Building are getting a face lift. New businesses are coming to town. And more folks are strategizing ways to bring new visitors to the area.
“We only have so many people here, so, of course, we want to welcome all of the visitors from the outlying area to also come and stay and have a great time here and learn all about Blair County,” Jodi Cessna, Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation, said.
Stephen McKnight, President and CEO of the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation, said the economic value of tourism has risen over the past few years.
“Tourism has always been really important, but moreso now. People are more mobile, and so, a lot of times they visit a place and, you know, it’s just like you and me, right. We visit a place. We walk away with a really good feeling about that place and we always think, ‘yeah. I’d like to live there someday or maybe invest, start up a business.’ It’s just much more important today than it was probably was 20 years ago,” McKnight said.
Blair County Commissioner Ted Beam said he’s happy to see the new success in the community
“It’s got a little thrust now that I think they’re on the move in the right direction instead of downward. Altoona is moving upward and Blair County, as a result,” Beam said.
These folks said one of the greatest things about the area is the outdoors attractions, like hiking trails and ski resorts. They said that is one way Blair County stands out to visitors.