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Clarke County Makes Tourism a Priority

"Clarke County is very special, because we have a lot of properties in conservation easement,” said Secretary of the Board of Barns at Rose Hill Susi Bailey. “We're interested in preserving out land as well as our history."

BERRYVILLE, Va. - Clarke County is making tourism a priority this year.

After putting together a tourism strategic plan over the holidays, the Clarke County and Berryville Town governments are working together to elect a tourism board of directors.

"The tourism board is being recruited right now,” said Diana Kincannon, the Chairman of the Board at Barns at Rose Hill.

The Barns, as they are affectionately called by locals, houses the county’s only Visitor Center. Because of their proximity to the local government center, and their hand in attracting art shows, musicians and hosting other events at The Barns, they are also assisting in selecting the new board of directors.

“There will be a meeting on Friday morning between town and county representatives and The Barns. And that will be an initial meeting, a kickoff meeting,” Kincannon said with a smile.

Along with getting Clarke County certified as an official Appalachian Trail community, building a large hotel to accommodate the incoming tourists is another top priority of the strategic plan

"We can't really move forward without some sort of venue that can accommodate folks,” said Berryville’s Assistant Town Planner Christy Dunkle. “It's going to benefit the existing businesses that are here, and [they can host] larger events that they can't accommodate now."

They hope to target civil war enthusiasts with their preserved battlefields, outdoor and athletic types with hiking and biking tours, and young professionals looking for day trips away from city life.

"This is not a magical happenstance that this is still rural, within the metropolitan statistical area of Washington D.C. It's very unusual, very intentional to keep the county agricultural, with Berryville as the main growth area," Dunkle said.

"Clarke County is very special, because we have a lot of properties in conservation easement,” said Secretary of the Board of Barns at Rose Hill Susi Bailey. “We're interested in preserving out land as well as our history."

They hope to select local tourism professionals from historic sites and bed and breakfasts to sit on the new board of directors.

"A marketing plan will come out of that tourism board and in addition [they will take] care of technical requirements, such as signage that will be needed on the highways,” Kincannon said.

Because tourism is a relatively new priority, any financial allotment from local governments has yet to be decided.

To gather footage for this story, Merris visited the locations listed below. We’ve included them here for your convenience.

 

Berryville Sites:

Barns of Rose Hill

95 Chalmers Ct., Berryville, VA 22611

(540) 955-2004

barnsofrosehill.org

 

Clarke County Historical Association

32 East Main Street, Berryville, VA 22611

(540) 955-2600

clarkehistory.org

 

Josephine School Community Museum

303 Josephine Street, Berryville, VA 22611

(540) 955-5512

millertek.net/jscm

 

Holy Cross Abbey

901 Coll Spring Ln., Berryville VA 22611

(540) 955-4383

virginiatrappists.org

 

Smithfield Farms B&B

568 Smithfield Ln., Berryville, VA 22611

(540) 955-4389

Smithfieldfarm.com

 

Millwood Sites:

Burwell Morgan Mill

15 Tannery Ln., Millwood, VA 22646

(540) 837-1799

burwellmorganmill.org

 

The Locke Store

2049 Millwood Rd., Millwood, VA 22646

(540) 837-1275

lockestore.com

 

Long Branch Historic Plantation

830 Long Branch Ln., Millwood, VA 22646

(540) 837-1956

visitlongbranch.org

 

Crossed Racquet Inn at Twin Gates Bed and Breakfast

908 Bishop Meade Highway, Millwod VA 22646

(540) 837-1901

facebook.com/pages/Crossed-Racquets-Inn/283909721709155

 

Old Chapel and Burwell Cemetery

Intersection of Route 340 and Route 255. Millwood, VA 22646

(540) 955-3832

cunninghamchapel.com/oldchapl.html

 

Boyce Sites:

Blandy Experimental Farm

Blandy Farm Ln., Boyce, VA 22620

(540) 837-1758

blandy.virginia.edu

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