Talking tourism in Shenandoah

The Valley Banner

SHENANDOAH – Efforts to promote tourism were on the table during last week’s Council meeting.

Mayor Clinton O. Lucas Jr. and Councilman David Hinkle said they support efforts to get two or three pedal boats operating on the South Fork of Shenandoah River.

Their comments came on the heels of Planning Commissioner Craig Lancto’s suggestions to spur tourism.

Lancto sent a letter to council that included numerous ideas, including pedal boats.

In addition to promoting tourism, Lancto said the purpose of the proposal was also to draw visitors to the “underutilized Shenandoah Landing.”

He said each pedal boat would cost between $500 and $850. He suggested using the Transient Occupancy Tax or grants from the Virginia Tourism Corporation or other agencies to defray start-up costs.

Hinkle called Lancto’s suggestions “a good proposal” and said the town could look into setting it up as a private entity in conjunction with a concession stand or Shenandoah River Adventures.

Lancto’s letter also mentioned a 10 to 12 person pontoon barge or party boat at a cost of $22,000 to $30,000 that could be used for river excursions.

He also offered suggestions for Big Gem Park, noting that county supervisors have provided $10,000 for connecting water lines to the park.

His ideas include: a campground for camper trailers and/or RVs; hiking shelters, primitive cabins, yurts or teepees; games such as cornhole boards or slip-and-slide; mini-museums that promote railroad history or ironworks; or a train that would connect Shenandoah Landing with shops and Big Gem Park.

Lancto said profit for the town is not the goal but rather bringing tourist dollars to local businesses.

Odds and ends
Also at the Oct. 27 meeting, Council unanimously approved spending $250 from the Transient Occupancy Tax for a bronze sponsorship of the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce banquet, which will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Mimslyn Inn, 401 W. Main St., Luray.

Council also approved a resolution that the Virginia Department of Transportation take over maintenance of High Knoll Terrace and Locustdale Loop in the Forest Knolls Estates subdivision on the north side of town.

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