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Monticello Artisan Trail Announces Official Launch

The Monticello Artisans Trail celebrated its launch on Thursday, October 20, at an event at Albemarle Ciderworks where the website - - officially went live and brochures including a map showing all 96 trail destinations were made available to the public and to trail partners.  

Monticello Artisans Trail is a regional trailway that connects destinations including craft artisan studios, galleries, agri-artisan farms, markets, local restaurants, lodging, and area points of interest in Albemarle and Nelson Counties and the City of Charlottesville.   The Trail is viewed as a major tourism and economic development initiative for the area and will provide a significant boost to the small businesses that comprise the trail. 

Speakers at the event noted the trail's "handcrafted and locally grown" focus and praised local artisans, farmers, studio and gallery owners, agri-artisans and others for joining together in this venture that offers an attractive and compelling pathway celebrating the artisan traditions of Albemarle and Nelson Counties.

"The Artisan Trail will allow Visitors to find and support our many artisans, crafters, local farm markets, and farmers.  This trail will show that small, home-based businesses have an important place in rural Virginia. I am happy that the state and local governments are working together for the sake of these small businesses. Nelson and Albemarle counties need tourism dollars to survive and keep our communities vibrant and we all are thankful for their full support" said Tommy Bruguiere, Nelson County Supervisor.

Along with promoting the visibility and sales of local artisan-related products, the Trail will provide an important boost to the area's general tourism industry by extending visitor stays in the community and increasing our attractiveness as a tourist destination.

"The Monticello Artisan Trail provides a unique opportunity to leverage the creative economy within the region expanding tourism and improving the economic health of Nelson and Albemarle Counties" said VA Dept of Housing & Community Development Director Bill Shelton.

The Monticello Artisan Trail website describes each destination, providing business description, hours of operation, address, and location on the trail map along with other information.  The Plan a Visit function allows users to use the trip planner applications of the Virginia Tourism Corporation website to integrate a visit to the trail with other activities across the state.

"In 2010 the travel expenditures in Nelson and Albemarle Counties with the City of Charlottesville, was $606 million.  In addition the tourism industry of this region supports 7,400 jobs and generates $ 44 million in state and local taxes.  The Artisans Center of Virginia's "Monticello Artisan Trail" representing a two-county collaboration reinforces our research which shows that the aspects of such a trail network are exactly what visitors are looking for as they seek out authentic local sites and activities to engage in.  It is the personal journey of discovering a unique artisan studio, active farm, and the distinctively regional cultural amenities while interacting one-to-one with local artists, farmers and communities that keep visitors' returning and recommending Virginia's artisan trail travel experience." said Steve Galyean, Director of Development, Virginia Tourism Corporation.

The "Monticello Artisan Trail" is a regional trail of the Artisans Center of Virginia (ACV), Artisan Trail Network program, in partnership with Nelson and Albemarle Counties.   The state of Virginia's "official" artisan organization, the Artisans Center of Virginia is supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and Virginia Tourism Corporation with additional support made possible for the Artisan Trail Network program by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Additional local sponsors of the Monticello Artisan Trail include: Charlottesville Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Charlottesville Media, The Hook, Ivy Publications, Lander Creative, Lynne Goldman Studio, Powering People, Rock-n-Creek Cabin, and WNRN.

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