GATE CITY — The Devil’s Bathtub is Scott County’s most popular tourist attraction, but that’s certainly not the only destination worth visiting in the county.
That’s the message Tourism Director Pam Cox and the county’s tourism committee are hoping to get across in the coming months. One of the first steps in that process will be installing a new visitors kiosk at Devil’s Bathtub.
The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved allocating $500 from the general fund to supply materials for the kiosk, which will be built by staff at Natural Tunnel State Park. Cox said the kiosk will serve as an additional hub for tourist information, outside of the county tourism website.
“One of the things that my tourism committee has talked about is there are, on some weekends, there are 1,500 people coming to the Devil’s Bathtub, and once they get to the Devil’s Bathtub, they don’t know what else to do,” Cox said. “If they haven’t looked at the website, there’s nothing there to tell them. They don’t even know where they can go get gas.”
The kiosk will be built to the same specifications as kiosks in the state parks, Cox said. In addition, Scott County Tourism was recently awarded a $20,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) to create a campaign called “More Than the Tub.”
“We want folks to know that there is so, so much more to Scott County than just the Devil’s Bathtub,” Cox said, “and we did get that $20,000 grant, so that’s a reimbursement grant.”
The grant is from VTC’s Recovery Marketing Leverage Program, which is designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grant funds.
More than $1.9 million in matching grant funds was awarded to 161 local tourism initiatives through this program. Cox said the town of Gate City, the Carter Fold and Natural Tunnel State Park are among the other recipients of the $20,000 grant.
“That’s $80,000 that Virginia Tourism Corp. is giving to Scott County, Virginia,” Cox said. “So we need to be really thankful to them for that, because it really, really helps us.”