The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Work is progressing well on the Harvester Performance Center, with Rocky Mount Town Council approving a contract for lighting and sound equipment Monday night. At a cost of more than $260,000, the state-of-the-art stage should be a big hit for concert goers and musicians alike.
Town Council also is applying for grant money from the Tobacco Commission, which helps fund projects that relate to economic development. The center, when completed, will certainly contribute to economic development, especially in the area of tourism. As we have said many times before, people will travel to hear great music in a state-of-the-art venue.
This center, which will cost around $2.2 million, is a huge venture for the town, but a needed one. It's a move that will take advantage of Rocky Mount and Franklin County's designation as the Eastern Gateway to The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail.
When this center if finished, it should be heavily promoted by both the town and county, as well as The Crooked Road. At some point, it should be as well known as The Country Store in Floyd and the Rex Theatre in Galax.
Make no mistake. Music is a huge tourism draw, and the continued increase in traffic along The Crooked Road to hear music is a testament to that. When you combine the love of music with a retiring baby boomer generation, it's a recipe for success.
Music is not the only draw, of course. A couple from England recently visited the county after seeing the movie, "Lawless." They were fascinated by the county's moonshining history.
Many travelers also want to see the work local artisans do, and they are interested in the county's cultural and artistic heritage.
The town and county should maximize the advantages of bringing tourists here. When they come, they spend money. And they spread the word.
Starting next year, the word they spread should include the Harvester Performance Center.