This project has a placeholder in the CIP of $10 million in fiscal year 2023, which is aggressive timing. This is contingent on identifying a suitable site (efforts are underway) and funding being approved.
City Council endorsed the DMOProz Tourism Action Plan in 2019. The city is executing this plan with the recent hire of an assistant director of tourism, a revamp of the city’s website/video/marketing collateral, and now the discussion of moving the Visitor Center to bigger space at the Executive Plaza.
This move and buildout could be funded entirely by selling the current Visitor Center. This location would allow for a more robust visitor experience and promotion of heritage tourism, the FredNats, the University of Mary Washington and more.
This visitor center, adjacent to the 300-space public parking deck, can be one of the best in the Mid-Atlantic region, greatly contributing to our economy’s growth.
The Executive Plaza, which the city owns free and clear, houses more than 70 public employees and soon will house a consolidated office for Community Planning and Building–more of a “one-stop” shop for residents and businesses. This property may someday be repurposed, but today it is serving a critical function.
These projects, and many smaller ones, are needed to serve a growing community. That being said, the CIP is and always has been a living document that evolves to meet the times and resources. If the economy does not grow as expected, the CIP is adjusted. Some have labeled this dysfunction, but this is a common approach.