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Fancy Gap residents helping themselves

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Fancy Gap doesn't have to reinvent the wheel to grow as a community. With its dedicated people and scenic treasures, the Carroll County hamlet already has a strong foundation for success.

Sure, maybe installing public water and sewer would make a dramatic impact on the number and type of businesses that set up shop there next to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

But trying to get water and sewer systems takes lots of time and money — at least one such project in Carroll took the better part of a decade to get going. So it's excellent to see that business owners and community members want to help themselves, to do what they can do to promote their home.

Fancy Gap has an unparalleled location in terms of proximity to the high volumes of traffic from Interstate 77 and recreational travelers on the parkway. As the planning meeting for the parkway's 75th anniversary made clear last week, Fancy Gap should benefit greatly from having a built-in audience of about 20 million running through it.

Actually, parkway officials believe the attendance figures will be higher than that.

Residents and merchants already know the key to a prosperous Fancy Gap is tapping into the traffic that might otherwise just roar by. So they will try to improve curb appeal, clean up the roadside, provide activities that leisure-seekers will want to attend, make it easy to find the places of interest through a visitors center and more.

Getting the first car off the road and the occupants into the stores might be the biggest challenge, but where one turns off maybe others will follow. If enough travelers pull off, then the money could flow from their wallets to the business owners' hands.

That in turn could create jobs and pull in more businesses, which could stimulate more commerce and create more revenue.

It seems like common sense to undertake these doable projects to better the place.

People in Fancy Gap deserve praise for their determination to make good things happen in their community.