Lynchburg, VA - What began as an idea has transformed into an online movement in Lynchburg. It's a website called LynchVegas.com. It showcases anything and everything unique to see and do around Lynchburg.
It started a few months ago, and it already has a huge following.
It began as a way to show college students that Lynchburg can be fun, as much fun as Las Vegas. Now, the site attracts hundreds of different people, and showcases all of the best the hill city has to offer.
"A lot of my friends used to tell me, you know this place is boring, there's nothing to do. And I was like, well, there's stuff to do, you've just got to know where to find it," said the site's creator, Robert Johns.
And so Johns, a Liberty grad, and Lynchburg lover, hit the World Wide Web, to share with nay sayers his favorite spots in the hill city.
"And we just started posting all the cool stuff that we enjoyed ourselves - White Hart, different restaurants and businesses," he said.
What started with a few favorites has now snowballed into more than 80 restaurants, clothing and coffee shops. It's expanded, now featuring events, artists, and musicians.
Its following has grown as well. The site gets hundreds of hits, with a similar number of fans on Facebook and twitter.
"It's brought us more revenue, more business, and more customers," said Andrew Schools, the owner of The White Hart Café.
The White Hart Cafe was the website's first feature.
"I think there is a misconception that there's nothing to do. I think especially when you first come here, you don't really venture outside the Wards Road area, and that's all you see of Lynchburg is franchises and big chain stores," said Schools.
Website users agree, "Yea, Wards Road's got some nice stores I guess, but paying more and more attention to the downtown area is important," said one user.
"Anything that's going to draw more awareness to cool, little, local businesses like that, definitely a good thing," said another.
"It's just something fun for us to do honestly, and it's something we think can bring good value to the community," said Johns.
All of the website's six staff members are volunteers, and have full time day jobs. The site hopes to begin sponsoring Lynchburg events in the coming months.