Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced that Patrick County Tourism received $5500.00 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program (MLP). In total, VTC awarded more than $3.2 million for 236 local and regional tourism marketing programs across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.
Patrick County received a $5,500 grant for Moonshine Heritage Trail. Patrick County partnered with Floyd County and Franklin County to supply $5,500 in matching funds. The three counties are working with Olivia Garrett, Regional Programs Specialist of the West Piedmont Planning District Commission, in their efforts.
“The Moonshine Heritage Trial will help tell the stories from our collective past. From legal distilleries before prohibition to the midnight industry that spawned during it. The three counties involved in this first phase of the project were vital in making legal and illegal Moonshine. However, as we gather more stories and the documented history of then and now, we envision the expansion to our neighbors that border our counties to grow into all of Southwest Virginia and the entire state. This is a significant step forward as we begin phase 1 of our project. We want to capture the history and highlight some notable places along a designated path to help drive tourism to our localities. I am excited about this grant and the establishment of this trial.” said James Houchins, Director of Tourism for Patrick County.
Kevin Tosh, Franklin County Director of Tourism and Marketing, said, “As a county, we are excited to partner with Patrick and Floyd County to bring a longstanding desire of our community to life. The moonshine industry in Franklin County continues to span generations and bring economic benefits to our community. The heritage trail will shed light on the authentic people, places, and stories of the spirit distillation industry in our region.”
“By working with our neighboring counties, we can showcase the rich history and culture of the region while also benefiting our communities economically. Together, we can create a unique and memorable experience for visitors while preserving and celebrating our shared moonshine heritage,” said Kathleen Legg, Director of Tourism for Floyd County
Using the hub and spoke tourism partnership model, Virginia entities partner to apply for funding. 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. “VTC’s tourism marketing and sponsorship programs are designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships, and to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand to drive visitation,” said Rita McClenny, VTC President and CEO.
More information on VTC’s Marketing Leverage and Regional Marketing Programs can be found at vatc.org/grants.
“VTC’s marketing and sponsorship programs are powerful incentives creating tourism partnerships across Virginia that are a robust part of Virginia’s economic ecosystem,” said Youngkin. “From first-time applicants like Foxfield Races and Paradise Springs Winery to large music festivals in Hampton Roads and Southwest Virginia driving inbound overnight visitation, these programs show that tourism and tourism partnerships help Virginia’s vibrant communities grow and thrive.”
“Driving inbound out-of-state overnight visitation is a key economic strategy and the VTC grant, and sponsorship programs help create unique partnerships that have tangible economic impacts across Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “Many of these programs also support regional marketing initiatives designed to encourage Virginians to explore their own state.”
For more information on Patrick County, visit www.visitpatrickcounty.org.