Hotel Roanoke spends nearly $500K to create hybrid conferencing capability
The Hotel Roanoke has added a half-million dollars worth of upgrades to create sophisticated video conferencing to allow attendees both in-person and on-line. The move will make it easier for groups to meet, even once the pandemic is over.
JH Bards Spirit Co. opens as Pulaski County’s first distillery
PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – Pulaski County is getting its first distillery. JH Bards Spirit Co. opens this weekend. It’s been two years in the making and a New River Valley location was always part of the dream. AdAs the spirit company hits restaurants and shelves across the country, Pulaski County Administrator Jonathan Sweet said it is showcasing some of the best of Pulaski County and the New River Family. JH Bards Spirt Co. will be open Friday to Sunday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. During the week they will offer private tastings.
New LOVE sign gives downtown Radford a fresh look
RADFORD, Va. – Downtown Radford has a new attraction. At the corner of Virginia Street and East Main Street, the new LOVEworks display serves as the starting point for the downtown area revitalization process that the city is working on. Already helping to launch other projects, a local arts group started encouraging residents to take their pictures by the sign using #LoveRadford. At the corner of Virginia Street and East Main Street, the new LOVEworks sign is on display. This sign joins the other 250 LOVEworks signs across the commonwealth state in an old campaign designed to promote tourism.
Homestead Resort cutting back on hours as coronavirus pandemic continues
HOT SPRINGS, Va. – Starting next year, Bath County’s biggest employer is making some major changes. Beginning Jan. 4, the Omni Homestead Resort will be open from Noon Thursday until 3 p.m. Sundays. “As we enter into the new year at The Omni Homestead Resort, we have made the very difficult decision to alter our hours of operation in January. It’s been a difficult 2020 for the resort, closing March 29 to reopen three months later on June 29. Click here for more information about the resort’s changes to its hours of operation
Virginia Tourism Corporation awards $80,000 in grants to SW Virginia municipalities
ROANOKE, Va. – Tourism boards in Southwest Virginia received a financial boost to help attract visitors through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Virginia Tourism Corporation awarded a total of $80,000 to five tourism boards. The awards included:$20,000 for Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge$20,000 for Botetourt County$20,000 for the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce$10,000 to the Town of Rocky Mount$10,000 to the City of SalemVisit Virginia’s Blue Ridge President Landon Howard said his organization’s $20,000 will be spent mostly on online marketing. He believes regional travelers will look to the Roanoke Valley for a getaway. “Those people may not be traveling to Europe for a two or three week vacation, but they will do weekend trips to places like Virginia’s Blue Ridge.”
Peaks of Otter Lodge looks to make financial comeback with fall tourism
BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – We are in the midst of peak fall foliage and that means peak business for some in our area. “It’s been an extremely challenging year,” said Jean Hoell, general manager of the Peaks of Otter Lodge. October typically brings reds and yellows on the trees and for the Peaks of Otter Lodge, that means green. Those customers during peak season help the lodge stay afloat the rest of the year and now, they’re counting on the leaves to build that back. The Peaks of Otter Lodge is booked solid for the next few weekends and will close for the season at the end of November.
Tourism officials tout Highlands as ultimate fall road trip destination
There’s no arguing: Fall is one of the most breathtaking seasons in Virginia. Many are choosing to mark the season with a road trip, and the Alleghany Highlands region is a popular choice. Officials with the Omni Homestead Resort said fall is the perfect time to visit Hot Springs. Swann said with more than 2,000 acres, the Homestead has something for everyone this fall, from the Cascades Golf Course, to horseback and carriage rides, to hiking to Falling Spring Falls. Tourism officials said many choose to take their road trip further and make stops in places like Charlottesville, Richmond and Williamsburg.
Welcome center in Radford gets new home
RADFORD, Va – The City of Radford has a new place to welcome people in an effort to boost tourism. The Information and Visitors Center opened up its new location on West Main Street in hopes of being able to provide information about what the city has to offer. Tourism Director Deborah Cooney says the new venue will allow people to make the most out of their visits to the city. “We promote all the wonderful things to do in Radford to people outside of Radford, to encourage them to come here and enjoy our trails, enjoy the river, enjoy all the local businesses we have,” Cooney said. Although most large events in the city have been canceled this year because of the pandemic, tourism leaders have already started to plan how to safely host events next year.
