Danville City Council Discussing Proposed 'Tourism Zone'

Danville, VA - Danville City Council will be discussing expanding the proposed tourism zone in their meeting Tuesday night.

For more than a year, city leaders have thrown around the idea of designating a section of the city as a tourism zone that could give tax incentives to businesses locating in the area.

Before they vote on it, council plans to make the area even larger.

Danville's Science Center certainly draws attention lately. They're months away from finishing their newest project, the digital dome.
Executive Director Jeff Liverman says anything that can bring more people to Danville and more eyes on the Science Center is a good thing.
"Any assistance we can get in tourism is going to help," said Liverman.
In fact, the Science Center depends on tourism with 75% of their visitors from out of town. That's why Liverman fully supports the proposal to designate part of the city, including the Science Center, as a 'tourist zone'.
"Any investments that we can make in shining a light on our wonderful city are good. Bringing people here so they can spend money with us that's good," said Liverman.
The tourism zone originally included just the River District. But city council plans to expand the proposed area across the river to the North Theater as well as the site of the new YMCA.
"To have a strong Danville you got to have a strong core. And the River District is our core," said City Councilman Lee Vogler.
Lee Vogler says the tourism zone would offer tax incentives, drawing in businesses to a central hub.
"To have that synergy, to have all these different businesses together draws traffic," said Vogler.
Vogler says the zone would be mostly used for economic development and hopefully bring in more jobs and revenue. Something, Liverman says would really help the city.
"When people come from outside our region they spend money and they leave it here," said Liverman.
City council will review the expanded zone Tuesday night. If approved, council will vote on creating a tourism zone at their next meeting. Then they would notify Virginia Tourism to have it recognized by the state as well.