Experiences that Bring Customers Back!

We’ve heard from several communities across the commonwealth that improving downtown hospitality is a high priority in making their downtowns a destination! With help from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, DHCD has put together a series of 20 workshops across the state called Delivering Memorable Experiences Downtown, which aims to strengthen business hospitality to provide an experience that creates return customers and positive and proactive word-of-mouth.

Delivering the workshop is Virginia Tech associate professor and author, Dr. Vincent Magnini, who was recently ranked one of the top 12 most prolific hospitality researchers worldwide. Dr. Magnini has published six books and more than 150 articles and reports. His projects typically include destination marketing plans, economic impact analyses, feasibility studies and visitor satisfaction tracking. Before his career in academia, Dr. Magnini worked on management teams at Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton Garden branded hotels in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern regions of the U.S.

This training is designed specifically for business owners – restaurant, retail, service – there is something for everyone. Learn how to generate good buzz for your businesses!

Sign up for a workshop near you! Contact Jessica Hupp at Jessica.hupp@dhcd.virginia.gov or 804-371-7121 to register. Do not wait to reserve your seat for these one-time events!

August 6: Hopewell
August 14: Petersburg
August 15: Farmville
August 20: Waynesboro
August 21: Staunton
August 22: Winchester
August 23: Culpeper
August 29: Strasburg
September 11: Altavista
September 12: Pulaski
September 13: Lynchburg
September 14: Vinton
September 18: Cape Charles
September 19: Franklin
September 24: Gloucester

Vote for the top 25 Virginia Main Street “Downtown Dining Destinations”

The Virginia Main Street staff does a lot of travelling each year and that travel can be hard on the stomach.  Luckily, we know that when we arrive, the local hospitality of our destination Main Street communities will be evident, and the top rate dining choices will be numerous.

While having an office day, we started talking about our can’t miss restaurants throughout Virginia.  Jeff claims his is for “his pregnant wife” but we know that’s not the real reason he often takes the long way home just to stop in and pick up some treats from Knakal’s Bakery in Culpeper.  Resident foodie Kyle chows down on the local ingredients at The Mockingbird Cafe in Staunton. 

Meanwhile, Doug, the expert on the menu choices in Southwest Virginia refuses to take a stand on whether he prefers Radford’s new River City Grill or trusted standby’s like Marion’s Black Rooster and Rocky Mount’s Edible Vibe Cafe.

Somedays, the palate is piqued by something different and there are always new offerings to try in our bustling downtowns.  There are fine dining choices and local dives with character.  Prices vary greatly, but the value and experience rarely does.  We are lucky souls indeed to have jobs that basically force us to visit the best restaurants Virginia has to offer. 

However, in honor of Virginia Main Street’s 25th Anniversay, we had to limit our selections to the 25 spots we find ourselves heading back to time and again.

Tell us which you like best.