New map showcases downtown Ashland

ASHLAND, VA (WWBT) – Businesses in Ashland are now easier to find.  The Main Street Association has just revealed a new map highlighting more than 100 places you can dine, shop and do business downtown.

The new map is similar to what you might see at an amusement park. It is color-coded with numbers; folks visiting or new to Ashland could use this to easily find the post office, a place to buy their groceries or even a dentist office.

You can pick up this map in the visitors center, a number of public buildings and at hotels near Interstate 95.

"We identify all of the businesses, the retailers, the services, the restaurants, as well as the public buildings and the historic structures in the downtown district," said Tom Wulf, Presiden-Elect of the Ashland Main Street Association.

Wulf says people don't always make it all the way downtown.

"The goal is to drive visitors into downtown Ashland because so many people stop in Ashland, or what they think is Ashland. as they are driving down 95, but we are far more than what you see right off the 95 exit," Wulf said.

By highlighting Ashland's hot spots, map creators hope people will discover businesses they may not have realized were even there, like this 99 year old local grocery store.

"Cross Brothers is a fixture in the downtown district and not many people know that, so this map will help cross brothers and many of the other businesses in downtown Ashland," Wulf said.

The new map is also part of a larger effort to truly define downtown Ashland.  The Ashland Main Street Association has applied to become a Virginia Main Street Program Community.  That designation would bring a number of perks, including resources like grant opportunities and expertise on revitalizing downtown commercial areas.

"All of the beautiful buildings in this town would come under the same kind of trust that you would find for the national trust for historic preservation," Wulf said.

The Main Street Association will found out next month whether Ashland can become a part of the state program.

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