Blue Ridge featured on the cover of Southern Living

By Rachel Lucas - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – The Blue Ridge is featured on the cover of Southern Living magazine's October issue.

The issue includes a two-page spread about fall foliage, the people and the sites in our region.

The article was written by travel journalist Jason Frye who first contacted Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge in 2013 and visited in August of 2014.

"Like family (the people of the Blue Ridge Mountains) open their arms and their homes, welcoming visitors to share a drink, a meal or a song," the article said.

Catherine Fox, with Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge, said the article truly captures the southern hospitality the region offers to visitors.

The article includes photographs and mentions the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Taubman Museum, the Floyd Country Store, as well as Mill Mountain.

Landon Howard, with Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge, said the article will be distributed to 345,000 people, conservatively speaking.

The feature is considered a big win for the local tourism industry.

"Anytime you get a big, huge article like Southern Living, it's worth a lot to us, because so many people do read this article. From our stance this is being distributed all along the Eastern Seaboard," Howard said.

The advertising value for the article is estimated at $132,000. Howard said the feature will attract Southern Living readers to the area.

The Blue Ridge is riding its seventh year of record growth. Travel expenditures for Virginia's Blue Ridge (including the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke) reached $800,672,203 resulting in a 2.1-percent increase over 2014.

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