The students presented their study findings and suggestions during a gathering last Wednesday at Mathews Memorial Library.
The students are pursuing varying academic majors, but as business minors, they are all participants in the capstone course for minors, the Small Business Institute.
Under the guidance of Professor Willie Donaldson, instructor of management at CNU, they were charged with helping the Mathews County Visitor and Information Center initiate a campaign that would appeal to young people.
Eric Ginsburg, a senior studying chemistry, told those gathered that Mathews County has little intrinsic appeal for the under-35 crowd because of a lack of activities and entertainment, but that the county would appeal to families.
Instead of trying to attract a younger demographic, he said, the visitor’s center should target their parents, who have more money to spend and “would bring us along.”
The best segments of society for Mathews County to target, said David Butler, a senior in communication studies, are water enthusiasts, birders, cyclists, artists and history lovers. He said that using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram more often and more effectively would help get the word out about what Mathews County has to offer, and he suggested updating the MCVIC website, which he described as “bland and not aesthetically appealing.”
While Mathews has a variety of outdoor activities, arts opportunities and campgrounds to offer visitors, said Butler, it lacks adequate facilities for staying overnight, and it needs a nightlife for younger people.
“You should have things stay open later,” he said.
Information needs to go out to bikers, fishermen, campers, bird watchers and art and history enthusiasts in Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads that Mathews County welcomes them, said Butler. He suggested holding such activities as birding or kayaking festivals or a bluefish tournament.