Pilot Mountain board updated on authoritys marketing efforts

First Posted: 9/28/2009

PILOT MOUNTAIN Town board members heard an update from the chairperson of the Pilot Mountain Tourism Development Authority, Valerie Oberle, during its regular meeting last night.
The authority, which was formed three years ago this November, is focused on bringing overnight guests to Pilot Mountain.
We really want to see heads in beds, Oberle said.
So far this year the authority has produced the second edition of a color brochure which features a rendering of Pilot Knob on the cover. Those brochures are distributed to 12 welcome centers throughout the state and are distributed to shops, restaurants, attractions and chambers of commerce.
Oberle is also the chair of the Tourism Partnership of Surry County.
Through the efforts of the Tourism Partnership and the Pilot Mountain TDA, Oberle said the town of Pilot Mountain is getting more bang for its buck. She said one-third of the partnerships budget is being spent toward Pilot Mountain
There is no way Pilot Mountain could afford advertisement at this level, Oberle said of the brochures funded by the county partnership. The key is getting the word out.
Another goal for the authority is to put the Welcome sign on the unfinished Pilot Mountain granite stone at the corner of Key and Main streets. Oberle said she found out that it is non-engravable, so raised letters will be added to it at some point in the future.
The authority also is working on memorial benches for downtown Pilot Mountain as part of a beautification project. She said the first one, named after Rebecca Blalock, has already been placed downtown. She is hoping more benches will be purchased at $625 each to replace older ones that arent as attractive.
She said the benches are made out of a green material and are guaranteed to last at least 40 years.
Oberle said that video has been shot of different events in Pilot Mountain and will soon be added as a video vignette on the www.verysurry.com web site.
Todd Tucker, executive director of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, also spoke during the Pilot Mountain meeting.
Tourism is a big part of economic development and we are certainly happy to work with them in any way that we can, Tucker said of the tourism partnership. He added that working with existing industries is also a top priority at his agency.
Doug Brannon, with the ABC Board, also spoke to the town board. He said he is hopeful that the site in the old CVS location beside Lowes Foods will be approved for a new store at the state level in October.
The board voted unanimously to rezone the old Amos and Smith building from general manufacturing to general business to accommodate the new agriculture center and Surry Community College distance learning center.
In other businesses, town Manager Blair Knox said anyone in the area who has underground fuel tanks needs to get in touch with town hall because money from the federal government is available to help clean up those sites at no cost to the owner.
The EPA will most likely pay for that and take a building they cant sell and fix the problem. One of our goals is to identify sites, Knox said.
An announcement was made at the meeting that a rope-making company, Wound About from Asbury, is moving to Pilot Mountain, bringing 12 employees with it.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.

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