Fields of Gold receives Virginia tourism grant

virginiaGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission will receive $9,995 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program grant fund.

In total, VTC awarded more than $796,000 for 45 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.  The grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars, and will ultimately impact at least 173 other statewide tourism entities.

“These Marketing Leverage grants provide businesses with the tools and funding they need to thrive and succeed in an overly-competitive market,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Investing in these tourism businesses positively contributes to the New Virginia Economy, and helps to make the Commonwealth the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”

The CSPDC received the grant for its Fields of Gold – See You on the Farm Trail project. CSPDC partnered with area tourism businesses and departments to supply $9995 in matching funds for the project. These funds will be used to enhance the Fields of Gold website, www.fieldsofgold.org, and make it mobile-friendly, provide advertising and promotional materials for the program and marketing support to agritourism member businesses.  Fields of Gold promotes more than 190 farms andagritourism businesses in the Shenandoah Valley, and includes pick your own farms, wineries, breweries, farmers markets, trout farms, farm lodging, farm to table restaurants, and more.

Tracey Coltrain, Agritourism Coordinator for the Fields of Gold program described what the grant will facilitate: “This grant will allow us to make upgrades and changes to our website that will make it even more user friendly and accessible for visitors to the Farm Trail. It will also allow us to promote the program, not only within the Valley, but also in those locations outside of the Valley, like D.C., Richmond, and Charlottesville, to name a few.  We are super excited to be able to make it easier for potential visitors to the Trail to navigate our website while planning their adventure! We are also thrilled to be able to share the Trail with those outside of the Valley region. Visitors and residents alike are looking for “authentic” experiences” and what better way to have these than on the Farm Trail in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley?”

Jenna French, Tourism Director for Shenandoah County, which partnered on the grant said, “We are thrilled to be a part of Fields of Gold.  With many of our visitors coming from more urban areas, Fields of Gold provides our visitors with truly unique experiences that embrace the agricultural heritage of the Shenandoah Valley, something they often can’t achieve in their own back yards.”  The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce was also a partner on the grant.

For more information about the Fields of Gold program, contact Tracey Coltrain, tracey@cspdc.org (540) 885-5174 or visit www.fieldsofgold.org.


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