On Thursday, September 26, 2019, the Office of Economic Development & Tourism for the City of Lynchburg released its 2019 Year in Review. The work to support the City of Lynchburg business community creates a vibrant economy, a thriving local government and excellent service delivery for Lynchburg’s citizens. Through business development, support services, placemaking and marketing, the Office of Economic Development & Tourism is not only serving the business community but removing barriers for each and every citizen of Lynchburg to achieve success.
This past year has marked a handful of tremendous milestones for the City of Lynchburg, including:
Last year, our office launched a new Blueprint for Opportunity, a five year strategic action plan focused on five key priorities: growing existing businesses, engaging anchor institutions, filling workforce pipelines, enhancing quality of place, and communicating Lynchburg’s story to the world.
This year, in partnership with Campbell County, we have forged a relationship with Edison Welding Institute (EWI), a research and development organization that empowers industry leaders to overcome complex manufacturing challenges and integrate new processes to bring products to market more quickly and efficiently.
Our tourism sales team brings investment to the City’s lodging, dining and attractions – as a result of tourism sales efforts in Fiscal Year 2019, 121 sales leads and assists produced events and room nights with an estimated economic impact of $14.6 million.
- Recognizing that there is an opportunity for the City to enhance its presence in the sports tourism market, our office developed a Sports Tourism Strategic Plan this spring. Working with Huddle Up Group, a comprehensive blueprint was developed to bring key stakeholders together to form and manage an expanded sports tourism marketing program for Lynchburg to enhance our position as a player in the sports tourism and events industry. With our college and university assets and the City’s excellent Parks and Recreation facilities, we see a bright future for bringing large scale sports events and the economic impact that results.
- In 2019, the Lynchburg Visitor Center at the corner of 12th and Church Streets underwent full indoor and outdoor renovations to re-brand and modernize the building to better serve the needs of visitors and the community. The Center will focus on promoting a unique Lynchburg experience, foster entrepreneurial activities, and host pop-up shops, arts and cultural programs, and more.
- We hosted the Virginia Film Office for a familiarization tour, showing them interior and exterior film locations to build their statewide database with a visit to the state of the art film school at Liberty.
The 2019 Year in Review also includes a statistics about the health of Lynchburg’s economy, population and commercial growth.
“We have a bright future. As we roll up our sleeves, we recognize that none of this work is possible without the consistent and engaged collaboration of our private, public, educational, and nonprofit partners,” said Marjette Upshur, director. “It is our belief that each community member offers a critical strength that helps advance our collective goals. There is nothing we cannot achieve when we work together to move our City forward”.