More than 11,000 people visited the National D-Day Memorial last month for the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, but most of those guests didn't spend the night in Bedford.
"We do have some lodging that's here, but it's not enough to accommodate large groups that come through," said April Cheek-Messier, president of the National D-Day Memorial.
Bedford has two hotels affiliated with national chains with a total of 117 rooms.
There are a few independent motels and a handful of bed and breakfast options, but Cheek-Messier believes more is needed.
"It would be wonderful to have those additional options, so visitors can stay and spend their money in town visiting the businesses and eating at the restaurants," Cheek-Messier said.
A developer was planning to build a Hampton Inn in Bedford back in 2008, but the economic collapse prevented him from getting financing.
Dave Francis, president of the Greater Lynchburg Hospitality Association, is building a Comfort Inn near the Lynchburg airport.
He considered building a hotel in Bedford, but his research showed the market couldn't support it.
"It's not an overnight stay," said Francis. "You're better off to go into Roanoke and Lynchburg. There are a lot more support services."
Business owners like Mitchell Bond disagree.
He says attractions like a newly formed artisan trail, local wineries, and art galleries like the one he owns would give overnight visitors plenty to do.
He believes a new hotel would keep visitors in town longer.
"They would be able to spend more time here and spend more money here, hopefully," said Bond.
But Francis says hotel developers are driven by money, and he's not sure they can make enough in Bedford.
"To build a hotel, with the debt service you're going to incur and the operating cost, it just has never made sense," said Francis.
A handful of business owners and tourism stakeholders will ask the Board of Supervisors to hire a new tourism director for the county. That position was vacated recently, when the city of Lynchburg hired the previous director.
When the job is filled, Bedford officials would like to see the new person make advocating for hotels a top priority.