Lynchburg Tourism Employees Decline City Employment Offer

Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg City officials announced the offer on the table for the Chamber's current employees was rejected by four of the five staffers. This is the latest development in an ongoing struggle between the city and the chamber of commerce over the future of this tourism program.

Why, for now, will be left unanswered. What is known is that most staff that made Discover Lynchburg a nationally recognized program won't be here come next year.

A sense at Historic Sandusky, "I'm concerned about it" said Greg Starbuck.

That Hill City tourism could collapse.

"We'd like to see continuity; we'd like to build upon the success of the program over the last five years" said Starbuck.

Not only is Starbuck the Executive Director at Sandusky, he's Chair of Lynchburg's tourism board.

"Not having those people come back with combined experience, is going to be taking a step backwards" he said.

Four of five senior tourism staffers will not be returning to their post come January 1st; this following a refusal of the chamber of commerce to sign the city's newest tourism contract.

Each employee was offered the same pay, working under a new city system. But historic Hill City tourism teams are left wondering now, what's next?

"I have concerns about it maintaining the excellence that it had previously" said Starbuck.

"My number one goal here is to provide the same level of service to stakeholders in the tourism program that they've had in the past" said City Manager, Kimball Payne.

But assurance from city officials, that the triumphs of tourism, including increased traffic to sites like Sandusky, will be kept, "They had an opportunity here to make another choice, and that's where they are, and now we have an opportunity to re-examine this program and somebody will have an opportunity to come work for us" said Payne.

Employees of the Lynchburg visitor's center were also offered employment under the city. The search for filling these positions I'm told will begin as quickly as possible.

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