Local tourism efforts to get a boost with new marketing grant
ROANOKE, Va. – Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge has just been awarded a $10,000 tourism recovery grant. The organization will use that money to enhance branding efforts, marketing the region as a hub to experience metro-mountain adventure, especially to cities within driving distance. “We’re really working hard to find that balance of inviting people to the region as well as making sure that are residents are safe as well, but it’s all about really helping the businesses sustain and recover from this pandemic,” said Catherine Fox, vice president of public affairs and destination development for Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The Virginia Tourism Corporation has awarded more than $866,000 in marketing grant funds to 90 organizations across the commonwealth.
Smith Mountain Lake receives nearly $10,000 to boost tourism
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. – Smith Mountain Lake’s chamber of commerce received financial assistance Thursday to help the region economically bounce back from the coronavirus. The chamber accepted a $9,995 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation to entice visitors to the area. The money will finance a tourism commercial specifically for Virginians, according Smith Mountain Lake’s Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christopher Finley. “When the commonwealth pivoted back to Phase 2 and Phase 3, vacationers were willing to get out,” Finley said. Those visitors included Terry McGhee, who said he watched Smith Mountain Lake fill up as a child.
Masks to be required in North Myrtle Beach starting July 2
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – If you have a trip planned to North Myrtle anytime soon, make sure to pack a mask. The North Myrtle Beach City Council passed an emergency ordinance on Tuesday which requires people to wear masks in certain places, including retail businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies. The ordinance goes into effect at 12 p.m. on Thursday. Plus, all restaurants, retail businesses and government offices must require their employees to wear masks at all times while having face-to-face interaction with the public. Each day of a continuing violation would be considered a separate offense, according to the ordinance.
Going on vacation during the pandemic? Here’s what you need to know
ROANOKE, Va. – Summertime is here and for many Virginians, that means taking some much-needed time off for a vacation. “I think Virginians can go on their travel vacations, but they just need to use the same good practices that they’ve been using at home,” said O’Dell. AAA spokesman Morgan Dean told 10 News that vacationers need to plan ahead and take extra precautions. Are you or those you’re traveling with high risk or do you live with someone who’s high risk? If you do travel, the CDC says know the restrictions and consider the risks of different transportation.
Homestead Resort reopens after three months due to COVID-19 restrictions
The Omni Homestead Resort was forced to shut down for three months because of the pandemic. We closed the resort on March 29 and now three months later, June 29, we are reopening to our guests, said Lynn Swann, director of marketing and communications for the Omni Homestead Resort. The resort is also reopening to employees. Changes include barriers separating associates from guests, enforced social distancing, strict cleaning policies, daily health screenings for workers and limited amenities. The Homestead reopening is good news for the entire area, as the resort is Bath County's largest employer.
Visit Viriginia’s Blue Ridge invites businesses to take safety pledge
ROANOKE, Va. – As travel season gets underway and families hit the road, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge wants everyone here at home and those visiting to know they’re safe in the Roanoke Valley. That's why VBR is asking businesses to take the "Stay Safe Pledge." The pledge asks businesses to promise to follow recommended guidelines from the CDC and public health officials and post the pledge on their storefront. VBR says that helps create an environment of safety while getting more people back in local businesses. The Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge visitor’s center will open back-up starting Friday to help people navigate their stay.
Tourism slowly rebounding in Virginia’s Blue Ridge
ROANOKE, Va. – Tourism in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is starting to rebound now that the state has begun to reopen. Landon Howard, President of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, said Thursday a lot of families from Virginia and North Carolina are asking for information about outdoor activities. Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge’s visitors center in Roanoke will reopen June 12. According to data provided by Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, tourism industry revenue was down an average of 70% over the last three months compared to last year. He’s also still hopeful there will be a strong rebound in tourism in 2021.