WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County Commissioners have approved a $156,000 contract with Heritage Strategies LLC to bolster historic tourism in the county. This comes as part of Chester County’s VISTA2025 economic development strategy, a public-private partnership. The Delaware Valley Regional Finance Authority is providing the funding.
Chester County Commissioners’ Chair, Marian Moskowitz, stated that the county’s historic tourism sector was damaged by the pandemic. Moskowitz went on to say that the county has contracted a consultant in order to help rebuild the lost tourism leading up to Chester County’s celebration of the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026.
Chester County is home to many historical sites, such as the Brandywine Battlefield and Valley Forge National Historical Park. Chester County’s diverse array of attractions makes it a popular tourist destination, and Commissioners are hopeful that the county will be able to successfully rebuild its tourism industry.
The Chester County Planning Commission is partnering with the Chester County History Center, the Heritage Task Force, Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau, and America250PA Chester County Commission to increase the capacity and marketing of visitor sites. This will include heritage interpretation and marketing initiatives that will provide robust experiences for visitors. These efforts will result in more people being aware of Chester County’s historical significance and all that the county has to offer in terms of tourism.
County Commissioner Josh Maxwell noted that Heritage Strategies has demonstrated experience in heritage interpretation and marketing and is confident they can bring these groups together to develop a comprehensive program. With their help, Chester County can become an even more popular destination for those looking to learn about American history and experience all that Pennsylvania has to offer.
Chester County is home to a wealth of historical and cultural resources. From the gristmills of the Brandywine Valley to the Chester County Archives, these sites offer a window into the county’s past. However, many of these sites are underutilized, and the full story of Chester County is often not told.
Heritage Strategies seeks to change this by leading a multi-faceted effort that includes improved interpretation of existing sites, creation of new centers for information, better-defined routing to increase connectivity to these resources, and marketing strategies to target audiences that increase the number of visitors. By working with these groups, Heritage Strategies will help Chester County residents and visitors alike to better understand and appreciate the county’s history and culture.
“The plan will give us clearer direction for the 250th celebration, and it will also encourage ongoing investment into the maintenance and preservation of historic entities, creating community pride in the unique history and identity of Chester County,” Kichline said.
The plan, which is expected to take 18 months to complete, will focus on creating a sense of community pride in Chester County’s history and identity. Additionally, the plan will encourage investment in the preservation of Chester County’s historic entities.
Chester County Planning Commission Director Brian O’Leary said that the first year of the plan’s development will focus on conducting a needs assessment and creating a capacity-building plan. The final six months of the plan’s development will focus on a locational analysis, touring routes, and wayfinding as well as a marketing plan. Chester County officials are hopeful that the plan will create a lasting legacy for Chester County’s residents.
Heritage Strategies is a team of three long-time colleagues with decades worth of experience in historic preservation and heritage development. They have joined forces to focus on projects that will ensure our past stays present for future generations.
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