Virginia state officials tour downtown Bristol

Virginia state officials taking a walking tour of downtown Bristol Tuesday to see what the city has to offer.

They saw things like the Bristol Hotel that's under construction, some of the small businesses on state street and taking a picture with the iconic plaques separating Tennessee and Virginia along State Street.

"Small towns have struggled over the last couple decades and this is something you want to see. We want to see our small towns vibrant and happy and places where people want to live work and enjoy themselves," Brian Ball, Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Northam administration said.

He said Bristol is changing in a positive direction.

"What's so phenomenal is what you're seeing right here in downtown Bristol that I didn't see a 15 years ago which is probably the last time I came through," he said.

Ball said Governor Northam is from rural Virginia, so he understands the struggles these areas face.

That's why he said Northam is making southwest Virginia a priority.

"There are parts of Virginia that haven't fared as well as other parts. Places like northern Virginia big economic engines he wants to make sure the rest of Virginia is participating in development and prosperity," Ball said.

"We're just a small spot on the map and we're working hard to make sure we're driving our economy as much as possible especially within our downtown's, so it's important for them to be here and see the hard work that's being done within our community," Maggie Bishop with Believe in Bristol said.

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