The conversion of a billboard along Route 248 into an electronic digital device should result in more exposure for area businesses.

Hager Furniture of Palmerton plans to erect a digital billboard on the north side of Route 248 in Parryville, members of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce were told on Tuesday.

Frank Hager Jr., who along with his father, Frank Hager, owns the billboard on the north side of Route 248, informed chamber members of the plans to convert the billboard into a digital electronic device.

That could mean extra exposure, and reduced advertising costs, for area restaurants, retail stores, realtors, hospitals, health care providers and other area businesses.

Frank Jr. said he and his father purchased the two acres of land in 1992, at which point they erected the billboard.

The billboard has two sides; going east on 248 is an advertisement for Hager Furniture, while going west is an advertisement for Pencor Service Inc.

Upon completion of several feasibility studies, Frank Jr. said he and his father decided to take the board digital.

The studies showed that 21,000 cars travel both directions on 248 daily, and 630,000 cars a month, Frank Jr. said.

"One of the advantages of our board is that we can rotate both sides, and we guarantee one rotation per minute," Frank Jr. said. "We can change the messages, and are not locked into a regular billboard."

There will be no more than eight advertisers on each side, for a total of 16 on both sides, Frank Jr. said. As of now, he said the company already has nine commitments, one of which is from Pencor.

Frank Jr. said the goal is to ensure the billboard becomes a valuable, economical way to attract more customers.

"We can keep it very competitive, significantly undermarket," he said. "We want people to be successful, and our goal is for it to work for both sides."

The board, which should be erected by mid-July and in operation by Aug. 1, will run 19 hours a day, Frank Jr. said.

"We have the perspective of the business owner; our goal is long-term relationships," he said. "We want it to be successful for you."

Andrew Harris, chief executive officer of Blue Mountain Health Systems, said he believes the concept will bode well for area businesses.

"I think what's going to make yours look good, is yours is going to be the only (digital billboard) on 248," Harris said.