Statistics Show Monticello Artisan Trail Has Successful Year - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Statistics Show Monticello Artisan Trail Has Successful Year

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The Monticello Artisan Trail showcases handcrafted items from artisans in Nelson and Albemarle counties.  Statistics released Thursday reveal that the trail has had a successful first year.

The trail is a unique pathway that connects over 100 artisans and allows visitors to plan their own trip.  Statistics show that over 30 news stories have been released about the trail and that its website averages about 10,000 hits a month.

Organizers say the goal behind the trail is to get visitors to come and purchase items from the artisans.  They say the project boosts the economic opportunities not only for the businesses, but for Nelson and Albemarle counties as well.

Exact numbers of the trail's impact on the economy are expected early next year.  Many businesses say they have seen an increase in business since the trail's opening.

Hill Top Winery owner Kimberly Pugh said, "We've seen folks that maybe we wouldn't have seen otherwise because they were going to a pottery and they were like, 'Oh there's a winery next door.'"

"Some businesses saw instant sales the minute they put a sign out in front of their studios and their establishments, others are telling us that they'd like to see more traffic," said Sherri Smith with Artisans Center of Virginia

Other businesses who did not want to speak on camera say that being part of the trail did not bring them more business.  Many say they remain optimistic, and hope next year will bring better business for them.

The director of the Monticello Artisan Trail says that many of the businesses that may not have been directly focused on this year, will be targeted in the coming years.

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