Balancing Nature And Commerce Community Of Practice
Rural Community Highlight
Haysi, Virginia — Where Your Break Begins
Set in rural southwest Virginia, the gateway to Breaks Interstate Park, Haysi is a little place with a lot going for them. The Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail, The Virginia Coal Heritage Trail, Rivers to Ridges Artisan Trail, Round the Mountain Artisan Network, 76 Bicycle Route and Great Eastern Trail all link to downtown Haysi as well as many other communities–but yet Haysi was not realizing the potential of having thousands of visitors pass through every year.
In 2011, The Conservation Fund and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, provided Haysi with a recommendations report for improvements the town can make to bolster tourism development, create jobs, and define a sense of identity.
Since the assessment, Haysi has been hard at work. They will soon begin work on building facade improvements, streescape improvements and constructions of a Riverfront Trail–all part of their downtown revitalization plan. As a place where all trails converge, the town designated their old theater building as The Russell Fork Trail Center to support the trails and house businesses.
“I have found that its best for us to get involved regionally, working with other localities, agencies to get the most out of the time I have to work on tourism development.” -Mayor of Haysi, Larry Yates
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