Images of vibrant and historic Hillsborough are now featured on a Chapel Hill transit bus.
The new moving billboard was unveiled Thursday in front of the Hillsborough Visitors Center.
The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau and The Hillsborough Tourism Program worked together to implement this project to inform residents in southern Orange County of what Hillsborough has to offer.
This photo montage includes scenes from historic sites such as Ayr Mount and the Alexander Dickson House, which serves as the Hillsborough Visitors Center. Also featured are outdoor dining spaces, Riverwalk, and images of downtown Hillsborough during Art Walk.
The “Visit Hillsborough” logo resides below the images, alongside the tagline, “No ordinary southern small town.”
The county wanted to create greater awareness of Hillsborough to UNC-Chapel Hill stakeholders, Orange County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Laurie Paolicelli said.
The bus will drive around the UNC-Chapel Hill campus and county until it fades, or close to two years.
Orange County’s occupancy tax revenue helped pay for this project’s design and production. The design done by advertising agency Clean Design Inc. cost $5,000, while the transit wrap produced by Capital Wraps cost $7,000.
Each year, the county receives more than $1 million generated from the occupancy tax levied on guests staying in the approximately 1,700 hotel rooms in Orange County. Of the $1 million, $500,000 goes to marketing for the Orange County Tourism Bureau, with the other half to staff and operations, according to Paolicelli. No property tax was used for this project.
The Orange County Visitors Bureau signed a contract with Chapel Hill Transit to pay a government rate of $700 per month for as long as the wrap is touring through Orange County.
This is the only bus with a Hillsborough-centric wrap and it will travel on several routes. Those routes cannot be controlled by the Town of Hillsborough.
“You are not just addressing riders with these ‘moving billboards.’ You are reaching families and professionals in their vehicles, students on and off campus and tourists finding their way around town,” said Brian Litchfield, Director of Chapel Hill Transit in a news release from the program.
On Thursday, Town Commissioners, Hillsborough/ Orange County Chamber of Commerce CEO and board members, and local residents gathered to view the bus.
Sitting in front of the Hillsborough Visitors Center, attendees had the opportunity to take pictures with the bus and tour the inside.
“[The bus] captures the beauty of Hillsborough while introducing a burst of color on the streets of Chapel Hill and Carrboro,” the release stated.