At Home in Ashland with RCI Builders

RCI Builders has produced well-crafted, high quality homes at an affordable price in the Ashland/Hanover area since 1999. With local founders that call Hanover home themselves, and four communities currently available for building, RCI is committed to Ashland and the community’s future.

Downtown Ashland is thrilled to welcome RCI as a 2019 Ashland Train Day sponsor. To learn more about this dynamic company with local roots, we recently spoke with RCI’s Emily Porter.


Who are the founders of RCI Builders and how has it grown over the years?

The company has been locally owned since the start thanks to our founders, Todd Rogers and Mike Chenault. Patrick Ashley joined the RCI team in 2012 bringing 15 years of home building experience with him and soon after became the third owner.

RCI Builders has grown to become one of central Virginia’s largest locally owned construction companies. We have land positions in over 18 communities and run a highly successful build on your lot program. With 30+ full time employees, RCI does more than 50 million in business per year.

Why did RCI choose to create communities in and around Ashland?

Because we believe this is a great place to live and do business. Not to mention that many of our employees and contractors call Ashland and Hanover home, too.

What communities do you currently have or have planned in Ashland? What makes them unique?

Currently in Ashland we have four communities, Ashland Park, Haley Farm, Hickory Hill, and Lakeview at Luck Farm.

Ashland Park has a few lots remaining in its Village section, which features single family homes from the low $340’s. This quaint neighborhood features walking trails throughout the community with a neighborhood pavilion.

Haley Farm is one of RCI’s newest communities featuring large homesites starting in the $470’s. This is a horse-friendly community, welcoming your family and beloved companions - whether they be canine or equine!

Hickory Hill features single family homes on large lots in Hanover County. Large lots, quiet cul-de-sacs, and a modern neighborhood vibe, Hickory Hill provides the amenities homeowners look for. Only 9 lots remaining in our new section that just opened this year!

Lakeview at Luck Farm features single family homes just outside the town of Ashland, starting in the $500’s. The 1+ acre lot size combined with the ample common space this community offers will give you plenty of elbow room.

RCI is sponsoring the “Touch-a-Truck” area this year. Why did you choose to support Ashland Train Day?

RCI is supporting Train Day because we adore the Town of Ashland! This community has been home to our employees, contractors, and the folks who build with us. We’re thrilled to support a day dedicated to the history and heritage of this town.


Downtown Ashland Association thanks RCI Builders for supporting Ashland Train Day on Saturday, Nov. 2nd. Event participants will find heavy equipment, dump trucks, fire truck, ambulance, and much more. We hope you’ll join us!

Train Day 2019 Arrives in Downtown Ashland on Saturday, Nov. 2nd


Ashland Train Day, a signature event of Downtown Ashland Association now in its 17th year, is set to take place in the heart of historic downtown Ashland on Saturday, Nov. 2nd from 10am-5pm. Ashland Train Day is a free and family-friendly event.

With a list of activities and attractions that continues to grow each year, Ashland Train Day brings thousands of families and railfans into downtown each November to share in Ashland’s love of trains.

“This November we will host all of the Ashland Train Day favorites -- live CSX and Amtrak trains rolling right through the middle of our event, real railroad equipment, model trains, touch-a-truck, live music, food, and more,” said Maggie Longest, Executive Director of Downtown Ashland Association.

“New this year, thanks to a grant from American Evolution as part of the 2019 Commemoration, we are excited to partner with Ashland Museum and The Hanover County Black Heritage Society to present a scavenger hunt and new exhibits to take visitors on the journey of building Virginia’s railroads and the communities like Ashland that were shaped and impacted,” Longest added.


  • LOCOMOTIVES: Up to 18 CSX freight trains and Amtrak passenger trains will pass through the center of the event.

  • RAILROAD HISTORY & LORE: Two museums, three storytellers, and a 10-stop scavenger hunt bring Virginia’s railroad history to life. (Sponsored by the 2019 Commemoration)

  • MODEL TRAINS: 17 model trains on display—every size and scale, including lego and racing trains. Plus, vintage railroad equipment and a red caboose!

