Matzie: $35,000 grant will expand marketing of historic ‘Old Economy Village’

AMBRIDGE, Dec. 4 – A $35,000 state grant will bolster marketing of Old Economy Village, allowing promotion of the local historic settlement to a larger number of potential tourists, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today.

Matzie said the funding – awarded by the state Department of Community and Economic Development – will build on a successful marketing initiative already underway. 

“Over the past two years, marketing efforts through the ‘Bringing History Alive’ program have increased visitors to Old Economy Village by nearly 30%, drawing tourists from 40 states and several foreign countries,” Matzie said. “Securing this funding will allow us to expand on those efforts by marketing to a larger geographic area.

“Based on the success of efforts to date, I’m optimistic that expanding promotion of the village’s unique historical and educational attractions will spur even greater tourism, and with it, increased revenue and jobs.”

Site administrator Michael S. Knecht echoed those sentiments, saying, “Old Economy Village and the Friends of Old Economy Village are delighted to receive this significant grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development to enhance our marketing program. 

“Old Economy Village, a National Historic Landmark, provides visitors with the opportunity to explore 19th century history at the restored village of one of the most prosperous communal societies in American history. These funds will introduce this gem to potential visitors from throughout the region and country. Increased attendance at Old Economy will help to stimulate the economy in Ambridge, Beaver County and southwestern Pennsylvania.”

Matzie added that the marketing plan will go beyond the traditional 100-mile radius and will include targeted outreach in regional and national publications, advertising in digital and social media outlets, promotion of special events, production of rack cards for regional hotels, and other efforts.

Old Economy Village preserves the story of the Harmony Society, one of the oldest and most successful religious communal groups of the 19th century. The village is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, of which Matzie is a member.

Matzie noted that the check-presentation ceremony came as the village was being decorated for holiday events that begin this weekend. More information about the next event, Christmas at the Village, is available by visiting this page.