CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Take a drive down Jefferson Davis Highway through Chesterfield County and you'll probably miss the Halfway House Restaurant among the modern chain drive-thru's and eat-ins.
But, the 1760's original structure, now converted to a restaurant, is one of many historic sites the Jefferson Davis Association is promoting in hopes to attract more tourists.
"There's an enormous amount of potential to bring people back into our counties to see some of these things," said Scott Rogers, President of the Jefferson Davis Association.
In an event to launch a new web site, www.historicrouteone.com, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling spoke on the importance of turning the economy around.
"Sometimes we forget that tourism is also an economic engine for the commonwealth of Virginia, it generates billions upon dollars a year in revenue for businesses all across our state," said Bolling.
Bolling says tourism generates $19.2-billion a year for Virginia and brings in $1.28-billion in state and local taxes.
Just in the metro area alone, almost 6-million people visit every year. But while new signs, a colorful web site, and nice landscaping may attract people to drive through Route One, local businesses like the Fish and Seafood Market and a small gift and print shop are really hoping it'll boost their productivity.
"I think if it prettier, people are more going to come and go here," said Yong Held from the Fish and Seafood Market.
"It's been coasting along not really great but I hope to survive, I've been here 19 years now," said Jim English, owner of a small gift and print shop.