The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Culpeper going digital to attract more visitors
BY DONNIE JOHNSTON
Social media have become some of the primary tools of tourism.
That was what Culpeper Tourism Director Lori Sorrentino told the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
Culpeper hopes to have its new mobile website operational later this week, and information about town and county attractions—from Civil War sites to dining facilities—are now on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
QR codes are even available on tourism pamphlets, allowing visitors to listen to tour information on their smartphones as they walk through Culpeper.
“I know many older people prefer brochures, but the younger generation is attracted to social media,” Sorrentino said.
Still, the tourism director assured the board that traditional ads are being placed in a number of magazines in an attempt to bring tourists to the area.
Those visitors, she noted, contributed more than $3 million to the local economy in 2008.
“And that amount has increased every year since,” she added.
Sorrentino told the supervisors that her office is getting an additional $45,000 in funding from the town this fiscal year, for a total of $280,000.
That money will go to add a second full-time position to her department. There is also one 20-hour employee.
The county pays nothing toward the tourism budget.
County Treasurer David DeJarnette also presented his annual report, which noted that while real-estate tax collections are up a bit (now 99.28 percent over the past 20 years), personal-property tax collections were down slightly.
He said that was in large part because people had left town during the recession without paying back taxes on vehicles.
“That just has to work its way through the system,” he said.
Courtney Rogers from Davenport and Associates informed the board that the bond sale to raise $21 million in revenue for the renovation of Culpeper High School should occur on Sept. 18 with closing Oct. 18.
He added that Culpeper County’s AA bond rating will be saving taxpayers about $5 million in interest over the course of its current debt.
In other action, the Board of Supervisors:
Presented Elizabeth Bennett with a “Culpeper Colonel” award. Bennett was instrumental in getting the town’s Main Street initiative going back in 1988.
Approved the Lenn Brothers’ request to build an amphitheater at Lenn Park. The entrance into the park will be named Edwin Way in honor of Edwin Lenn, the supervisors decided.
Approved a use permit to allow Frederick and Carol Lane to enlarge existing structures and build others at their agricultural-vehicle repair business at Brandy station.
Approved renewal of a use permit for a town police shooting range on Keyser Road just off Chandler Street.