Town to host regular tourism forums

Front Royal is looking engage its local businesses and residents on its on-going efforts to expand local tourism.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the town will be holding its second tourism forum in the Warren County Government Center.

Tim Smith, director of the Front Royal Visitor Center, said that the forum will be similar to the business forums hosted by Town Manager Steve Burke. Smith said that he is hoping to hold the forums every other month.

Smith noted that the forums are designed to give people a sense of special projects the town is working on and how tourism developing.

As an example, Smith noted that there has been some talk and rumblings about the possible creation of an artisan trail.

One of the projects the town is now looking to launch forward is a “Rediscover Front Royal” marketing campaign that aims to draw more attention to the area.

“Right now, we’re going to kind of keep it within the region, within the area, just to draw more … folks that are maybe surrounding the area,” Smith said.

Smith said Thursday’s forum will also include a discussion on the town’s DRIVE Tourism campaign.

The town completed this program in April. It is run through the Virginia Tourism Corp. and contains the simple goal of enhancing local tourism.

Niki Foster, director of the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce, said that she and the group, which is composed of local businesses, have had conversations about initial projects for the program.

She said they have discussed three ideas, which includes signage, transportation shuttles to area attractions and a possible arts and culture center.

“That would be something that would be very far down the line,” Foster said. “It’s sort of one of those things that we looked at, said, ‘you know, that would be a great thing for the community.”

While there are no concrete plans for that center, Foster said the group will be looking to apply for a Virginia Tourism Corp.  grant for one of the other two ideas.

“More than likely, [the grant] would be for the signage,” she said.

She noted the group will be meeting in a couple of weeks to discussion the initial DRIVE tourism ideas and finalize what the grant application will entail.

The tourism forum is open to the public and will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday on the second floor of the Warren County Government Center.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com