Grant pushes progress for Destination Dayton

economic-forecast-headerGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced that The Destination Dayton Partnership received $5,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Fund.  The grant money will be utilized to help fund a marketing initiative emphasizing Dayton as a unique daytime travel and shopping destination. A comprehensive brochure along with a revised locator map will be designed to incorporate the Virginia is for Lovers logo while presenting a unified brand for Dayton.

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.  “This grant creates the opportunity for focused collaboration among The Dayton Market, the Town of Dayton, the Silver Lake Mill, and The Heritage Museum & Welcome Center to create necessary destination marketing materials” said Allison Dugan, Business Advisor with the Small Business Development Center.  Dugan has been working lead partner, The Dayton Market, by submitting the grant request and coordinating with Bridgewater College students in the Entrepreneurship Service Learning Project.  The BUS 422 student team is conducting market research and will outline a comprehensive marketing plan for the Dayton Market, all valuable information for Destination Dayton’s brand development.

Shelley Newman, member of the Dayton Town Council said “The Destination Dayton marketing partnership will create a cohesive brand identity, making it easier for travelers and visitors staying at Massanutten to choose Dayton for the day. There are well over a dozen unique shops and historic attractions in the small town, home town, and downtown of Dayton.”  Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2014, tourism generated $22.4 billion in revenue, supported nearly 217,000 jobs and provided $1.5 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 5:1 return in tax revenue for Virginia, and the grant awards and matching funds provide a stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue.

“The Marketing Leverage Grant program is designed to spur job creation, economic development, and visitor spending through new or enhanced tourism product,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These grants are proven to increase visitation by creating marketing partnerships and effective marketing programs.”  The program has 4 lead partners: The Dayton Market, The Heritage Museum, Town of Dayton, Silver Lake Mill, and the support of Rockingham County Economic Development and Tourism. The Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is assisting by coordinating resources and facilitating strategic planning meetings. For more information, contact the SBDC offices at (540) 568-3227.

Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.  Visit www.Virginia.org to learn more about vacation destinations in Virginia or call 1-800-VISITVA to receive a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.

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