For Immediate Release: August 16, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Tourism Corporation: Caroline Logan, (804) 545-5572, clogan@virginia.org

Governor Northam Announces Public-Private Marketing Grants to Support 57 Local Tourism Programs

Program will generate over $4.9 million in marketing initiatives and impact more than 230 statewide tourism entities

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $890,000 in matching grant funds will be awarded to 57 local tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program (MLP). The MLP grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds. This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $4 million to match the VTC grants, providing more than $4.9 million in new marketing funds to increase travel to Virginia. The grants will ultimately impact at least 232 other statewide tourism entities.

“Tourism continues to be one of the fastest-growing and most innovative industries in Virginia, proving to be a substantial revenue generator year after year,” said Governor Northam. “Across the Commonwealth, tourism businesses recognize the importance of having inventive, strategic marketing initiatives to showcase all that Virginia has to offer. These grants will support those efforts and help draw thousands of additional visitors to the Commonwealth to experience everything that makes Virginia so special—our scenic beauty, exciting restaurants, historic sites, music venues and festivals, charming small towns, oysters, wine, craft beer and more.”

The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, stimulating new tourism marketing through partnerships, and extending the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand. A minimum of three Virginia entities must partner financially to apply for a grant. 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 tourism-related businesses. In total, VTC awards approximately $1.7 million annually—matched and leveraged on average 3:1 by partner dollars.

“The Marketing Leverage Program grants continue to inject critical funds into communities across the Commonwealth, helping to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The tourism industry is a huge economic engine for Virginia. Last year, visitors spent $25 billion, which supported 232,000 jobs and contributed $1.73 billion in state and local taxes. By leveraging these marketing funds and public-private partnerships, the Marketing Leverage Program grants will help spur even more economic activity, funneling dollars back into our cities and towns across Virginia.”

The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants will open on September 5, 2018, with a November 7, 2018deadline. Localities interested in applying may visit www.vatc.org for more information.

A full list of Marketing Leverage Program grant recipients can be found below.

Program Name

Lead Partner

Award Amount

2019 State Games of America

Virginia Amateur Sports

$25,000

36 hours in Charlottesville Wine Country

Early Mountain

$5,000

A Family Tradition Continues: Sinkland Farms

Sinkland Farms

$8,750

Adjust Your Altitude

Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority

$50,000

Agritourism Branding and Update of Marketing Materials and Images

Fort Lewis Lodge & Farm

$7,725

An Abingdon Christmas

Barter Theatre

$5,000

Artisans of Virginia Reaching Beyond

Artisans Center of Virginia

$5,000

Birthplace of Country Music – Mobile Marketing Initiative and Campaign

Birthplace of Country Music

$25,000

Bridge the Gap

SoLace Studios Fine Handcrafts

$2,500

“Come, Find Home” Marketing Campaign

Montgomery County Regional Tourism Office

$17,500

Creek Bottom Brewing Marketing Leverage Program

Creek Bottom Brewing

$2,424

Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretive Center

Scott County Economic Development Authority

$50,000

Digital Marketing and Influencers in the Outdoors

Roanoke Outside Foundation

$25,000

Discover Bristol Outdoor Recreation Marketing Initiative

Discover Bristol

$10,000

Discover the Town of Floyd

Town of Floyd

$2,900

Divinely Placed: Marketing the Waynesboro Experience

City of Waynesboro Economic Development & Tourism

$50,000

Draper is for Dreamers

Pulaski Grow

$23,400

Exploring Taste of Blue Ridge’s Food Scene through Video and Photography

Nibblins LLC

$25,000

Fall Home to Tazewell

Tazewell Area Chamber of Commerce

$5,000

Find Your Outdoor MUSE in Shenandoah County

Muse Vineyards

$10,000

Find Your River Fun in Virginia’s River Realm

Town of Kilmarnock

$10,000

Fish Virginia First—For Your Freshwater Fishing Adventures

Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

$3,500

Floyd Yoga Jam 2018

Floyd Yoga Jam

$5,000

Get Lost in the Gap

Town of Pennington Gap

$5,000

Giles County Engaging Visitors to Find Their Playground in Virginia’s Mountain Playground™

Giles County Tourism

$7,549

Grayson County Online Ad Campaign

Grayson Highlands General Store & Inn

$9,100

Harrisonburg International Festival & Community

Community Mediation Center DBA FairField Center

$10,000

Join the Adventure

Trailhead Adventures

$5,000

King Street Waterfront Park Launch

Visit Alexandria

$25,000

Live the Mountain Life

Tazewell County

$5,000

Martinsville Speedway – Spring 2018

Martinsville Speedway

$25,000

Marts and Arts: Pulaski’s Downtown Activation Campaign

Town of Pulaski

$1,000

Maximizing the 2019 Commemoration for America’s Historic Triangle

Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc.

$25,000

New Connections

William King Museum of Art

$5,000

Peaches and Pickin in Patrick County

Patrick County Chamber of Commerce

$7,400

Reaching the Traveler Digitally

Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau

$25,000

Regional Amp-up: The Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music 2019

The Crooked Road

$25,000

Rooster Walk 11 Music & Arts Festival

Rooster Walk Inc

$10,842

Rooted in the Past, Growing to the Future: Diversifying Abingdon’s Brand Identity

Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau

$48,720

Salty Southern Route – The Path to Virginia’s Pork & Peanuts

Salty Southern Trail

$22,247

Shenandoah Valley Epic Experiences

Shenandoah Valley Travel Association

$25,000

Shocktober 2018

The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus

$5,000

The Annual Green Top Outdoor Expo

Green Top Sporting Goods

$25,000

The Commonwealth Coastal Classic

Norfolk Festevents, Ltd.

$25,000

The heART of the Alleghany Highlands

Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

$30,000

The Virginia Historical Society’s Event Spaces

Virginia Historical Society

$25,000

Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival

Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest

$5,000

Tom Tom Founders Festival

Tom Tom Foundation

$25,000

Traditional Blue Ridge Music Cultural Kick-Off

Blue Ridge Institute and Museum

$5,000

Trailblazing Art!

Taubman Museum of Art

$25,000

TransVirginia Bike Route

Village to Village Press, LLC

$9,481

Virginia Creeper Trail: Heading into the Future

Virginia Creeper Trail Club

$10,000

Virginia Foothills

Montpelier

$25,000

Virginia MOCA Exhibition – Todd Schorr: Atomic Cocktail

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

$2,500

Visit Waynesboro’s East Main District

Blue Ridge Bucha

$5,000

Walk to Freedom: The Mary Draper Ingles Story

The Long Way Home, Inc

$5,000

Waterford Fair

Waterford Foundation Inc.

$3,000

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