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Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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Revitalization focuses on marketing, history

The management team for the revitalization grant application effort met on Monday, June 20, at Town Hall.  The team meets every other Monday at 6 p.m. 

Members of the team include professional consultant Carol Rizzio, LandStudio, PC; business owners/representatives High Tides restaurant’s Vickie Coffman, Bank of Lancaster’s Sharon Dunavant, and Cyberbility’s John DePasquale; town residents Walter Kern, Maureen McCabe, Casey Flores, Glenda

Chiarello, Sue Buzby and Jay Jarvis; county resident JD Gordman; educator Michael Shumate; Town Council member Shane Buzby; Planning Commission member Margaret McMullen; local government representative Gary Mitchell, Director of Planning and Zoning;  Historic Society, Mitzi Saffos; Colonial Beach Foundation, Peter Fahrney and Roberta Kulina-Fahrney; and media representative Kathy Flanagan from The Journal.

Also in attendance were several citizens, Mayor Fred Rummage, Town Manager Val Foulds, Police Chief Kenneth Blevins, Sr., and Westmoreland News representative Linda Farneth.

Steps to create a contemporary vision for the town began in 2009 with results of a citizen survey.  Data has been gathered and compiled to create a snapshot of the town’s current economic condition.  A new comprehensive plan has been put into place, and a historic commercial business district has been created.  A locally funded project has begun with renovation of the town’s public restrooms and a  mural painted by community volunteers through the Art Guild.  Although the grant application is limited in funding, it is expected to fund the first phase of revitalization efforts and to be a springboard for future grant applications. 

Public input is vital to revitalization efforts.  There will be a  public meeting held on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 9:30 a.m. until noon.  The Saturday meeting time is designed to offer convenience to all interested attendees.

New designs will be presented, based on citizen input during focus groups held in May, showcasing proposed improvements to the historic commercial business district, which includes the boardwalk and Colonial Avenue.  The improvements showcased are long-term projects and aid in creating a new vision for the town.

The meeting will also focus on selection of a slogan for the town, which will help future marketing of the town.  Colonial Beach, in its heyday, was called “The Playground of the Potomac.”  Visitors would arrive by cruise ships from Northern Virginia or by car to enjoy the natural beauty of the shoreline and water sports such as swimming, boating and fishing.  Waterfront gambling halls, hotels and restaurants served as recreational opportunities.  With the creation of a new marketing slogan, the town can target tourists that are looking for recreational opportunities focused on both the natural resources of the town, the rich historical background, the vibrant arts community, and dining and hospitality establishments.   

A list of proposed slogans have been compiled by the team and will be introduced at the public meeting.  All citizens are encouraged to participate by submitting their ideas for a new slogan to the management team.  Ideas can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or dropped off at Town Hall.  
A proposed vision statement will also be available for public discussion and input.  The vision statement is key to the grant application and should act as a synopsis of town amenities.


Steps to market the town as a golf cart community have begun with creation of logos by team member DePasquale that can be used in both print and Internet promotions. 

Team members Saffos, Chiarello and McMullen have begun work on identifying potential sites for placement of history markers throughout town.  A list of potential sites will be available for public review at the meeting.  The markers or plaques will take visitors on a historical journey highlighting places and events that helped create the rich and colorful past of Colonial Beach.  Informational material for the markers will be made available and maps created to lead visitors on a walking or bicycling tour.

Other ideas the team is looking at is creating day docking areas for visitors who arrive by boat with easy access to the commercial core area, improvements to the boardwalk area, implementing a standardized signage program throughout town, and improving communication avenues for citizens and visitors on the Internet and for use in other media sources.

Kathy Flanagan

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