January 2006: Smethport Mansion District Walking Tour: It was announced that the Project Review Committee of the Lumber Heritage Region has approved Smethport’s application for grant funding towards way finding signage and brochure printing for formal walking tours.
On December 2003 Smethport was chosen to be the first Heritage Community on PA Route 6. A grant was provided for a three year planning study, and we have completed the first two years. Major priorities identified at a community-wide meeting held in September, 2004 have been acted upon:
- Visitor’s Center
- Gateway Signage
- Rubble Removal
- Year-round Event Program
- Mansion District Way Finding… Grant Obtained
Many other priority tasks are under way.
EADS, the consulting firm employed by the PA Route 6 Corporation, has completed evaluating Smethport’s assets and needs required to effectively attract tourists. An Issues and Opportunities Statement produced by EADS will be the basis for developing the Workplan, which is the ultimate objective of the three year planning grant.
In April, 2005 boundaries for the business district were set by the Chamber of Commerce officers, and this has been communicated to Rick Truscello of the EADS Corp., who will work developing the project to further identify Smethport’s area resources.
The new Visitor's Center ribbon cutting ceremony was held in late May, 2005. Mayor elect Ross Porter was joined by Allegheny National Forest Executive, Linda Devlin, and Patty Witchen of the Smethport Area Chamber of Commerce while he cut the ribbon. A kiosk was delivered to the Senior Center for holding pamphlets and brochures, and a 27 inch TV and DVD player will offer visitors tourist information about Smethport and the surrounding area. The center features a 1950’s style ice cream bar.
Gateway signs have been placed at key entrances to Smethport. These signs welcome visitors to the borough and advertise important coming events.
There is a dearth of brochures about Smethport’s special attractions and history placed in the Visitors Center and key places around town.
A review of progress on the Route 6 Hertage Community was presented at a Town Meeting on Feb. 21, 2006.
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