Albemarle, Shenandoah National Park Collaborate for Tourism

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Albemarle County is connecting its tourist attractions to visitors who travel through Shenandoah National Park.

The county is showing off its scenic sites to the park's new superintendent during a two-day tour. SNP Superintendent Jim Northup stresses the value of sharing park visitors with its nine neighboring counties.

In the shadow of the Blue Ridge, Northup takes a walking tour through Crozet to the new library.

"It's very exciting that they value the Park's presence in the community," Northup said.

That presence is etched into the new library's circulation desk, a hand-carved skyline to match the mountain view outside up to the national park.

"We're just exploring opportunities for closer connections between one of our very important neighboring counties and Shenandoah National Park," Northup said.

The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting Northup for his tour.

"Shenandoah National Park is an international draw. The proximity the national park has to our area is incredibly important," said Kurt Burkhart, executive director of the CACVB.

Albemarle County is drawing up plans to tap into its proximity to the park as a gateway community.

"I think we certainly can take more advantage of the resources we have in terms of our outdoor adventure possibilities," said Albemarle County spokesperson Lee Catlin.

The library's ground floor will house an "adventure outpost" with destination information for the national park, Monticello Wine Trail, and other tourist attractions.

Northup sees a strong relationship between the national park and Albemarle County in the future.

"It looks like it's going to be a great view from here up to the park," Northup said.

The county doesn't have a timetable for when that outpost will open. Tourism industry leaders are hosting the superintendent for a meet and greet right now.

His tour continues Thursday with a visit to Monticello.

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