Highland County Economic Development Authority Launches New Video As Part Of Capital Campaign To Raise Over Four Million

Monterey, Va –
The Highland Center has a new video featuring the capital campaign with a goal of raising over 4 million dollars for renovating the center’s historic building in Monterey. Some campaign funds will also support the Center’s programs. At the recent Economic Development Authority meeting Betty Mitchell showed the video and talked about recent efforts to identify funding sources.

“Casey and I have made two trips to Richmond in the last 8 days and have shown this to six different potential funders,” she says. “This has gotten a great reception as far as telling the story and so those are applications we’ll be submitting in the spring for challenge grants from private foundations. That will certainly help give us the private money that we will need for some of the public funds that we’ll be applying for as well with a big hope that we can start renovation at this time next year.

EDA members were very impressed with what they saw on the recent trip to Floyd, Virginia. Tourism subcommittee chair Carolyn Pohowsky was excited to see how successful Floyd County has been in promoting tourism.

“They came up with a good marketing plan and they have done an incredible job of creating their own image with what they have,” she says. “They didn’t bring anything new in, they didn’t build anything special; they just took what they had and said this is who we are and they marketed themselves as that.”

“They’re very authentic and I think that’s about the most important thing you can say when you’re putting together a marketing plan about your community is that authenticity is incredibly important. We have got so much going for us here in Highland County and there is no reason why we can’t benefit in exactly the same way as Floyd County has.”

Ms. Pohowsky continues with a description of the Artisans’ Trail project.

“The other thing that we’re working on currently is the Artisans Trail and we are moving forward now building up a database of local artists and crafts people,” she says. “This is a state wide initiative; Kirk [Billingsley] talked about the “Round the Mountain” artists trail that has benefitted Floyd County so much; that same concept is now being developed throughout the state. So counties can either go into it on their own or they can develop partnerships.”
“In the case of Highland, it made the most sense for Highland, Bath, Craig and Allegheny to partner together for this initiative and we’ve received funding from the Allegheny Foundation to the tune of $26,500.00 I believe. That money will be used over the next three years to develop an artisans trail for our four county region.”

Betty Mitchell goes on to talk about an upcoming visit by Floyd officials to Highland County.

“I’ve been in touch with them since then and they do want to come up and visit after Maple Festival, probably in April,” says Mitchell, “and have a tour with us and sit down and have further discussions.”

The next meeting of the Highland County Economic Development Authority is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 at 7 pm in the Highland Center.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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