Liberty University Students Reveal Study on Downtown Lynchburg

Lynchburg, VA - The results are in on a study about downtown Lynchburg. A marketing class at Liberty University looked at how to get more people to visit that part of the Hill City for Lynch's Landing.

For three months, 25 students studied the pros and cons of downtown Lynchburg. The findings show that this downtown is already on the right track.

The nonprofit Lynch's Landing has one main mission: Revitalizing downtown, which is what this study is all about.

"So, today is a really exciting day for us," said Anna Bentson, director of Lynch's Landing.

The students used flyers and online surveys to gather the information.

Deana Dennis is a marketing major at LU. Her group focused on college students.

"As much exposure you can get out, the better," said Dennis.

They found that most students didn't hear or know about downtown events. They suggested more marketing on social media - and not just using 140 characters, but visuals of downtown too.

"Showing the bands, showing crowds of people having a good time getting good food. Just overall that exciting picture, that shows that's a place I want to be," said Dennis.

According to the study, most people are visiting downtown for recreation, while dining came in second and shopping third. But, the number one complaint is parking.

"One of the big takeaways for me: A lot of the research is validating what we're already doing and what we want to move towards," said Bentson.

The study involved interviewing other cities that had successful revitalization. That research showed a performing arts center as essential for getting people downtown.

"We're doing it. We're already doing it," said Bentson.

Earlier this year, the Academy of Fine Arts launched a campaign to finish the historic Academy of Music theater.

Lynch's landing says its main goal is to get more people downtown, and believe this latest study will help make that happen.