Plan to Reinvent Appomattox
Appomattox, VA - Could Appomattox be the next Williamsburg? According to a recent study, the answer is yes, if certain steps are taken.
The purpose of the study is to help Appomattox prosper. The study has four main goals: create jobs, retain jobs, expand the tax base, and establish economic stability. And it shows, putting a focus on tourism can really catapult the Appomattox economy.
"We're the only place in the world where our Civil War ended. And for some reason we haven't really capitalized on that - up until this point," said Bill Slagle, chair, Economic Development Authority, Appomattox County.
Bill Slagle is the chair of the Appomattox County Economic Development Authority.
"We we want to be a viable, vibrant community," said Slagle.
Slagle grew up in Appomattox County. And seeing the recent loss of jobs and industry was disheartening.
"We want our community to thrive, we want our children to be able to live here if they want to and not have to leave to find jobs," said Slagle.
To turn things around Slagle reached out to Liberty University Professor of Marketing Ken Brunson.
"You have something already so we can improve on what you have," said Brunson.
Brunson says Appomattox's rich history can grow through tourism, much like Williamsburg has.
"We can bring ongoing re-enactors, this only happens a few times a year now," said Brunson.
His 30 month plan suggests bringing in a hotel, restaurant, even a trolley.
"As we add things for people to see, they have to stay somewhere and most are staying in Lynchburg and some are staying in Farmville," said Brunson.
Slagle agrees. But to get it done, he says he's going to need the community behind him.
"This is an opportunity for us to come together and work together to make this really attractive, jewel of a thing we have work, and we will," said Slagle.
Slagle and Brunson will present this plan to the Appomattox County Board of Supervisors Monday evening.