ROCKINGHAM — As executive director of the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority, it’s Meghann Lambeth’s job to bring in visitors.
One of her ideas is to lure tourists who visit neighboring Moore County down U.S. 1 to visit Richmond County’s museums, restaurants and natural attractions.
For the second consecutive year, the Sandhills Discovery Map — which originally featured locales in Moore County — has included an inset for Richmond County.
“Instead of competing with Moore County, we’re trying to make sure people visiting there know what there is to offer here,” she said earlier this week when the maps were delivered.
While the inset is just of downtown Rockingham — featuring Discovery Place Kids, Pattan’s Downtown Grille, the new Richmond Community College campus, Leath Memorial Library, City Hall and, of course, the Richmond County Visitor’s Center — it also features arrows pointing to destinations in other parts of the county.
One arrow points to U.S. 74 Business directing map readers to Hamlet Depot and Museums; while another points north on U.S. 220 towards Hitchcock Creek, DeWitt’s Outdoor Sports and the Berry Patch. Lambeth said the latter is a new addition to this year’s map.
The map also includes Hoffman, which is close to the Moore County line, and highlights the Sandhills Game Lands.
The Richmond County Chamber of Commerce also recently produced a street map and resource guide for visitors. Lambeth said her office provided photos for and purchased ad space in the guide.
Since taking the job in April of 2019, Lambeth has also revamped the tourism website with downloadable maps for Hinson Lake and the Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail.
She also maintains a blog with “Spotlight” stories on Richmond County’s various destinations — ranging from the Rankin Museum of American Heritage, Windy Hill Sports motocross track and the John Lentz Hunter Education Complex, all in the Ellerbe area, to the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame in Hamlet.
Growing up on a farm in Derby, Lambeth is also in tune with the county’s agri-toursim options, writing features on Little River Vineyards and Events Center, Bynum Peach Farm, John’s Farm, Norton Farms, The Berry Patch, and her family’s Triple L Farms.
Through both the blog and the Visit Richmond County Facebook page, Lambeth also highlights local businesses, unsung heroes during Black History Month and Women’s History Month, and keeps updated listings of local events.