Member Spotlight Archive

Martinsville, Virginia

A city without limits
Published April 2013

Martinsville is a place of beautiful surroundings. Destinations such as Philpott Lake, Fairy Stone State Park, Smith Mountain Lake and Smith River provide amazing scenic backdrops for abundant multi-use trails for hikers, bicyclists and nature enthusiasts.

With a population of approximately 13,200, Martinsville has a small-town feel while still located near major metro areas. A stay in the Martinsville area is whatever you want it to be – with choices ranging from hotels and inns to cabins and camping. Consider a picnic with stunning views, golf, kayaking or a visit to Hooker Field, home of the Martinsville Mustangs baseball team – which plays in a collegiate summer baseball league.

An artistic community, Martinsville boasts history museums, fine art and interactive exhibits as well as performing arts. Uptown Martinsville highlights a monthly TGIF concert series.

Popular community attractions include the Martinsville Speedway, a high-energy NASCAR racetrack; and Blue Ridge Parkway, 469 miles connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia – named “America’s Favorite Drive.”

A strong work ethic
Martinsville’s unique location makes it an attractive option for transportation and distribution companies. There are plenty of diverse and prepared building sites, making it an ideal place for businesses.

Furniture and textiles were the backbone of the community’s economy for many years; however, most of those industries have ceased local operations. Slowly, the economy is experiencing a re-growth as older buildings are retrofitted for new uses, coupled with development of modern industrial parks attracting a diverse array of nationally recognized companies.

Economic development is led by the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, whose staff consists of professionals in tourism, small and minority business development, marketing, research and development. The Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association continues to lead the way to an improved business climate and continued economic growth. The Longwood Small Business Development Center also offers a vast array of services to both new and existing businesses in the area.

Supporting a diverse portfolio
Established in 1904, the Martinsville Electric Department provides service to the city’s residents, businesses and industries – more than 7,800 meters. The city also generates a portion of its peak demand energy with a historic hydroelectric dam on the Smith River. The plant’s generation meets about 2 percent of Martinsville’s power needs. The staff maintains the dam and its surrounding environment. Additionally, the city recently completed construction of a 1 MW methane-fueled generating station located at the closed city landfill site.

The City Electric Department furnishes and maintains streetlights and dusk-to-dawn lights; and the division’s crew maintains the city’s power grid, including transmission and distribution lines, installing and maintaining poles and transformers, and overseeing underground facilities.

The electric department also completes free energy audits for residents who are looking for ways to reduce their energy cost.

As a member of AMP, Martinsville participates in a number of AMP programs and projects that assist in providing reliable energy and other benefits to the community and its citizen-owners. These include:

  • Virginia AMP Service Group (VASG)
  • AMP Fremont Energy Center, a natural gas combined cycle facility that supplies intermediate and peaking power
  • Phase 1 Hydro, includes the run-of-the-river generating facilities currently under construction at the Cannelton, Smithland and Willow Island dams on the Ohio River
  • The Prairie State Energy Campus, in southern Illinois, a 1,600-MW state-of-the-art supercritical mine-mouth plant and adjacent coal mine

For more information, please visit