VCEDA closed on a $60,000 grant to the Historic Crab Orchard Museum May 31. On hand for the ceremonial check presentation were, from left, (front) Ashley Fisher, of Fisher & Company; Charlotte Whitted, museum director; Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel; Mary Lawson, museum board of directors; and (back) Mike Hymes, Tazewell County Board of Supervisors and museum board member; Russ Hatfield, vice chairman of the museum board; Bob Buchanan, chairman of the museum board; and Bonnie White, secretary of the museum board.

VCEDA Grant to be used for Renovation and Expansion Plans at Crab Orchard Museum in Tazewell County

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) closed May 31 on an up to $60,000 grant to assist The Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park in Tazewell County. The grant comes from the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund and will be used toward building construction, expansion and rehabilitation; the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment; as well as other improvements and costs associated with the project.

“This is an investment in the future of tourism for the museum,” said Charlotte Whitted, executive director of the museum.

Visitor count has grown in the past four years from 17,000 to 25,000 and Whitted noted as the number of people visiting the museum has grown, so has the need to upgrade it.

The Historic Cab Orchard Museum, located on a 23-acre campus along U.S. 19/460 in Tazewell County, is a regional Appalachian history museum that serves as a cultural heritage tourist attraction. On the north side of this campus is the 1907 Pisgah Store, which VCEDA provided funds for several years ago to help renovate. The Pisgah Store is leased to Fisher & Company, which which has been operating it as a restaurant for approximately four years. Some of the grant funding just allocated will be used to make an addition to the building as well as other improvements and repairs to it. Fisher & Company will contribute half of that cost.

Additionally, the VCEDA funds just awarded will be used to assist with repairs to damage to the museum center facility on the south side of US 19/460, when pipes froze and burst, flooding certain areas of the building this past January.

“The Historic Crab Orchard Museum, a part of Southwest Virginia since 1978, is now in its 40th year and remains a valuable tourism asset in the region, making it a prime candidate for the Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund as it looks ahead to its future.”

Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel

Read more about the Crab Orchard Museum grant closing.

VCEDA Markets to International Unmanned Systems and Robotics Companies

Susan Copeland, VCEDA marketing coordinator, right, and John Kilgore, executive director of the Scott County Economic Development Authority, attended the AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018.

VCEDA joined the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018 in Denver, Colorado, April 29-May 4, helping to man the booth and meeting with companies requesting more information on what Virginia has to offer the unmanned systems and robotics industries. Susan Copeland, VCEDA marketing coordinator, and John Kilgore, executive director of the Scott County Economic Development Authority, attended a presentation session by Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeny, “The Life-Saving Applications of Drone Delivery,” referencing the July 2015 first FAA—approved rural delivery by a drone that took place in Wise County, Va.