Tourism Council to redesign website, discusses LGBT travel promotion

Jenna French

WOODSTOCK – The Shenandoah County Tourism Council has selected a designer for its new website.

Jenna French, Shenandoah County’s director of tourism, said that her office has decided on Mountain High Media as the company that will create the new website.

“They (Mountain High Media) are kind of a parent company of Blue Ridge Outdoors (Magazine), so we have a relationship with them already,” French said. “They were at the lower spectrum of pricing. We had a lot of website quotes around $30,000 and we had budgeted $8,000, so we were already stretching our budget pretty significantly.”

The site’s cost is $17,500. Of that cost, $9,500 will be paid for by grant funds, the rest was in the council’s budget. The grant is a $50,000 matching funds grant bestowed to Shenandoah County by Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office and announced Tuesday. French said that the remainder of that grant will be used for the council’s marketing campaign.

French also explained the county’s role in the state tourism council’s investment in the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travel in the area.

“They (Virginia Tourism Corporation) are investing really big this year in promoting LGBT travel and having all the listings that are LGBT-friendly. There’s a box you can check on your listing so it will appear when people search on virginia.org. … We welcome everybody to our community so, for us, it’s not anything different than what has already been done. We offer everybody to come here and we’re friendly and treat everybody equally.”

Many at the meeting took the county’s LGBT-friendly status for granted, French explained why the distinction had been made.

“It’s more for the case that they (VTC) will be doing blogs about businesses and they’ll be doing different things where they’re going around to specific trade and travel show(s) geared toward that community, and those who want make sure that they’re included and promoted in that.”

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