Our Perspective
Spotlight: Planes, Trains and Automobiles - still relevant!

Let's talk transportation. First and foremost - SkyWest Airlines is here! With United Express Jet Service in our backyard, we clearly see the opportunity to boost our economic development and tourism efforts. Business and leisure travelers, with direct connections to Chicago and D.C., can easily fly in and out of the Shenandoah Valley increasing our connectivity and solidifying one of our largest assets. When you book travel over the next year, we encourage you to search SHD first.
Next up, our transloading opportunities are increasing. Buckingham Branch Railroad has been increasing transload sites throughout Virginia over the past few years. With a total of 11 sites throughout Virginia, Augusta County currently has two, both in Fishersville, with existing rail spurs. Likewise, the Shenandoah Valley Railroad, stretching from Staunton to Pleasant Valley, connects with transloading companies and its rails interchange with Buckingham Branch, CSX and Norfolk Southern. The good news is you don't have to be located on the rail line to benefit from lower rail shipping costs.
And finally, cars, trucks and I-81 - we all live it. Several of the Valley's Chambers are now working to bring awareness to the issue and encourage the development of a long-range plan for I-81 improvements. The Improve I-81 Coalition is comprised of the following Chambers: Front Royal-Warren, Greater Augusta Regional, Harrisonburg-Rockingham, Shenandoah County and Top of Virginia Regional. According to the Coalition, I-81 currently carries 42% of statewide truck traffic (to compare, I-95 carries 26%), and has steadily increased its vehicle count over the past few decades. The Coalition's next steps include contacting elected officials and VDOT officials throughout 2018 and encouraging legislation that will work to identify solutions and funding. Contact your Chamber if interested in learning more.
We have great infrastructure throughout Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley, and we're glad to see so many partners looking to strengthen our assets for economic success.
Now, if it will stop snowing, let me wish you a happy spring!

Amanda Glover, Director of Economic Development & Tourism

Salad Days
From our farmers to your table 

We've had the Christmas, Valentine and Easter candy - we think it might be time to put some vegetables on our plate. The North Augusta Farmers Market is now open every Wednesday, 12:00p.m.-5:00p.m. at the Augusta County Government Center through October. Plan to get fresh produce, meats and sweets down at the docks. Fresh right now: salad greens!
Speaking of farms, check out this series of WHSV stories focused on Fields of Gold, the state's only agritourism trail. It's right in your backyard.

BBQ, Brews and Economic Development

Plan to join the Virginia Economic Development Association (VEDA) for BBQ & Brews. Hosted by VEDA's Young Professionals, all VEDA members and non-members are invited to enjoy dinner, drinks, panel discussion and networking time.

Devil's Backbone Outpost Brewery
50 N Wind Lane, Lexington, VA 24450
May 8th | 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Register here. (Registration includes 2 beer tickets and BBQ)

VEDA Members $30
Non-members $40

Augusta County Economic Development & Tourism
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