Elkin (May 9, 2013)—New banners hang in downtown Boonville, Elkin, and Pilot Mountain and more are expected in towns across the Yadkin Valley as the Yadkin Valley Heritage Corridor (YVHC) Partnership launches its comprehensive wayfinding program in the four-county region.

Seven areas across Surry, Wilkes, Yadkin and Caldwell counties received five banners each to hang in their respective districts, and several towns purchased more for their area. In addition to Boonville, Elkin, and Pilot Mountain, banners will go up in Dobson, Jonesville, North Wilkesboro, Ronda, Wilkesboro, and Yadkinville. The banners were developed by MERJE Design for the YVHC Partnership as part of a regional marketing and vehicular-signage program for the four counties.

“It’s great to see the towns coming together,” said Leslie Schlender, economic development director for the Town of Elkin and chair of the YVHC Partnership. “The banners help tie our region together while still reflecting the individuality of each township.”

One side of each banner features the town name along with an image of the town. The backside features the YVHC Partnership logo and tagline, “It starts with a river.” Last year, a regional identity was launched along with a mobile Web site, county welcome signs, and online and print advertisements.

“I am excited to see our how are efforts are paying off,” says Helen Ruth Almond, project manager for the YVHC Partnership.  “We’re able to bring more exposure for the Yadkin Valley name as a nationally recognized recreational, cultural, and wine destination.”

In August, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awarded two grants totaling $124,960 to Surry and Wilkes counties for implementation of the YVHC Partnership’s comprehensive signage and wayfinding program. The grant funds will be used for fabricating and installing kiosks and signs in towns and on NC Scenic Byways in Surry and Wilkes counties.

The YVHC Partnership was established to develop place-based economic strategies for northwest North Carolina and to increase visitor spending in the four-county target area.  Specifically, the Partnership is focused on increasing recreational infrastructure through the development of a multiuse trail system along the Yadkin River and tourism marketing infrastructure through a comprehensive and integrated wayfinding program.

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