James City EDA approves Billsburg request to hold private event at marina

Staff writer

The Economic Development Authority approved a request by Billsburg Brewery to hold a private event at James City County Marina at its meeting Tuesday.

Billsburg wants to hold a private camping event for a running club. The use of certain areas of the property, including the proposed location of the campsite, requires a nod from the EDA as per the lease agreement between the EDA and the brewery, which leases its facilities from the EDA. The overnight event is open only to members of the club, according to a description of the request included with the meeting’s online agenda.

EDA members voted unanimously to give permission. And while that’s a required step, the authority isn’t the last word on the event’s approval.

County departments, such as zoning and parks and recreation, still have to sign off on the event request before it can happen, said Kate Sipes, economic development assistant director. A timeline on when those approvals may or may not be granted wasn’t discussed during the meeting.

The camping event will be held May 24-25 in the space between Billsburg’s brewing facility and the garden at the marina. It’s expected that 50 to 100 people will attend.

The runners will camp in tents rather than recreational vehicles, brewery founder Dave Baum said in an email sent to EDA staff on Friday to request consideration of the event.

“It’s a revenue generator for the brewery, and it’s in our best interest for them to be successful,” EDA chairwoman Robin Bledsoe said.

The brewery opened at the marina with financial backing via a public-private partnership with the county in October 2017.

The county and the authority contributed $750,000 to support the brewery’s opening. That money funded construction of Billsburg’s brewing facility and infrastructure, such as plumbing and light fixtures, but not taproom improvements.

Jack Jacobs, 757-298-6007, jojacobs@vagazette.com, @jajacobs_

Copyright © 2019, The Virginia Gazette
91°