REIDSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — As the Triad’s key economic drivers of the 20th century all seemed to fade away with the turn of the millennium, some of the smaller cities in the area struggled.
Reidsville is quick to say it’s not one of them.
“Reidsville’s not struggling. Reidsville’s actually growing,” said Diane Sawyer, the president of the Reidsville Chamber of Commerce.
And Reidsville sees one of its best chances to keep growing with a project in another state.
Caesar’s corporation recently opened a casino in Danville, Virginia, about a 20-minute drive up what is now Highway 29 and will soon be Interstate 840 from Reidsville.
“As soon as those products are complete, and it has the interstate designation, and the blue shield goes up then it allows us a lot of opportunities,” Sawyer said.
It’s not just about how Reidsville can host a lot of the people who come to gamble at the casino but the hundreds of people it will employ as well.
“Because the idea is that they do not want their employees to be their customers, so they want folks to live within a certain radius, a certain drive away from the casino. We have already met folks at our visitor center who are living here and working there,” Sawyer said.
“We’re hoping to capitalize on the casino in Danville based on tourism, and our tourism industry’s already strong, and we’re looking at many more opportunities to capitalize on that,” said Reidsville city manager Summer Woodard.
One issue Reidsville has it its downtown is largely already full of businesses, but they have an ace in the hole off Highway 29.
“The Barnes Street exit. It’s the last one if you’re leaving Reidsville or the first one if you’re coming in from Virginia,” said Assistant City Manager and Finance Director Chris Phillips. “And there’s a lot already happening here, but there’s a lot more opportunity if there’s a land that the city and county owns. We’ve got some land over here (off Highway 29) that’s ready to go.”
The city is using a significant amount of money from The American Rescue Plan to make improvements. They’ve already given their main downtown street, Scales Street, a makeover they think will attract people for a variety of activities as they utilize what cities close by have already done.
“Hopefully (Scales Street) will be similar to an Elm Street in Greensboro,” Woodard said.
See more about the way Reidsville is leveraging the opening of the casino in this edition of The Buckley Report.