Plenty to see and do in Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Suffolkians owe it to themselves to visit the Suffolk Visitors Center (formerly The Prentis House) during National Tourism Week, which runs through May 18 – and not just for a chance to win the free gift basket that will be given away.

According to data provided by the Division of Tourism, travelers visiting Suffolk contribute $31 million to the local economy and provide employment for 407 people, generating payroll of $6 million. That’s not an insignificant hunk of the local economy and indicative of the division’s relevancy and the need to make a well-managed effort to enhance those numbers.

Our city is making a huge investment of taxpayer dollars in the effort, which will get a tremendous boost with the completion of the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center, construction of which will be officially kicked off later this month. In fact, the hotel is already paying benefits. The prospect of its construction has been largely responsible for much of the recent investment in downtown.


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The tourism division staff is busily marketing Suffolk throughout Virginia and the region. And despite what many critics contend, while there may not yet be a major tourist attraction like a Jamestown, there is ample reason for people to visit Suffolk – a five minute drive along Route 17 in the north is itself worthy of a visit.

Reasons to visit Suffolk will only grow. So take time this week to visit the historic Prentis House and see for yourself what Suffolk has to offer. And you might even win the basket.