Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 18, 2013

Tazewell County mulling welcome signs, slogan

By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — Motorists may soon be welcomed to Tazewell County with new signage and even a new county slogan as part of efforts to attract more tourism to the area.

County Administrator Jim Spencer said members of the county’s tourism committee and Board of Supervisors are looking into the possibility of erecting welcome signs at all major entrances to the county.

“We have a committee meeting with our county’s tourism committee to discuss recommendations for signs,” Spencer said. “This is a joint effort between both the tourism committee and the Board of Supervisors. We want to have signs at all of the primary entrances to the county. You can’t have signs at every road going into the county because there are so many, but it would be nice to have as many welcome signs as possible. We are mainly looking at the major, four-lane roadways.”

While Bluefield, Va., is known as “Virginia’s Tallest Town” and Tazewell as “The Jewel of the Clinch,” Spencer said there is not yet an official county slogan. However, Spencer said a slogan will be another consideration the committee will be looking into for the new signs.

“We have not yet talked about a slogan for the signs, either,” Spencer said. “I know a few years back when we went on our legislative visit to Richmond we touted Tazewell County as ‘Vanderbilt’s First Choice’ as he originally wanted to build the Biltmore House in Burke’s Garden but couldn’t secure the land. A lot of our towns have different slogans as well, which brand them.”

Spencer said there are a lot of elements to consider when designing a new sign.

“The committee will also be discussing the design and manufacture of the sign,” Spencer said. “I know Margie Douglass, our economic development and tourism coordinator, has been in contact with several sign manufacturers and has been looking through several designs for this. We haven’t made any decisions yet on what type of sign we are looking to have or exactly what each sign would say.”

Spencer said signs will not only welcome visitors but add to the   county’s overall aesthetic appeal.

“It adds a lot of curb appeal to the area,” he said. “Bluefield has a lot of nice and nicely done signs around all of its entrances that let people know they are in town. Bluefield, Va., has a lot of nice flags around town and so does Tazewell. Richlands has a lot of beautiful lights in some areas. A lot of our local towns have done a lot to improve their curb appeal in this way. We are glad to see them sprucing up their areas and taking pride in their area. A lot of local effort has gone in to improve tourism and curb appeal for our towns.”

With tourism season starting soon, Spencer said the goal is to have the signs in place soon.

“We are hoping to get these signs done as quickly as possible so we can have them up,” Spencer said. “We want the signs in place before the peak of the tourism season, which is the spring and summer. We are proud residents of Tazewell County, and we want to invite people to come in, see our community and even stay here. Tourism is a vital part of economic development as well.”

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com쇓