  • TOUCH-A-TRUCK: Gear heads of all ages will be amazed at the display of heavy equipment, fire truck and ambulance, dump trucks and tractors.(Sponsored by RCI Builders)

  • KID ZONE: A world of fun with a bouncy house, obstacle course, and games. (Sponsored by McKinney & Company)

  • LIVE MUSIC STAGE: Bluegrass, country, and old-time musicians take center stage. (Sponsored by CSX)

  • CHILDREN’S TRAIN RIDES: Two kiddie trains invite families to tour the festivities. All aboard! (Sponsored by Carey Construction Services)

  • ASHLAND TRAIN DAY AMBASSADORS: Cinder and Tinder, the lovable train engineer bears will be on hand for hugs and photos.

  • VIRTUAL RAILFAN: 7 million viewers tune in every month to watch trains live-streamed and Ashland is one of the site’s most popular locations. Wave to thousands watching on Train Day!

  • HEADQUARTERS: More than 100 community volunteers make the event possible, along with first responders from Ashland, Hanover, Randolph-Macon College, and CSX. (Sponsored by Wawa)

A detailed schedule, map (including parking and trolley pick-up locations), and full list of vendors will be made available closer to the event on the Train Day page.

Fall Brings Fun & Fresh Starts to Downtown Ashland

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Fresh starts and fall fun have Downtown Ashland bustling all season long. Join us for family-friendly events, exciting opening celebrations at downtown businesses, and track progress on three dynamic projects that Downtown Ashland Association has dubbed #Ashland2021.

“Looking to the future, while preserving the past: that’s the central idea behind #Ashland2021,” said Maggie Longest, Executive Director of Downtown Ashland Association. “Downtown Ashland Association is proud to join the Town of Ashland and Amtrak to invest in our historic downtown.”

As part of #Ashland2021:

1) The Town of Ashland is investing in its Town Hall to improve public meeting spaces, make a new home for the Ashland Farmer’s Market, create a public park, and more.

2) Amtrak is investing in Ashland’s historic train station to improve accessibility (ADA compliant), preserve historic character, create more seating, and replace landscaping. These improvements ensure that Ashland can accommodate and welcome ALL travelers. 

3) Downtown Ashland Association is investing in planters to make Downtown Ashland more inviting and walkable. The finished project will link Ashland Theatre, Randolph-Macon College, and other amenities to restaurants, shops, and lodging.

More information on all projects, including renderings, timelines and project-specific contact information can be found at here.

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Fall is also full of fantastic events for the entire family. Whether you’re a train-lover, a beer-lover -- or both -- Downtown Ashland is the place to be for fall fun!

Festivals & Events

· Sept. 27th & Oct. 25th (5-8pm): Ashland Fourth Fridays
A celebration of arts and culture in Downtown Ashland, featuring special events the fourth Friday of every month.

· Oct. 19th (1-7pm): Off the Rails Craft Beer Festival
Sip craft brews trackside under a shady canopy of trees in historic downtown. This event is family-friendly and a fun fall day full of craft beers, local food, & great bands! Sponsored by Hanover Arts & Activities Center.

· Oct. 20th & Nov. 10th (3pm): Richmond Symphony Metro Collection
Join Richmond Symphony at Randolph-Macon College for intimate, chamber orchestra concerts that allow you to get up close and personal with the musicians.

· Nov 2nd (10am-4pm): 17th Annual Ashland Train Day
A signature event of Downtown Ashland Association, Ashland Train Day is a FREE event for the whole family. More information, including a schedule of the day’s events will be available soon.

· Nov. 30th (all day): Small Business Saturday
Support your community and #shopsmall in Downtown Ashland. Stroll Ashland’s historic small town streets lined with independent shops, markets, eateries, and find unique gifts for everyone on your list.

Openings & Celebrations

· Sept. 5th: Opening -- Yoga on Center
Owner Lorie Lower celebrated the grand opening of her sun-filled, historic trackside studio at 403 S. Center Street. The studio welcomes yogis of all abilities for classes seven days a week.

· Sept. 12th (4-6pm): Opening -- Dominion Energy Innovation Center Coworking Space
Beginning in September, DEIC will open its doors as a coworking space and hub for local entrepreneurs. Tour the space and meet the team at this open house.

· Sept. 20th (6-8pm): Opening -- ReAwaken Spa
Join owner Shanda Hileman for a grand opening of her new full-service spa in the re-vamped space of the former Herald-Progress building.

· Oct. 16th (5-6pm): 2nd Anniversary Celebration -- Calm Air Pain Therapy
Celebrating the second year in Downtown Ashland, John Colletti owner of Calm Air Pain Therapy offers therapeutic treatments to stop nerve pain, an innovative alternative to opioid pain killers.

