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New tourism brochure gives visitors and residents an inside look at what there is to see and do in Stafford County
By LEE WOOLF
YOU ARE pouring gas into your car at a Stafford County convenience store when the person at the next pump smiles and says: "Hi, we're visiting from out of town. What is there to see and do around here?"
How do you respond?
The folks at the Stafford County Department of Economic Development hope you can offer more than a blank look. And now they have a new brochure with a list of 27 "Things To Do" in Stafford County to help make you an informed tour guide.
The brochure also offers an overview of Stafford history, including a timeline and county map. It has a calendar of annual events and festivals. It lists transportation and lodging options. And it offers tips on shopping and dining.
The inviting package of information is colorfully designed and was unveiled at last night's Board of Supervisors meeting. It is available in the lobby of the Stafford Administration Center and will be distributed to area motels, restaurants and historic sites, as well as other county businesses and schools. The information also is available on the Web site tourstaffordva .com.
"To my knowledge, this is the first effort at a comprehensive Stafford-only brochure," said Tim Baroody, the county's director of economic development and legislative affairs.
"And our department is proud of that. We still want to work with our regional tourism partners. But Stafford also can stand on its own and this gives us a chance to highlight our historical and recreational assets."
Megan Orient, the county's tourism manager, was mainly responsible for the production of the brochure, with input from Al and Jane Conner of the Stafford County Historical Society and members of the Tourism Advisory Council.
Traditionally, Stafford has been at a disadvantage in the competition for regional tourism dollars because more people are familiar with the history and charm of downtown Fredericksburg and the blood-soaked Civil War battlefields in Spotsylvania County.
"One of our goals with the brochure was to emphasize the interesting and important early history of Stafford and make it clear that we were on the doorstep of a new nation," Baroody said.