Recent report shows boom in business and tourism in Lynchburg

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 11:43 PM EST
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Lynchburg’s office of economic development and tourism recently published its annual report, which showed positives in many categories for the Hill City’s post pandemic economy.

“It’s always a moment to pause and look back on what the entire world, and country, and region, and the city of Lynchburg, has been through over the last two and a half, three years,” said Marjette Upshur, director of economic development and tourism for the city.

There was no playbook for how businesses could navigate a pandemic. But as we head into a normal holiday season, the annual report showed business in Lynchburg is surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

“I think some of the most rewarding things are watching your businesses make it through a pandemic,” said Upshur.

That was clear in the report, but also from the perspective of Lynchburg business owners.

“Overall it seems to be back. I would say that our numbers are actually better and that has to do with an increase at the local universities and hospitals and BWXT growing as well,” said Michael Pearl, who owns Bailey Spencer downtown.

Something that also stuck out is tourism, the report said domestic tourism has recovered 120% since July 2019.

“Tourism to the city of Lynchburg is our anchors, our colleges, our healthcare system, and our businesses drive an awful lot of traffic and visitors to the city. So to see that rebound, so quickly, it is really, really rewarding and gratifying,” said Upshur.

“It says that we’re slowly becoming maybe, partially, a tourist city more so than just a place for people to love and live and that’s good for everybody,” said Pearl.

Upshur said this report is something they use for guidance throughout the rest of the year. It’s something city leaders and businesses hope to continue building on into Lynchburg’s future.