· Oct. 26th: Ribbon Cutting -- Center of the Yarniverse
After a successful first year in business, Center of the Yarniverse is moving to a bigger and better location across the tracks! Join owner Stacey Williamson for a ribbon cutting and to see the ample new space at 100 N. Railroad Avenue.

· Nov. 9th: Opening -- Ashland Coffee and Tea & More
Join owner Cate Hawks as she launches ACT&More under a new and innovative business model -- operating collaboratively among six female entrepreneurs, including Center of the Yarniverse, CaryTown Teas, Pearl's Bake Shoppe, and JuiceBar.

For more exciting events taking place in Downtown Ashland, visit Downtown Ashland Association’s Events Calendar and subscribe to “Get Centered” -- Downtown Ashland Association’s monthly enewsletter.

Relax at ReAwaken Spa

ReAwaken Spa owner Shanda Hileman bases her business on wellness. As a massage therapist, she believes that successful service focuses solely on the wellness of the client—rather than profit for the company. She trusts that the positive results will bring new and repeat clients to her door.

That is the mission of ReAwaken Spa -- offering personalized therapeutic care at “Ashland’s gem of peacefulness.”


Opening the front door, you walk into lavender, vanilla and cherry wafting from the soaps and candles displayed for sale. “All of our products are chemical free - pure and simple,” Hileman said proudly.


Inside the spa, you will see fun and sassy t-shirts, reasonably priced jewelry, and Arbonne and Juice Plus products available for purchase. Each month, Hileman showcases a different product line. She swears by the Juice Plus supplement line saying, “I never get sick, which is amazing because I never even get a flu shot.” 

As you walk toward the back, you will see several peaceful massage rooms and an infrared sauna. Hileman explains that infrared technology is “seven times more detoxing than a traditional sauna.”

Want to experience this gem of peacefulness for yourself? The Grand Opening of ReAwaken Spa is September 20 from 6:00-8:00pm and is open to all. Come and enjoy refreshments and music on the outside patio!

Plus, don’t miss weekly specials and membership benefits year-round.


ReAwaken Spa
112E Thompson Street
Ashland, VA 23005
(804) 299-2385

Open Doors at Dominion Energy Innovation Center

Beginning this month, Dominion Energy Innovation Center will open its doors to be a coworking space and hub for local entrepreneurs. DEIC will hold an Open House on September 12 from 4-6pm at 201 Duncan Street, inviting the community to visit the space and meet the team.


DEIC previously focused on technology startups, and will continue that important work. In addition, professionals of all stripes are invited to utilize the space as a coworking environment, including flexible work space, private offices, conference rooms, and a media studio.

Below, DEIC Director Adam Sledd shares his perspective on the organization’s new programs.

Adam Sledd, director of Dominion Energy Innovation Center in Downtown Ashland

Adam Sledd, director of Dominion Energy Innovation Center in Downtown Ashland

My family and I moved back to the Richmond area three months ago after nine years in Washington D.C., and it’s been amazing to spend the summer re-learning the Richmond region.

Every corner of our community has sprouted something new while I was away, whether that’s the budding of a local industry like the brewery scene or major residential and commercial developments cropping up all across Hanover County. Every time I sit down with an old friend to catch up I hear about a new business or project that has its own plan to help grow some piece of the region’s economy. Ultimately, this is why I’ve moved back -- because while this has always been a great place to work and raise a family, it’s also continually evolving as a fantastic place to grow a business.

I joined the Dominion Energy Innovation Center because I am excited about playing a part in this region’s continued economic growth story, and because DEIC is just beginning to define the next stage of its impact in Ashland and beyond. …

What I’ve found in the past three months is that entrepreneurship resources don’t all extend from the downtown Richmond area out into the rest of the region. Not every new business will build around a high-tech model, and not every entrepreneur will find time to drive to Short Pump or downtown for a coworking space, a networking event, or a panel on how to improve your digital marketing. There needs to be a bridge that connects the abundance of resources downtown with entrepreneurs—and future entrepreneurs—in Ashland, Hanover, and further out.

DEIC is expanding outward to be that bridge. In addition to myself, Ian Ragland has joined DEIC as our Program Manager and marketing expert. Ten years into DEIC’s mission we are going to open our doors a little wider, develop new programs to serve the business community, and continue to be a place for entrepreneurs to build the future.

We hope that you’ll join us in that endeavor as a member, a mentor, or an event participant. If you would like to learn more about the space and what we’re working on please check out the website at or come visit us on Duncan Street.