STAUNTON, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) today commended Governor McDonnell on his recent announcement that the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) will award will award matching grant funds in the amount of more than $660,000 to 45 local tourism initiatives as part of VTC’s Marketing Leverage Grant program. The grants help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 3:1 to create marketing projects such as Web sites, social media, and advertisements.
The grants that will be beneficial to our area are as follows:
- $12,500 awarded to the City of Waynesboro-Tourism Office for Comprehensive Destination Marketing, research, Feasibility and Strategic Planning
- $25,000 awarded to the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association for the Shenandoah Valley Regional Branding Initiative (SVRBI)
- $4,000 awarded to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum for Stay and Play
- $5,000 awarded to the Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables for promoting the Shenandoah Valley as a Premier Wedding Destination
- $5,000 awarded to the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce for Good Times, Tastes, and Traditions Fall Celebration
- $5,000 awarded to the Shenandoah Valley Art Center Inc. for River City Fall Foliage Weekend
- $5,000 awarded to Nelson County Tourism for Virginia Cider Association
- $5,000 awarded to the Artisans Center of Virginia for the Artisan Trail Network: Bedford and Shenandoah Counties and “Virginia’s Western Highlands Artisan Trail”
- $5,000 awarded to Waynesboro Downtown Development Inc. for the Virginia Chili Blues n’ Brews Festival
- $3,000 awarded to Waynesboro Parks and Recreation for Park to Park Half marathon promotion.
“I am thrilled that these grants have been awarded to so many well-deserving local organizations. Tourism is so important to our economy here in the Valley, and to the economy of the Commonwealth as a whole.” said Delegate Bell. “I am optimistic that these grants will help stimulate new tourism marketing and help support the economy in the Valley and throughout Virginia.”
The objective of VTC’s Marketing Leverage Program is to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships and extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand. To apply for a grant a minimum of three entities must partner financially. Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other not-for-profit entities. In total, VTC awards approximately $1 million annually - matched and leveraged on average three to one by partner dollars - to more than 80 communities across the Commonwealth.
More information about these grants can be seen at the Governor’s website at the following link http://www.governor.virginia.gov/News/viewRelease.cfm?id=1378
Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell is currently serving in his 2nd term. Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which currently includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Nelson Counties, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.
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