ROANOKE, Va.- – Biking, outdoors, arts, craft food and beverages. These are all things Virginia's Blue Ridge has to offer. A new marketing campaign says there's something for everyone and all you have to do is find your path. It's a new effort to encourage more people to move to or visit the Roanoke Valley. Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge spent more than a million dollars for this campaign, which is the largest amount ever.
There's a mountain of possibilities for visitors in the Roanoke Valley. Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge wants to help people explore those with its new regional tourism campaign BE A #TRAILSETTER.
Virginia's Blue Ridge is staking its claim as American's East Coast Mountain Biking Capital, which is the focus of the marketing campaign. Dan Lucas was part of the big announcement Tuesday morning.
"Me jumping off the stage was for fun. We just want to show people why mountain biking is fun and exciting," Lucas said.
He says the mountain biking industry helps to give the local economy a big boost. There are only 15 other destinations in the world -- including Roanoke -- with the title of Silver-Level Ride Center.
"If we can maintain the quality of trails and we can make sure those smiles are happening on the faces of people visiting, then we have the title as long as were able to keep that going," said Lucas of Mountain Biking Adventures.
As part of the announcement, the Virginia Tourism Corporation launched an additional brand to the state's main brand, Virginia is for Lovers. The new brand, Virginia is for Trail Lovers, plays right into the Roanoke Valley's hand mixing both outdoor adventures and cultural opportunities.
"It really encompasses so many experiences for the adventurer, so really it encompasses all the things that people love to do when they go on vacation and we know we love to stay some place beautiful, we love to eat amazing food, and we like to see the sights and people want to have an active lifestyle," Virginia Tourism Corporation President and CEO Rita McClenny said.
After a day out in the mountains, the campaign welcomes visitors and locals to enjoy other amenities in the area, one of those being the arts.
Shaleen Powell calls it a metro mountain mix of opportunities.
"There's so many museums to visit. For the size Roanoke is we have a vast number of organizations that you can partake in," said Shaleen Powell of Roanoke Cultural Endowment.
Virginia's Blue Ridge is promoting this brand in a variety of ways. For a few months, The Grandin Theatre will show a 30-second spot from the campaign on the big screen before each movie starts.
"And a lot of our patrons really are interested in the variety that we have to offer in a community and as a region," said Ian Fortier, executive director of Grandin Theatre Foundation.
Visitor spending in the region reached $850 million in 2018.