County receives marketing grant

Primary use will be for marketing

Shenandoah County has received a $5,376 grant from the Virginia Tourism Marketing Leverage Program grant fund. In all, more than $800,000 has been granted to fund various tourism ventures across the state.

The grant will be used locally to develop and promote Barrels, Brews and Byways, a regional wine, beer and spirits trail, according to Shenandoah County Tourism and Marketing Director Jenna French.

“The grant works as a matching grant,” French said. “They require a minimum of three financial partners. Shenandoah County Tourism, City of Harrisonburg Tourism Visitor Bureau, Rockingham County Economic Development and Tourism Board and Winchester/Frederick County Tourism Visitor Center all matched $1,200 contributions.”

The funds will be used primarily for marketing and advertising, affording the county the ability to design graphics for literature and to print posters, maps and brochures.

“Our primary audience is Virginia residents, northern Virginia, Washington and Baltimore.” French said. “We also do see a number of visitors out of Pennsylvania and North Carolina, so those have become target markets as well, but primarily northern Virginia because of its proximity for the weekend getaway crowd.”

While the grant won’t immediately work toward bringing jobs to the area, French said that the long-term goals of the campaign will. “As tourism increases in the region, jobs will be created. Tourism has supported over 1,695 tourism-related jobs this year, a 2 percent increase over the previous year, With 134 jobs created since 2010,” she said.

“More importantly, we are seeing more jobs just as a result of the growth. We have new craft breweries and vineyards, which are spawning new jobs,” she said.

Shenandoah County’s tourism website is www.visitshenandoahcounty.com.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com

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