How would you define “livability?”

Adams County has it.

The website Livability has made a name for itself over the past 10 years by highlighting what makes small-to-medium-sized towns and cities great places to live. Just like some of our favorite cookies, the “good stuff” is in the middle. And Livability is known for shining a light on many towns and cities that are considered hidden treasures or previously-undiscovered gems.

Gettysburg is one of those gems! About a month ago, Livability came out with an article, “11 Up-and-Coming Cities in Pennsylvania That Deserve a Second Look.” And guess which Pennsylvania town was at the top of the list? You guessed it—Gettysburg.

Among the many reasons, the article lists Gettysburg’s ties to history; the Gettysburg National Military Park; area farmers’ markets and orchards; locally-made ciders, beers and wines; a low crime rate; affordable education options; and proximity to larger cities.

This might not be news to you! According to a 2017 Adams Alliance survey, the number one reason people enjoy living and working in Adams County is “quality of life.” In fact, a total of 71% of those surveyed listed quality of life as Adams County’s top advantage.

So why is Livability highlighting great towns in the Keystone State right now?

The pandemic is causing our society to rethink and evaluate where we choose to live. Many employers are becoming more flexible. With more people working from home than ever before, more people are waking up to the fact that (hurray) they can actually choose where they want to live, including more affordable locations.

We all know people, especially retirees, who have moved to Adams County for our history, affordability and quality of life. Often, they have visited Adams County over the years and dream about relocating here in their retirement years.

That storyline is being disrupted, all across the country. The real estate market is hopping. Why wait until retirement, to choose where you really want to live?

Here in Pennsylvania, “Work smart, live happy” is a tagline our Department of Community and Economic Development has used for several years to highlight our state’s great job opportunities coupled with quality of life.

Our partners at Destination Gettysburg call it “the halo effect.” According to a survey by travel industry expert Longwoods International, people who have positive experiences on vacations think of those destinations as desirable places to live, work and retire too. In other words, “the halo effect” says that people love a destination because they envision it as a great place to live and work. We know this is true of Gettysburg as a tourist destination because more than 60% of all visitors are repeat visitors, and anecdotally we constantly hear of people moving to the area to live, work and retire, because they first vacationed here.

Now, why not have all three—love it, live & work here.

Marketing dollars are slim in 2020. However, we’re going to use the recognition on Livability to our “advantage.” We’re placing an ad, marketing Adams County as “the best of all worlds” and playing on the theme, “Love where you live, work where you love” on Livability’s website and an upcoming magazine featuring Pennsylvania!

The ad is being placed by the Advantage Adams partnership which includes the Alliance, County of Adams, Destination Gettysburg, the Chamber of Gettysburg and Adams County, and HACC-Gettysburg. We are excited to shine a brighter light on Adams County, as a great place to live, work and play.

Kaycee Kemper is Vice President of Adams Economic Alliance, which is comprised of three organizations: The Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Adams County General Authority (ACGA).