Member Spotlight Archive

Front Royal, Virginia

Where a relaxed way of life begins
Published August 2012

As the northern gateway to the Shenandoah Valley, in northwestern Virginia, the Town of Front Royal sits among stunning scenery. Both the Shenandoah River and the entrance to the Shenandoah National Park and its famous Skyline Drive are prominent features of this historic town of nearly 15,000.

Originally named LeHewtown after French Huguenot Peter LeHew, who purchased 200 acres in 1754, Front Royal was incorporated in 1788 by a group of real estate speculators.

Rail service was established in 1854 and was quickly extended to Strasburg in time to become a factor in the Battle of Front Royal on May 23, 1862, and throughout the Civil War.

Lumber, agriculture, manufacturing and grain mills provided employment in the region for decades after the Civil War. Tourism and recreation are among the current economic drivers of Front Royal, and the Department of Tourism energetically promotes the town to regional, national and international tourism markets.

Outdoor attractions
Only about 70 miles west of Washington, D.C., Front Royal may be near to the nation’s capital, but the town is an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts.

There are abundant activities that draw about 40,000 visitors annually. Among these are biking, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, golf and fishing. Swimming and tennis are also popular Front Royal pastimes.

The region is also home to several popular wineries and farmers markets.

Visitors will enjoy a walk through the historic downtown area which offers assortment shops, restaurants and other attractions. They can take a trip back in time with the Battle of Front Royal Driving Tour or Front Royal Walking Tour.

Tourists have many options when it comes to lodging in Front Royal. The town has several hotels along with bed and breakfasts. For those seeking a more rustic stay, cabins and campgrounds are available in the nearby Shenandoah National Park, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, as well as state parks in the area.

Town services
Front Royal’s Department of Public Works provides an extensive range of services for residents, including street maintenance, water and sewer line maintenance, refuse and recycling collection, maintenance of town property and town vehicles, and horticultural beautification.

The Town of Front Royal is one of 14 municipal electric systems in Virginia. Its Department of Energy Resources is a self-supported enterprise that has been providing service to residents for more than 100 years. The department now serves more than 8,000 customers.

As a member of AMP, Front Royal participates in a number of projects in AMP’s diversified power-supply portfolio. These are designed to benefit the town and its residents by significantly reducing the risk of market volatility and uncertainty, while helping ensure a predictable supply of competitively priced power. The projects are:

  • AMP Fremont Energy Center, a natural gas combined cycle facility in northern Ohio that supplies intermediate and peaking power
  • Meldahl/Greenup, which includes the run-of-the-river hydroelectric generating facility currently under construction at the Captain Anthony Meldahl Dam on the Ohio River and the existing generating facility at the Greenup Dam, also on the Ohio River
  • Phase 1 Hydro, which includes the run-of-the-river generating facilities currently under construction at the Cannelton, Smithland and Willow Island dams on the Ohio River
  • Prairie State Energy Campus, a 1,600-MW state-of-the-art supercritical mine-mouth plant in southern Illinois that is one of the cleanest coal-fired facilities in the nation

Other AMP programs Front Royal participates in include:

  • Energy Depot®, a web-based set of online energy tools customers can use, for free, to help them make their homes more energy efficient
  • The Virginia AMP Service Group (VASG)

For more information on the Town of Front Royal, visit or