The Roanoke Regional Partnership has been awarded more than $20,000 by the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Grant Fund program for support of the GO Outside Festival, the Blue Ridge Marathon and general recreation uses, according to the press release from the Roanoke Regional Partnership.
Below is the press release from the Roanoke Regional Partnership.
ROANOKE, Va. (August 27, 2013) – Gov. Bob McDonnell today announced that the Roanoke Regional Partnership has received $21,533 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing (VTC) Leverage Grant Fund program.
The grant will be used to promote the upcoming GO Outside Festival, Blue Ridge Marathon and the Roanoke Region as an outdoor recreation destination.
“This grant acknowledges the important work of the Roanoke Regional Partnership to build the reputation of the region with outdoor enthusiasts through large-scale events,” said Pete Eshelman, director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “Ultimately, leveraging the region’s outdoor assets will attract people, investment and jobs. Our events draw attention to this region and, as the VTC recognizes, have an immediate payback in tourist dollars.”
The GO Festival, scheduled for Oct. 18-20, is a celebration of everything outdoors, including camping, live music, gear demonstrations, product giveaways, adventure films, races, Ultimate Air Dogs and, new this year, the Big Air Bag.
The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon on April 26, 2014, is America’s toughest road marathon and one of its fastest growing. The 2013 event attracted more than 1,600 runners and spectators from around the nation.
McDonnell had earlier increased funding for the grant program as part of his administration’s efforts to increase economic development through tourism. In total VTC awarded more than $980,000 for 54 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.
The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships by leveraging limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending. A minimum of three entities must partner financially to apply and may consist of Virginia towns, cities, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other not-for-profit entities.
“Grants such as these enable our localities to more effectively market themselves to potential visitors,” said McDonnell. “When more visitors come to Virginia, the localities and the Commonwealth realize increased tax revenue, businesses prosper, and new jobs are created.”
“Local tourism efforts get a gigantic boost when parties work together in partnership,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “By leveraging our tourism marketing funds so much good can be accomplished that results in dynamic tourism projects that might otherwise be unaffordable.”
Tourism in Virginia generates $20 billion in revenue, supports more than 207,000 jobs and provides $1.3 billion in state and local taxes.