By Meladi Brewer
VERSAILLES — Versailles named in Ohio Magazine’s Best Hometowns 2022-2023.
Versailles is a village located in west central Ohio with a population of 2,700. The Village of Versailles website says “we are small in size, but large in opportunities” and it is the opportunities Versailles provides for “people, pride, and progress” that allowed it to be named this year’s Ohio Magazine’s Best Hometowns 2022-2023 alongside Athens, Bellefountaine, Kent, and Perrysburg stating these hometowns embody the qualities that make life in Ohio special.
“I’m pretty proud of the fact that Versailles is listed along with four other villages here in the state of Ohio for Ohio Magazine Five Greatest Places to Live, Work, and Visit,” Mayor Jeff Subler said. “We are very happy about that because that’s why we live here. We couldn’t agree more.”
Ohio Magazine will share more about why these hometowns “are great places to live, work, and visit” in their November/December 2022 and July/August 2023 issues. Until then community members and small businesses rejoice in the knowledge that they are part of the Versailles community. However, they stress the importance of improvement stating is is imporant to not remaining stagnant and supporting local businesses.
“What an honor,” Swift Gilly Boutique posed on Facebook. “Our small town is amazing, but more than ever, Versailles needs to vamp up our downtown’s small businesses.”
The post continues to say the new Hotel Versailles and Silas are bringing in new and familiar people back into Versailles, so it is important to make Versailles a destination location. It was said the way to do it would be to “add more businesses that draw people into the daily life of the Versailles Community.”
Shopping at local stores and markets are a start to keeping work and community life afloat. Local investment both financially and socially were stressed as equally important. Town and Country Players put on a Summer Series during the month of July for anyone who would have liked to attend and sporting events play a vital role in the community as school starts back up. The new hotel and restaurant in town also has increased traffic within the community.
“My experience so far with Hotel Versailles and Silas being open has been great. I am seeing more foot traffic, and customers stop by my boutique, shop around a bit, and then usually ask me what else there is to do in the area,” Swift Gilly Boutique Facebook read.
Swift Gilly continues to show why Versailles is the best place to live and work by supporting other local businesses. It was added that she lists off as many ideas as she can think of to help support the fellow local business owners, but there is not a lot for her to suggest in the small town.
“Let’s change that. These individuals are wanting to explore and experience Versailles,” the Facebook post said. “Let’s work together to provide a great experience for those that live in and visit our charming small town.”
Versailles may have been named the Best Hometown for 2022-2023, but the community is still thinking of ways to continuously improve and become better.
Village Administrator Mike Busse had been brainstorming ways to coordinate local events to local businesses. In a previous Village Council meeting he had mentioned the idea of hiring a Community Event Coordinator with the goal of gaining coordination between the Visitors Bureau and the Village of Versailles. The idea is to get individuals who come to social gatherings to come back to downtown Versailles to support the local business district.
“How do you capitalize on that (outside events) and get these people back downtown either that day, or how do you get them to come back to Versailles?” Busse asked.
The Village of Versailles is continuously brainstorming ideas to improve the community so it lives up to its motto of being a place of opportunity for a community of “people, pride and progress.”
If you are interested in opening up a new business in the downtown area and need contact information on how to do so, contact Swift Gilly Boutique through Facebook or Instagram for more details.
To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected]