I can't comment on Asheville OC, but there are a few members here who haven't had any problems in that area. As far as the pistol purchase permits go, you only need to get one to purchase a handgun. If you are bringing handguns from out of state, there isn't any need for one. The pistol purchase permit thing is stupid. It is left over from Jim Crow laws which tried to prevent minorities from purchasing handguns.
Get your Utah out-of-state CHP so you can CC in NC while you are waiting for the NC CHP to be processed. Or you can just OC
EDIT: I wanted to add that the Asheville area is a somewhat liberal area of the state, yet no one has had any problems OCing. Good luck with the move!