Petersburg, Va. – Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier hosted Petersburg Area Regional Tourism's (PART) first ever celebration to kick-off National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) on May 6th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event included representatives from the PART region of Virginia to include Chesterfield County, City of Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie County, City of Hopewell, City of Petersburg and Prince George County.
Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors Chairman, William D. Chavis opened the speakers line up and shared the reasoning behind the drive and direction of Dinwiddie County's leadership when it comes to the tourism industry. Jerry Desmond, Executive Director of Pamplin Historical Park, welcomed those present and provided insights about the Park and it's 25th anniversary celebrations coming up on May 26-27, 2019. Desmond also spoke on the value of heritage and culture attractions which connect out-of-town visitors with the local communities. Dinwiddie County Administrator Kevin Massengill then spoke on the impact of the hospitality industry and tourism in Dinwiddie County and how it has increased tax revenues from direct tourism activities. Virginia Delegate Lashrecse D. Aird of the 63rd District spoke about the importance of tourism to Central Virginia in elevating both the quality of life for residents and those visiting the region.
Martha Burton of Petersburg Area Regional Tourism showed the attendees the newly launched www.petersburgarea.org website and handed out freshly printed visitor guides boasting the best places to visit, dine and lodge in the region. Burton then introduced Rita McClenny, President and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC). McClenny offered anecdotes from her time growing up in Southampton County, Virginia at the cross roads of agriculture, dining, history and hospitality. McClenny energized the crowd with personal approach to the tourism industry and all left with a greater appreciation of the broad impact of tourism on industry employment, tax revenues and how it shapes the future today. She also showed a video on the "50 Years of Love" where the VTC is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year in new partnership grants to promote tourism activities and events throughout the state.
Attendees then had the opportunity to sample some of the finest dining from the region represented by Crumbs, Dogwood Trace Golf Course, Luca Italian Restaurant, Sedona Tap House, Sweet Temptations, Verde, Willows Bend Farm among others.
Dinwiddie County was well represented not only by county representatives, vendors and host Pamplin Historical Park but, by Virginia Motorsports Park (VMP) as well. VMP owner Tommy Franklin was on hand with his Pro Nitrous drag race car and two smaller cars that flanked the entrance to the Park. Franklin represented not only his own extreme sport but all adventure sports within the PART region and those opening in the near future.
NTTW began 35 years ago by a congressional resolution. The VTC website describes NTTW this way, "It’s a time when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal well-being."
One of “Virginia’s Best Places to Visit” according to the Travel Channel, and designated as a National Historic Landmark, Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is a 424-acre Civil War campus located in Dinwiddie County, Virginia offering a combination of high-tech museums and hands-on experiences. The Park has four world-class museums and four antebellum homes. The Park is also the site of The Breakthrough Battlefield of April 2, 1865 and America’s premiere participatory experience, Civil War Adventure Camp. For more information, please call 804-861-2408 or visit www.pamplinpark.org.