to Restructure Economic Development /Creation of Tourism Program
January 3, 2002; (Revised
January 22, 2002)
Last year, on September 17th, 2002, the board received
the recommendations of the Tourism Task Force.
Those recommendations were straightforward:
Create a central point for planning and
tourism coordination for Fauquier
Create a Fauquier County Tourism Advisory
Council and a Fauquier County Department of Tourism
Recommend an approach to establish a
tourism assessment for Fauquier.
The board received the recommendations and
I was instructed to develop a more fully-fleshed proposal.
The nature of
the Council should be geographically and organizationally inclusive;
however, in order to have not unwieldy membership numbers, its membership
should be limited to no more than 15, with equal involvement by all
regions of the county.
proposals are two-fold: #1,
if adequate funding resources exist, hire a part-time Tourism Coordinator.
#2, if those resources don’t exist, task the County Economic
Development Director to focus on tourism for the coming year in addition
to his work on business retention.
The Tourism Coordinator or such designee should have as his/her
primary task support of the Tourism Advisory Council, coordination for
events and development of tourism opportunities.
budget exigencies this year, we need to be careful about any department
good work is ongoing in the Economic Development Department in terms of
business development, communication with state economic development
agencies, and coordination with local economic development entities
(Partnership for Warrenton, Remington Community Partnership, the
Warrenton-Fauquier Chamber, Vint Hill EDA).
coordination needs to continue; if proposal #2 is selected by the board,
the Director of Economic Development should develop a program of work for
tourism, to include support of a County Tourism Advisory Council, that
recognizes realistic time work limits.
Heritage Tourism should be a primary focus of the Advisory Council;
success in development and planning requires a structured, knowledgeable
group representative of all the Heritage preservation entities in
Thus it is my recommendation that the Heritage community should
have its own committee, to meet quarterly, established as a subcommittee
of the Tourism Council.
That committee should be modeled on the Historic Resources
Committee, which included representation of all geographic regions and
major heritage organizations within Fauquier.
A spokesperson for that subcommittee would then serve on the
Tourism Advisory Council.
Historic Resources Committee reviewed and made recommendations for
preservation in Fauquier, to include development of Heritage tourism.
While its recommendations went beyond the scope of the proposed
Tourism Council, to include such items as an historian for Fauquier County
government, the Historic Resources Committee’s overall goal of
preservation goes hand in hand with development of Heritage tourism. It
would be appropriate for the Historic Resources Committee to also provide informational support for
the County ARB and Planning Commission, as requested, as part of its core
Currently the Fauquier Chamber serves as
the “keeper” of the Warrenton- Fauquier Visitors Center. This report recommends that no change occur in that
designation/liaison at this time.
Many issues regarding visitors center planning need to be resolved;
and the Chamber is currently re-evaluating its role under new leadership.
The above-proposed structure seeks to
achieve consistency in volunteer structures and coordination through an
on-going program less subject to leadership changes than under the current
non-profit scenario. Furthermore,
the proposal involves current players and provides a mechanism for
consistent communication and tourism growth, with only minimal expansion
of government resources, through use of the committee structure.
In the past the Fauquier Chamber has more
than amply served the role, indeed has been the leader of tourism
initiatives in Fauquier. However,
if Fauquier is to develop a professional, comprehensive tourism program,
building on the successes of the past, we will need larger community
involvement and additional resources.
It is unfair to rely on one organization to be a one-stop shop.
Sharon Grove McCamy