe me, by Asheville standards, he is completely normal. (It's still light out)

For years I have been thinking about an Asheville, NC Domainer Meet-up. But early on nobody ever heard of the place and it's not that easy to get to. I am not looking to work or start some business, just a "Dutch Treat" event in which like-minded professional domainers can meet, brainstorm together and pay directly to the venue wherever it is held. I can set the agenda and the venue but the rest is a group effort.

Successful domain investors only who want to be more successful and talk at a higher level. This is a self-financed, non-profit event open to full-time domainers but not unlimited seating. A place with no outside NOISE!

Tentatively, it would take place during the first-week f August. The evening of August 1st ending August 3rd. .I am sure some might stay even longer and make a real vacation out of it. Break bread, party a little, talk a lot, hang out and see where it goes. I am trying to decide what number to cap it off at. Too big won't serve the purpose, and I am not looking for a job. We are talking 3-4 dozen or so (including the spouse or significant other) not hundreds. It must be an intimate event for it to be of great value to those that participate.

I know the exact location in Asheville I want to meet, but beyond domaining, there will be lots of time to explore and enjoy the company of each other as well as all Ashevilleand surrounding area has to offer! 😊

With this post, I intend to gauge the amount of interest (if any) and go from there. A couple of successful domainers are already on board (Mike Berkens, Roy Messer) Those are the only two I have asked their opinion until this post, and they are in! That was just yesterday. And if it is just the 6 of us, that's fine too! It will be great, and it will be memorable. I can't wait! Join us!

Until then, here are some more pictures of Asheville. Let's take over there city and have some great fun!!

Rick Schwartz

26 thoughts on “Announcing: The First Annual, “Asheville Professional Domain Investor Meetup and Family Outing,” August 2019

      1. Alex Verdea

        John- The temps in the winter can go down to 20s and very rarely into teens. Some winters you might get a day or two of snow, or you might get none. You can fly in cheap from anywhere really..$50 from Ft. Lauderdale etc.

      2. steve

        Winters usually mild. But this year the winter has been brutal — very cold, and lots of snow and ice during the middle of December. We had to retreat to the Cali-fornia abode as we don’t like cabin fever and driving on black ice. I’ve lived in France, Italy, Ireland, Brasil, California, South Florida. Asheville and its surrounding areas and towns measure up to these countries in the spring and fall for gorgeous scenery – mountains, radiant flora, rivers, streams, and some of the best hiking trails on the planet.

  1. Matthew Klein


    Thank you for the incredible opportunity to spend time with great visionaries in an awesome location (at the best time of the year).

    Definite yes for me (plus spouse).

    Matthew Klein

  2. Bobby

    If you are ever in Raleigh check out the Angus Barn.
    My favorite restaurant in NC.
    Top notch service and food.

  3. Chris Geras

    A definite yes for me, Rick. I will pull up my beach blanket in Europe and zip on down. Thank you!

  4. Danny Welsh

    Asheville is a lovely place. I had the good fortune to visit Rick at his vacation home there, once. And years before that I worked back-of-the-room sales for a real estate seminar company holding an event in town (it was probably also at the Days Inn). During both times I remember the local food being exceptional. I did not visit the Biltmore Estate either time. Jealousy, maybe. I’m a lot more mature these days and think during my next visit to Asheville I’ll go and see what that much money buys you in a house. Happy travels to all who attend Rick’s meetup.

  5. Robert McLean

    I have not domain one that would permit me into an “Asheville Domain Summit.”

    Help me. New gtlds numbers have been hemorrhaging, badly in the last two weeks.

    However, there is no reporting, anywhere, of late on the abject failure of new gtlds!

    Robert McLean

  6. John Colascione

    It sounds great to me. I’d like to check out the North Carolina area and this would be a great reason to do so; I’ve driven through the state and stopped quick what feels like a 100 times, but never stayed and poked around.

  7. Steve

    I bought a mountain retreat in Asheville in 2014. I also bought the place sight unseen just via view on the Internet and the house and land actually turned out even better when I pulled up to the place when given the keys to home on September, 2014. Our intention was to stay here 3 months out of the year. But it’s become 6 months out of the year. It’s like living in a giant treehouse in the middle of the forest. And we’ve tried nearly all the great eateries in town — culinary delights on par with some of the finest restaurants in the Bay Area, New York, Madrid, Austin, South Florida. Also the home has been a great investment — it’s gone up in value about 12% per year, but I believe we’re hitting the peak on that. Yes, Asheville, let’s keep it weird. Combination of Portland, Boulder, Austin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Santa Fe.

    1. Steve Greenspan

      Summit is a great idea whose time has come. I attended Traffic years ago as newbie. It was very informative, direct and to the point had minimal fluff as I’m quite certain this newer incarnation similarly will be. Looking forward to sharing in helping others, plus hanging out with new like minded tribal creatives.


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