Northam announces marketing grants to support 57 local tourism programs

virginiaGovernor Ralph Northam today announced more than $890,000 in matching grant funds will be awarded to 57 local tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program.

The MLP grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds. This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $4 million to match the VTC grants, providing more than $4.9 million in new marketing funds to increase travel to Virginia. The grants will ultimately impact at least 232 other statewide tourism entities.

“Tourism continues to be one of the fastest-growing and most innovative industries in Virginia, proving to be a substantial revenue generator year after year,” said Governor Northam. “Across the Commonwealth, tourism businesses recognize the importance of having inventive, strategic marketing initiatives to showcase all that Virginia has to offer. These grants will support those efforts and help draw thousands of additional visitors to the Commonwealth to experience everything that makes Virginia so special—our scenic beauty, exciting restaurants, historic sites, music venues and festivals, charming small towns, oysters, wine, craft beer and more.”

The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, stimulating new tourism marketing through partnerships, and extending the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand. A minimum of three Virginia entities must partner financially to apply for a grant. Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other tourism-related businesses. In total, VTC awards approximately $1.7 million annually—matched and leveraged on average 3:1 by partner dollars.

“The Marketing Leverage Program grants continue to inject critical funds into communities across the Commonwealth, helping to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The tourism industry is a huge economic engine for Virginia. Last year, visitors spent $25 billion, which supported 232,000 jobs and contributed $1.73 billion in state and local taxes. By leveraging these marketing funds and public-private partnerships, the Marketing Leverage Program grants will help spur even more economic activity, funneling dollars back into our cities and towns across Virginia.”

The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants will open on September 5, 2018, with a November 7, 2018deadline. Localities interested in applying may visit for more information.

Marketing Leverage Program grant recipients

Program Name Lead Partner Award Amount
2019 State Games of America Virginia Amateur Sports $25,000
36 hours in Charlottesville Wine Country Early Mountain $5,000
A Family Tradition Continues: Sinkland Farms Sinkland Farms $8,750
Adjust Your Altitude Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority $50,000
Agritourism Branding and Update of Marketing Materials and Images Fort Lewis Lodge & Farm $7,725
An Abingdon Christmas Barter Theatre $5,000
Artisans of Virginia Reaching Beyond Artisans Center of Virginia $5,000
Birthplace of Country Music – Mobile Marketing Initiative and Campaign Birthplace of Country Music $25,000
Bridge the Gap SoLace Studios Fine Handcrafts $2,500
“Come, Find Home” Marketing Campaign Montgomery County Regional Tourism Office $17,500
Creek Bottom Brewing Marketing Leverage Program Creek Bottom Brewing $2,424
Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretive Center Scott County Economic Development Authority $50,000
Digital Marketing and Influencers in the Outdoors Roanoke Outside Foundation $25,000
Discover Bristol Outdoor Recreation Marketing Initiative Discover Bristol $10,000
Discover the Town of Floyd Town of Floyd $2,900
Divinely Placed: Marketing the Waynesboro Experience City of Waynesboro Economic Development & Tourism $50,000
Draper is for Dreamers Pulaski Grow $23,400
Exploring Taste of Blue Ridge’s Food Scene through Video and Photography Nibblins LLC $25,000
Fall Home to Tazewell Tazewell Area Chamber of Commerce $5,000
Find Your Outdoor MUSE in Shenandoah County Muse Vineyards $10,000
Find Your River Fun in Virginia’s River Realm Town of Kilmarnock $10,000
Fish Virginia First—For Your Freshwater Fishing Adventures Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism $3,500
Floyd Yoga Jam 2018 Floyd Yoga Jam $5,000
Get Lost in the Gap Town of Pennington Gap $5,000
Giles County Engaging Visitors to Find Their Playground in Virginia’s Mountain Playground™ Giles County Tourism $7,549
Grayson County Online Ad Campaign Grayson Highlands General Store & Inn $9,100
Harrisonburg International Festival & Community Community Mediation Center DBA FairField Center $10,000
Join the Adventure Trailhead Adventures $5,000
King Street Waterfront Park Launch Visit Alexandria $25,000
Live the Mountain Life Tazewell County $5,000
Martinsville Speedway – Spring 2018 Martinsville Speedway $25,000
Marts and Arts: Pulaski’s Downtown Activation Campaign Town of Pulaski $1,000
Maximizing the 2019 Commemoration for America’s Historic Triangle Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. $25,000
New Connections William King Museum of Art $5,000
Peaches and Pickin in Patrick County Patrick County Chamber of Commerce $7,400
Reaching the Traveler Digitally Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau $25,000
Regional Amp-up: The Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music 2019 The Crooked Road $25,000
Rooster Walk 11 Music & Arts Festival Rooster Walk Inc $10,842
Rooted in the Past, Growing to the Future: Diversifying Abingdon’s Brand Identity Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau $48,720
Salty Southern Route – The Path to Virginia’s Pork & Peanuts Salty Southern Trail $22,247
Shenandoah Valley Epic Experiences Shenandoah Valley Travel Association $25,000
Shocktober 2018 The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus $5,000
The Annual Green Top Outdoor Expo Green Top Sporting Goods $25,000
The Commonwealth Coastal Classic Norfolk Festevents, Ltd. $25,000
The heART of the Alleghany Highlands Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism $30,000
The Virginia Historical Society’s Event Spaces Virginia Historical Society $25,000
Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest $5,000
Tom Tom Founders Festival Tom Tom Foundation $25,000
Traditional Blue Ridge Music Cultural Kick-Off Blue Ridge Institute and Museum $5,000
Trailblazing Art! Taubman Museum of Art $25,000
TransVirginia Bike Route Village to Village Press, LLC $9,481
Virginia Creeper Trail: Heading into the Future Virginia Creeper Trail Club $10,000
Virginia Foothills Montpelier $25,000
Virginia MOCA Exhibition – Todd Schorr: Atomic Cocktail Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art $2,500
Visit Waynesboro’s East Main District Blue Ridge Bucha $5,000
Walk to Freedom: The Mary Draper Ingles Story The Long Way Home, Inc $5,000
Waterford Fair Waterford Foundation Inc. $3,000

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