The Town That Nora Roberts Remade

There are her son’s restaurants: Vesta, a pizza shop, and Dan’s Restaurant & Tap House. Residents work out around the corner at Fit in BoonsBoro, the gym Roberts built last year.

Roberts and her family own eight properties with an assessed value of $3.2 million in this Western Maryland town of 3,400. Their businesses employ about 100 people, and the enterprises have done so well that other businesses have blossomed around them. The bookstore begat gift shops. The inn boosts a spa.

The Washington Post has a really nice story about the town of Boonsboro, Md. that has been economically invigorated by best-selling romance novelist Nora Roberts (who also goes by the pen name J.D. Robb). Roberts’s businesses employ many of the locals, and she keeps her high-end gym membership fees down to $30 a month so anyone who wants to go to the gym can afford to do so. Her books have taken place in the town, which draws tourists (and their money), and she donates thousands of dollars to support the local high school marching band and drama club. I have never read a single book by Nora Roberts, but I admire her ever the same.

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