Tourism zones to offer incentives

The Front Royal Town Council has voted to establish three tourism zones for businesses that will attract visitors.

Council voted Monday to establish the Downtown Business Tourism Zone, the Entrance Corridor Tourism Zone and the Community Business Tourism Zone to provide tax incentives for businesses in retail, dining, lodging, entertainment, culture and arts, personal services and offices and condominiums.

Businesses in those sectors will be able to have Business Professional Occupational License (BPOL) tax and permit fee waivers, as well as a zero interest payment plan for tap fees for up to 10 years. The incentives will be provided based on the level of investment and job creation.

Jeremy Camp, director of planning for the town, said the incentives are open for expansion of tourist businesses.

“Any existing business can take advantage of this program as long as they have a project where they’re going to expand, because it’s about economic development and ways to help tourism in the town,” he said.

“It’s not going help existing businesses that aren’t proposing any expansions or improvements,” Camp added.

Camp said one of the highlights of the zones is the incentives for condominium development in the downtown area.

“It’s advantageous to the health of our downtown to have nicer, condominium dwellings where there’s home ownership involved instead of low income rentals,” he said. “The tap fee financing could be pretty significant for those projects because they have to pay on each unit.”

Camp said businesses interested in taking advantage of the incentives should contact the Department of Planning and Zoning at 540-635-4236.

The following is a list of the incentives, which are broken into tiers.

Tier 1

  • Capital Investment: $10,000-$99,999
  • Jobs Created: One to three
  • BPOL Tax Waiver: up to four years

Tier 2

  • Capital Investment: $100,000-$499,999
  • Jobs Created: Four to 10
  • BPOL Tax Waiver: up to seven years

Tier 3
Capital Investment: $500,000 or more
Jobs Created: 11 or more
BPOL Tax Waiver: up to 10 years

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com