Washington County, VA Business Overview

Diversity in retail, technology sectors help Washington County's economy surge forward.

By Kevin Litwin on Thu, 04/21/2016 - 12:00

The economy of Washington County is right on the money these days, with a variety of sectors contributing to the region’s overall quality of life.

Oak Park Center for Business & Industry

This expansive property is near Interstate 81 and U.S. 11 (Lee Highway), and most of the land is shovel-ready for potential company tenants to immediately develop. Tri-Cities Regional Airport is within a short drive of Oak Park Center, and rail service is also on-site.

K-VA-T Food Stores

K-VA-T Food Stores, a family-owned company that serves Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee (thus its name), operates 16 locations in Southeastern Kentucky, 27 in Southwest Virginia, 63 in East Tennessee, 21 in Chattanooga and eight in North Georgia. The 135-store chain includes 123 Food City locations, 10 Super Dollar Discount Foods and two wine and spirits stores. The company also operates its own 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center in Abingdon. 

The Pinnacle

Off I-81 at exit 74B, The Pinnacle is a new retail and commercial development anchored by Bass Pro Shops, Belk and Marshalls. Officials estimate that 60,000 vehicles pass by or turn into The Pinnacle on a daily basis; the mall has a service area of 750,000 consumers from Southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina.

Wal-Mart Supercenter

In late 2016, a new Wal-Mart Supercenter opened in Abingdon along I-81 at exit 19, behind the VCA Highlands Animal Hospital. The opening added 300 new jobs to the region, and the company says it provides a benefits program for both full- and part-time workers. Besides food, clothing and other products, the department store features a fuel center.

Five Openings in 2016

Chris Renee Cosmetics, Crown/Dash Ventures, Love’s Travel Stop and Qore Systems all opened new facilities in 2016, totaling $36 million in investment and creating 500 jobs. Chris Renee Cosmetics produces natural cosmetics, Crown/Dash Ventures is a retail development off I-81 at exit 19, Love’s Travel Stop is a truck stop/fuel center in Meadowview, and Qore Systems manufactures and distributes an antimicrobial hand purifier that lasts 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Bristol, Va., has welcomed a new Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center Energy Center off I-81 at exit 7. The building houses a Clean Energy Research & Development Center along with office space for other potential technology industries and environmentally minded businesses. The Energy Center was constructed with LEED Gold certification, highlighted by energy-efficient LED lighting, 288 solar panels for electricity, and geothermal heating and cooling.


Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years. He was previously an editor for a small-town newspaper for 10 years, and is now...

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