Towns will assess tourism sites

Published 9:29 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

Kenbridge and Victoria will participate in two days of meetings as the localities catalog their tourist attractions — an effort they hope will lead to marketing money.

The meetings will be held in April.

Victoria Town Manager Rodney Newton said the effort would be undertaken as part of efforts to stitch together tourist sites across the southern region of the state — specifically along the Tobacco Heritage Trail.

“Set some goals, set some plans to try to increase tourism, some traffic coming through here,” Newton said.

Victoria Mayor Carol Watson said the town certainly has its attractions, including the 21-acre Victoria Railroad Park.

Located near the downtown and central business district, the park has pavilions, playground equipment, restroom facilities, a volleyball sand court, horseshoe pits, paved walking trails, gravel walking trails and geo-caches to find historical Virginian Railroad cars caboose and equipment.

A section of the trail goes off into a wooded area that a Tobacco Heritage Trail website notes “is the ideal hike for someone seeking solitude as a companion.”

Watson agreed the town has to do more “for people to know what we have.”

Council member Kenneth Boyd said he will attend.

The meetings would be split with one held in Kenbridge and one in Victoria.

Newton said county officials could be invited to attend.

He added that the effort could lead to marketing money to help promote the localities and the county.

Victoria has put an emphasis on attracting people.

In what local leaders called “good PR” and a way to draw in tourist and provide something for its residents, Victoria will again host several high-profile events this year: its Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Saturday, March 26; its fourth annual National Day of the Cowboy event on Saturday, July 23; the 36th Autumn Day Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 8; and hold the fifth annual Small Town Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 10. The Victoria Fire Department will sponsor the 2nd Annual Truck/Tractor Pull, Saturday, Oct. 8. And — if no other locality or group is willing to do it — the town is also still considering hosting the Christmas Parade again.