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Shelbyville Square to get wayfinding signs, kiosk

Posted on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 8:00 am


City Manager Scott Collins holds up posters that will be displayed in the kiosk on the square. (Photo by Mark McGee)

Tourism is booming and the City of Shelbyville has two projects in the works to assist visitors.

In the next couple of weeks an informational kiosk will be installed on the square which will provide space for signs promoting events throughout the year. Buck Vallad, Shelbyville’s Public Works Director, said he is waiting for a part before the kiosk can be installed.

Scott Collins, Shelbyville City Manager, has added Economic Director to his list of duties. He and his committee are working on retail development, but he views tourism as another important piece of the pie in generating funds for the City.

“The main benefit of tourism is we have people coming here to visit us, take advantage of the great opportunities here, and then they will go back home,” Collins said. “I hate to phrase it like this, but they don’t put a burden on our services.”

The kiosk, which was designed by Cornerstone Kiosk of Long Beach, California, is another step in promoting tourism, especially with so many developments under way on the square.

“The total cost of the kiosk is not to exceed $25,000,” Collins said. “Public Works and Shelbyville Power, Water and Sewer are coordinating the pad installation and electrical service for the kiosk.”

In addition to the kiosk, wayfinding signs will be installed in several places such as the square and the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Grounds to help direct visitors to various sites in and around Bedford County.

Representatives from Fd2s Design from Austin, Texas, will be in town from April 18-21 during the Southern Saddlebred Spring Fling at the Celebration Grounds.

“They will be reviewing the best places for directional wayfinding signs,” Collins said. “On Phase I, we are only expecting around four signs, but we have the plan for future signs throughout the City.”

The total cost of the Wayfinding Signs Master Plan is not to exceed $100,000. The project was unanimously approved in the November 2023 regular meeting of the Shelbyville City Council. Funding for both the informational kiosk and the wayfinding signs will be paid for from the Hotel/Motel Fund.

In addition, the City has received a Façade Grant of $12,000 which can be used on either project.

Collins is equally excited about what can happen in retail and tourism in Shelbyville. But he points to the Celebration as one of the main reasons tourism is such a revenue boost.

“The Celebration is phenomenal, just an amazing example of tourism,” Collins said. “Hundreds of participants come in and stay for two weeks or more.

“They take advantage of our hotels, our air BNBs and campgrounds. They spend money on retail, food and gas and everything else. But we don’t have to educate their children or provide some of the essential services our day-in, day-out residents enjoy. It is a huge boost to us.”

Excitement is surrounding Glass Hollow Table and Tavern and the Grindstone Cowboy which are future additions to the square. Collins stresses they would be vital attractions as part of the planned River View District project.

“People will come here just to visit the area if we are able to get the River View District going,” Collins said. “The more attractions we can have like that, the more beneficial it will be in our goal to provide the best services for our citizens.”