Grants help to tell stories of Danville, Pittsylvania County for tourists

On the cusp of a transformation shift to a traveling destination with the 2024 opening of Danville’s casino, city groups recently received about $30,000 to promote tourism in the region.

The city’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism will use $20,000 to build a visitor guide that showcases tourism spots in Danville and the county, a news release reported. The money comes from more than $2.7 million Gov. Glenn Younking announced for tourism projects throughout the state.

“They [visitor guides] are also effective at lengthening stays,” Lisa Meriwether, tourism manager for the Danville and Pittsylvania County, said. She also noted that about 90% of visitors pick a destination because of details provided in a guide.

The money comes ahead of Caesars Virginia’s plans for a casino at the former Dan River Inc. site in Schoolfield. The project includes a $500 million destination resort casino with 500 hotel rooms inspired by local scenery. There will also be a spa, pool area and fitness center.

Meeting and convention space will total 40,000 square feet with an entertainment venue to accommodate up to 2,500 guests. There will also be restaurants and bars. Nine hundred construction jobs will be filled as well as 1,300 operational jobs.

According to Meriwether, the guide has the backing of tourism partners in the region including the River District Association, Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex, Caesars Virginia and the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History.

The guide will highlight local attractions, lodging and eateries. The printed pieces will go in welcome centers throughout the region and state in addition to be distributed to local businesses.

Over at the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, a $10,000 grant will be used for a video project, “Share What You Love – Weaving Together Danville’s History,” the release stated.

The museum plans to partner with local historical sites and tourism and humanities groups to produce an overview of the city’s architecture and the stories they tell.

“We want to highlight the historical narratives and timelines of our beautiful city and share this information with our community and the many visitors to our destination,” Elsabe Dixon, the executive director of the museum, said in a statement. “We are so pleased to have the support of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.”

The project will feature places like Green Book civil rights sites, historical churches, tobacco and textile warehouses, Italianate villas and Millionaires’ Row Victorian houses, and the textile mill tenement of the Schoolfield village.

“Increased visitation translates directly into revenue generation, underscoring tourism’s important role in stimulating economic growth and expansion,” Rita McClenny, the president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Commission, said.

Article by Register & Bee