PE Focuses On Tourism

Published 5:20 pm Thursday, January 19, 2012

PRINCE EDWARD – An average of 181 guests per month stopped by Virginia's Heartland Regional Visitor Center and signed the guest book, according to a year-end report presented to County supervisors.

That's up from 152.5 per month in 2010.

Still, that was last year's news, but 2012 offers more opportunities for tourism growth.

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Prince Edward County's Tourism and Visitor Center Coordinator Magi Van Eps outlined several upcoming events at the Board's January 10 meeting. Specifically what's in store for the coming year…

*Sometime in January, signs will be placed on U.S. Route 460 at the Route 15 entrance into Farmville highlighting the Farmville Historic District/Heartland Regional Tourist Center for the next exit.

*On March 3, the 13th annual Appomattox Courthouse National Historic Park and Longwood University Pre-Civil War seminar will be held at the University.

*Sailor's Creek Battlefield State Park will have a grand opening on March 9. The park has a new visitors center and museum and the Overton-Hillsman Farm House (a field hospital during the battle), fully restored and furnished, will also be open that day.

*On March 31, a grand opening of the Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox has been slated. About a week and a half prior to that event, a ribbon cutting is set for public officials.

*April 11 is annual Civil War Trails Day, an event sponsored by the Virginia Civil War Trails Corporation.

*Friends of High Bridge Trail State Park (on a date to be determined) will host the first person to officially cross the bridge on the date of the bridge inspection. (Tickets for the fundraiser are on sale at the visitor's center.) Sometime after that-possibly late April or early May-there will be a grand opening of the park.

Ms. Van Eps also highlighted that a marketing campaign-The Best Part Of The Civil War…The End-will offer a free gift to those stopping by one of the designated visitors centers or state parks. They need only to show an ad paid for through the marketing campaign.

“This gift will help us to better solidify your return on investment. Because only those visitors who bring in an ad will receive the gift,” Ms. Van Eps said.

The gift, a lapel pin created from a photo of stacked arms taken at a recent reenactment, will be dispersed at the ten locations throughout the best park region-including Amelia, Cumberland, Prince Edward, the Town of Appomattox, Virginia State Parks District IV, and the Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox.