Eshelman and Marston Roanoke Region Ironman Success Story Featured in Roanoke Times Op-Ed

Photo Credit: David Hungate for the Roanoke Times.

Pete Eshelman, the director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership, and Brett Marston, the current president for the Partnership, joined forces on an opinion piece that was published by the Roanoke Times following the June 6, 2021 Carilion Clinic Ironman 70.3 event. The story was written to highlight the decade-long effort led by the Partnership and Roanoke Outside to change Roanoke Region’s brand identity to an outdoor mecca. This narrative created a culture which now attracts world-class events like Ironman and will continue to spur economic success, business investment, talent attraction, healthier lifestyles, and tourism.

Click to view the full Roanoke Times article.


Below is the story as originally written by Pete Eshelman and Brett Marston.
Published by Roanoke Times on June 12, 2021.

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Munters Group AB Breaks Ground in Botetourt County

Munters Group AB broke ground May 20, 2021 on a $36 million state-of-the-art facility in Botetourt Center at Greenfield. The 365,000 square-foot facility replaces an existing plant in Buena Vista, Virginia and all 200 employees will be retained to work in the new Botetourt location.

Munters Group AB is a global leader in innovative, energy-efficient and sustainable climate solutions for mission-critical processes. The expansive Botetourt facility will house manufacturing, research and development, and sales in the data center cooling systems and high-temperature industrial process systems industry. 

“Today marks a milestone in the development of a new facility which will allow for the expansion needed to service the data centers market in the U.S.,” said Michael Gantert, president of the data center division. “Building in the Roanoke Region allows the company to continue caring for our workers while opening doors to attract additional team members.”

“Botetourt County welcomes Munters Group AB to our corporate community at Greenfield,” said Dr. Mac Scothorn, chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors. “The past several years has seen substantial growth as Botetourt continues to develop into one of the most competitive locations for companies looking to do business in Virginia. We are proud to add Munters Group and excited to see progress on the site.”

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Roanoke Outside Hosts Region’s First Large-Scale Event Since COVID

April 17 was a beautiful weekend, not only for the runners in the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon or the music lovers at the Freedom First Down by Downtown Music Festival, but for the Roanoke region as a whole. 

The Roanoke Regional Partnership started the race in 2010 as a “bucket list” event that attracts tourists but more importantly enhances the region’s national image. Our community shined this year as 2,800 runners from 40 states and five countries toed the start line for the first time since the pandemic.

“You are lucky to have a beautiful and friendly city to call home. My new favorite tree is the red bud, and your early American architecture and sole proprietor businesses were very cultural compared to the Targets, Applebees and Walmarts that I am stuck with in Colorado,” said Eric, a runner from Fort Collins. “The people cheering from porches and homemade aide stations were very endearing. What a fabulous city filled with warm and lively personalities. I will absolutely be back.”

 

Blue Ridge Marathon Runners 2021
2021 Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon

Roanoke Outside staff worked tirelessly with the Virginia Department of Health, Governor Northam’s office and multiple Roanoke City departments to create endurance sport guidelines that will be used for future events throughout the state.  

“We are proud to have pulled off the first big event in the Roanoke Region since the pandemic. We wanted to make sure we set the gold standard for how in-person events can be done in a low-risk way so we can finally start economic recovery as a community. We had to reinvent the wheel in a lot of ways, but it was worth the extra work to show others the way forward,” said Julia Boas, events director at the Roanoke Outside Foundation.

Businesses in downtown Roanoke, and throughout the metro-area, noticed the surge of restaurant goers and shoppers throughout the weekend. Hotels also saw their first big uptick since the pandemic, with many hotels showing as sold out on their websites.

“It was great to see the Blue Ridge Marathon and Down by Downtown return to Downtown Roanoke for 2021,” said Tina Workman, president and CEO of Downtown Roanoke, Inc. “The influx of visitors to our farmers market and our locally-owned businesses provided much needed foot traffic and gave us the opportunity to show off our amazing city after a challenging year.”

The Blue Ridge Marathon is but one example of leveraging the outdoors to attract people and economic benefit. The Roanoke Regional Partnership created the nonprofit Roanoke Outside Foundation to better connect our economy to the outdoors, create brand building events such as the Blue Ridge Marathon, Down by Downtown, and GO Fest, and improve outdoor infrastructure.

The Blue Ridge Marathon is more than a foot race. And our mountains, rivers and lakes are more than wall paper. They are part of the Roanoke Regional Partnership’s modern economic development strategy.

A full economic impact report of the 2021 Blue Ridge Marathon will be released in the coming weeks.

Munters Group AB to Invest $36 Million in Botetourt County

Munters Group AB, a global leader in innovative energy-efficient and sustainable climate solutions for mission-critical processes announced today it will build a state-of-the-art facility in Botetourt Center at Greenfield to replace its Buena Vista, Virginia, plant. The company will invest $36 million and plans to retain its approximately 200 workers in the new location. The 365,000 sq. ft. facility will house manufacturing, research and development, and sales of data center cooling systems and high-temperature industrial process systems.

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