GLOUCESTER – Susan Ammons grew up in Deltaville, VA, and, when she was young, her family often came to Gloucester. She knows the county well. However, in her first few weeks on the job as Gloucester’s new tourism coordinator, she has discovered new places.
“There are things in Gloucester I didn’t even know about,” she said. “I had never visited Rosewell. I’ve been there twice already.”
That sums up one of her goals in her new position.
“I can show even the residents of Gloucester everything they’ve been missing,” she said. “Gloucester does a very good job with smaller events that may not be something that someone from Virginia Beach would want to drive this far to come to.”
That doesn’t mean out-of-town visitors aren’t a target. She cited the Daffodil Festival, which is held every spring and attracts thousands of people from across the state.
“But we need other things throughout the year that are also going to bring people in,” she said.
She’s working with her team to generate ideas, but those might take time to implement.
“I’m just starting and we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to do everything,” she said.
Another area of emphasis is social media, and, with a background in real estate, marketing, and event planning, she’s comfortable with a camera in her hands.
“If you’re not posting, people don’t see you,” she said. “I want to show people what there is to do here.”
When she plans an out-of-town trip, one of the first things she does is visit that locale’s website. She wants potential visitors to Gloucester County to do the same.
“I want to share the parks that we have, fun events that we haven’t been able to do in two years,” she said.
She has scheduled a meeting with the tourism committee to discuss ways her office can help promote local businesses, which is another area of focus.
“I’m hoping they come to the table with a ton (of ideas) because I’m ready,” she said.
Ammons, who has lived in Seattle and Charleston, SC, moved back to Virginia in 2018. She and her husband of almost four years moved to Gloucester about a little more than a year ago. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and cybersecurity from ECPI, where she also took classes in web design. Those classes as well as her real estate experience are paying off.
“This is a lot like real estate,” she said of her new position. “It’s about how to sell.”
Katey Legg, the director of the county’s parks, recreation, and tourism department, said Ammons is a great addition.
“We are thrilled to have Susan join our team,” Legg said in a press release. “Being a resident of Gloucester, Susan has already demonstrated her passion for what the area has to offer and the importance of sharing those things with others.”