With boys sectional basketball fever in the air, it seemed only appropriate that New Castle-Henry County EDC President Corey Murphy talk about a “team” approach to spreading the word that this is a special place for not only businesses, but families as well.
Murphy asked for and received permission to apply for an $8,000 Henry County Community Foundation grant for tourism. His new, hoped-for teammate? The Henry County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“I’m not trying to get into their sandbox,” Murphy emphasized. “But I think partnering with them makes good sense for all of us.”
Murphy said county attractions like the Walnut Ridge Campground could do more than just be a tourist site.
“Walnut Ridge is a huge draw for people visiting our county, and not just for the campground,” Murphy said. “Is there a way to market to those people through electronic means of other assets in the county?”
Murphy said there were two reasons why this partnership is so important.
• Often for new residents or new business investment, the best way to get to know about a community is by visiting. So first impressions are important. Tourism amenities speak to both visitors and residents.
• Talent. “As a community putting our best foot forward, this helps attract and retain talent,” Murphy said.
Murphy said he would go to a Convention and Visitors Bureau meeting this week and “looks forward to partnering” with them. He emphasized if the grant application is successful, any local match necessary would come from the EDC’s existing budget.
In other business at last week’s EDC meeting:
• Board members learned Knightstown is moving forward with a strategic plan for their downtown
• Murphy said Jeff Ray and Rusty Conners, the Middletown Fall Creek Park Supt., were sponsoring the Honey Creek application to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Trails project.
“That’s a quality of life project,” Murphy said. “I went out and saw part of the trail. When that’s built, three and a half miles from Mechanicsburg Road to County Road 600W coming through Middletown – now I’m saying when, not if – I’m going to take my family up there. We’re going to walk the trail and we’re going to eat at Papa Pepperoni’s Pizza.”
– Story by Darrel Radford of The Courier-Times. Read more local stories at www.thecouriertimes.com.