An effort being conducted by Zaleski village officials to attract businesses is garnering some assistance from the Vinton County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors and Convention Bureau as well.
Vinton County Marketing Director Caleb Appleman told The Telegram two projects that could be beneficial to the village, a visitors center and a railroad museum, are in the planning stages. He explained the opening of a Visitors and Conventions Center has been under discussion for some time.
"The only place to get information about the Zaleski and Brown Township area is at the Lake Hope Store and the information is limited to our pamphlets. We want to have something in Zaleski that will have information and events similar to what we have here in McArthur," he said.
Appleman stated many people stop at the Zaleski Candle Works shop to inquire about tourist attractions. He does not know if the center will be located there or at a nearby building. The center, he says, would be staffed by volunteers from the community.
As for the railroad museum, Appleman stated he got the idea from one he saw in Kentucky and thought that creating one in Zaleski would be a good idea. He feels such a museum would recreate the village's heritage as Zaleski was once a thriving railroad town and once had a population of 1,800 people, He noted the museum would be located on an unused section of the Moonville Rail Trail between the village and the Austin Power Plant and would be a big help to the village.
Appleman also wants to work with new Mayor Craig Walkerow and the Zaleski Village Council on these projects and believes it will help in their efforts to attract new businesses. Recently, the council sent out letters to prospective retailers, especially convenience-store owners, about locating in the village. Included in the packet is a traffic count and history of the village.