Gov. McAulifee announces grants for multiple area tourism initiatives

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RICHMOND (WSLS 10) - More than $772,000 in matching grant funds will be awarded to 62 tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation's (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program (MLP).

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced made the announcement on Tuesday.

"Today, we take another critical step in supporting one of Virginia's largest private sector industries and the individual communities across the Commonwealth that foster it," said McAuliffe. "These Marketing Leverage Program grants provide a vital opportunity for destinations and businesses across the Commonwealth, helping to create jobs, promote economic development, and increase visitor spending. I congratulate the more than 260 tourism partners across the Commonwealth that received funding for 62 projects – not only the highest number of partners awarded in the program's history, but the highest dollar match by partners in a single funding cycle."

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. In total, VTC awards approximately $1.7 million annually - matched and leveraged on average 3:1 by partner dollars.

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for the Commonwealth. In 2015, tourism generated $23 billion in revenue, supported 223,100 jobs and provided $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 7:1 return in tax revenue for Virginia, and the grant awards and matching funds provide a stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue.

Below is the  full list of Marketing Leverage Program grant recipients:

Program NameLead PartnerAward Amount
1864 Shenandoah Campaign Film and Third Winchester Orientation FilmShenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation$8,515.00
2017 VA Commonwealth Games at Liberty University - Border State OutreachVirginia Amateur Sports$5,000.00
90th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival ®Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival$25,000.00
Alleghany Highlands Arts & Mountain HeritageAlleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism$14,700.00
Artisan Trail Network: Ever Expanding, Evolving & EngagingArtisans Center of Virginia$7,866.50
Back of the DragonTazewell County$5,000.00
Bike the Valley Marketing ProgramCentral Shenandoah Planning District Commission$12,500.00
Biplanes and TriplanesMilitary Aviation Museum$5,000.00
Birthplace of Country Music – Marketing Campaign for 90th Anniversary of the 1927 Bristol SessionsBirthplace of Country Music$25,000.00
Blue Ridge Root to TableNibblins LLC$25,000.00
Cape Charles Art Soaked Weekends: July 2017Experimental Film Virginia$5,000.00
Celebrating Virginia in NYC with Richmond BalletRichmond Ballet$13,232.00
Create Your Own Story in Wytheville, VirginiaWytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau$25,000.00
Damascus, Crossing PathsTown of Damascus$5,000.00
Danville Pittsylvania County Tourism Advisory CommitteeDanville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce$25,000.00
Discover Bristol Marketing InitiativeBristol Convention & Visitors Bureau$25,000.00
Discover the Birthplace of American Wine: Revamping of Brand Identity and Online Presence.Monticello Wine Trail$5,000.00
Discover Virginia's Romantic Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop - "Where Mountains, Wine & Adventure meetDiscover Shenandoah$2,500.00
Downtown Blacksburg - 2017 CampaignDowntown Blacksburg, Inc.$4,500.00
Experience AppomattoxAppomattox County Chamber of Commerce$4,500.00
Experience RussellRussell County Tourism$5,000.00
Fairfax County Interactive Rich Media Advertising CampaignVisit Fairfax$12,500.00
Farm-to-Fork in Luray & Page CountyLuray-Page County Chamber of Commerce$25,000.00
Get Outside and Play "in the Burg"Back Home on the Farm$12,448.50
Glass Arts Conference/Spring MarketingChrysler Museum of Art$14,317.00
Hampton Roads Sports CommissionHampton Roads Sports Commission$5,000.00
Key to the CityVisit Alexandria$25,000.00
Kick Up Your HeelsVirginia Highlands Festival$9,350.00
Lex It Up!Rockbridge Area Tourism$23,000.50
Marketing the 40th Anniversary of the Richmond MarathonMetropolitan Richmond Sports Backers$25,000.00
Martinsville SpeedwayMartinsville Speedway$25,000.00
Music Lovers Weekend Getaway PackageShenandoah Valley Music Festival, Inc.$5,000.00
Newport News Craft Beer Tourism ProgramEconomic Development Authority of the City of Newport News, Virginia$5,000.00
NVVC 2017 Canada ProgramVisit Loudoun$9,375.00
Olde Towne Portsmouth Summer Arts PromotionOlde Towne Business Association$2,250.00
Richmond Beer Trail Marketing Campaign - Spring 2017Richmond Region Tourism$5,583.00
Roanoke River Blueway PromotionRoanoke Valley - Alleghany Regional Commission$5,000.00
Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail MagazineShen. Valley Wine Growers Assn.$7,500.00
Showcasing the Blue Ridge ParkwayPrimland$25,000.00
Simply Panache GetawaysMango Mangeaux, LLC$5,000.00
Southwest Virginia Outdoor ExpoHeartwood$5,000.00
Southwest Virginia: "A Different Side of Virginia" Multimedia Marketing and Branding InitiativeFriends of Southwest Virginia$25,000.00
Spartan RaceInfinity Downs$17,500.00
SquirreLee University Marketing InitiativeStratford Hall$4,976.00
Starr Hill Brewery IPA JamBEERee & Hop On Tour PromotionsStarr Hill Brewery$14,932.50
The Breaks: Centuries of StruggleBreaks Interstate Park$15,500.00
The Crooked Road Visitor Guide 2017The Crooked Road$13,100.00
The Perfect Getaway...Is Not So Far AwayNorthern Neck Tourism Commission$5,000.00
The Year of DiscoveryVirginia Museum of Natural History Foundation$3,000.00
Thomas Jefferson Craft Beer Tasting EventThomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest$5,000.00
Today's Shenandoah ValleyNorthern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission$25,000.00
Tom Tom Founders FestivalTom Tom Founders Festival$25,000.00
Virginia is for Music LoversVirginia Arts Festival$25,000.00
Virginia Marine Trades Association – Boat VirginiaVirginia Marine Trades Association$2,500.00
Virginia's River Realm Brand VideosTown of Kilmarnock$7,500.00
VirginiaSpirits.org Phase 2 LaunchVirginia Distillers Association$5,000.00
Visit ShenandoahShenandoah Valley Travel Association$9,050.00
Waterford FairWaterford Foundation, Inc.$7,431.00
Website Creation - Abingdon, VAAbingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau$25,000.00
Website Rebuild and Design and Update Marketing Materials and ImagesGarth Newel Music Center$12,500.00
Western Front Hotel....Experience Southwest Virginia!Western Front Hotel$14,166.50
Williamsburg Harvest CelebrationGreater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance$5,877.50