Tourism Industry Projects To Receive $1.2 Million In Matching Funds To Attract Visitors To The State

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (October 20, 2016) — West Virginia Tourism Industry projects totaling $2.4 million have been approved by the West Virginia Tourism Commission to receive $1.2 million in matching funds through the Matching Advertising Partnership Program (MAPP).

MAPP allows state tourism businesses to match their advertising dollars through partnerships with other tourism businesses and the state. Matches are based on the combined budgets of the applicants and their partners, as well as the amount of available funding. The matching funds support efforts to promote wild, wonderful destinations throughout West Virginia, increasing the number of visitors and travel expenditures to the Mountain State.

Approved requests representing tourism projects from across the state include:

Country Road Cabins
Applicant funding requirement:  $28,050.00; state match:  $28,050.00

The “WV Cabins and Getaways 2017” project is a cooperative venture with five recreation/amenities and accommodations businesses in Fayette County to attract outdoor travel enthusiasts from a 13-state marketing area.  The project will utilize print and Internet media, along with Consumer/Trade shows to promote West Virginia as a multi-day destination featuring deluxe cabin lodging, world-class outdoor adventure tour opportunities, and the finest amenities in the area.

Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad
Applicant funding requirement:  $50,475.00; state match:  $50,475.00

The main goal of this project is to promote scenic MountainRail Adventures and the region as not only a day-trip getaway, but a weekend destination for families, couples, and retirees with many different adventure packages, special events, holiday trains and multiple destinations.  The campaign will utilize print and online media as well as trade and consumer shows, to focus on metropolitan and regional areas within a 250-mile radius.

Fayette County Education Fund
Applicant funding requirement:  $2,372.50; state match: $7,117.50

The New River Birding and Nature Festival project is designed to promote West Virginia as a birding destination and boost shoulder season business for the area’s tourism industry.  The Festival is recognized around the world as a model event, and utilizes print and online ads as well as e-blasts with Bird Watchers’ Digest.  The festival continues to attract visitors from across the U.S. and the globe.

New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau
Applicant funding requirement: $13,950.94; state match:  $13,950.94

The “Adventure & Awe.  Where’s George in the New River Gorge?” project is designed to increase visitation and overnight stays of millennials and young families by utilizing unique characters to enhance visitor experience.   The project will support the New River Gorge brand through print media with digital components and tie into the CVB’s brochure and social ad campaign.

New Winterplace, LLC dba Fayette-Mercer-Raleigh County Winter Coalition
Applicant funding requirement: $173,234.00; state match: $173,234.00

Winterplace Ski Resort and its lodging partners have teamed up to increase recreational snow sports awareness among individuals, families and groups for an affordable, easily accessible, multi-day, ski vacation through the winter months.  The project utilizes digital display and retargeting advertising, as well as direct mail and print media primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region.

PNGI Charles Town Gaming dba Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
Applicant funding requirement:  $175,000.00; state match: $175,000.00

As a portion of their overall marketing plan, Hollywood Casino’s “Competitive Defense Project” utilizes highly-targeted print media in DC, Maryland and Virginia as well as direct mail, to promote numerous regional tourism activities and attractions including gaming, entertainment, dining, lodging, recreation, tours and festivals.

Pocahontas County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Applicant funding requirement:  $57,290.00; state match: $57,290.00

Pocahontas County CVB’s “Vacation Connection 2” project is focused on re-imagining the traditional family vacation in order to promote return visits to the county, including, senior getaways, creative vacations designed to live like local residents, and multi-generational travel through print, broadcast, Internet media, and outdoor advertising in target markets throughout the region.

Racing Corporation of WV dba Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
Applicant funding requirement:  $175,000.00; state match: $175,000.00

Mardi Gras Casino and Resort has teamed up with six area partners for the “Find Your Party” campaign.  The project utilizes broadcast media, billboards, and Internet advertising to increase awareness of the destination to both in-state and out-of-state visitors as well as encouraging return visits from existing customers.

Snowshoe Mountain
Applicant funding requirement:  $175,000.00; state match: $175,000.00

The “Mountain Rules” campaign positions Snowshoe as the ultimate winter destination to increase skier visits and room nights.  The project also promotes an all-season mountain playground with world-class mountain biking and amazing summer events and activities for the whole family.  Media includes focused print advertising with an emphasis on digital and performance-based media to promote compelling offers, including best “book by” deals on lodging, packaged lift tickets, and pre-season pass specials.

Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau
Applicant funding requirement: $47,799.50; state match: $47,799.50

The “Marketing the Top of West Virginia” campaign combines forces with the CVB and area partners to increase tourism as a key element in the economy of Brooke and Hancock counties.  The project utilizes regional print, broadcast, Internet and outdoor advertising to promote entertainment and area attractions.

Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Applicant funding requirement:  $123,116.00; state match:  $123,116.00

The “Get Tucker’d” campaign is designed to promote multiple attractions and municipalities in the Tucker County area.  The project targets states within a 3 to 5 hour drive including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and DC to increase overnight visitation and revenue, utilizing primarily Internet media along with print, direct mail, and electronic billboards in Metro DC.

Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Applicant funding requirement: $2,438.75; state match:  $7,316.25

The “Stay the Weekend 2017” project encourages visitors to enjoy a long weekend in a classic, small town area with an energized atmosphere.   As most travel plans are researched online, the project focuses heavily on Internet advertising, enabling the CVB to customize advertising messages for festivals and events, while also promoting dining and shopping in the Downtown Buckhannon Historic District.

Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
Applicant funding requirement:  $175,000.00; state match:  $175,000.00

Wheeling Island’s “New Member and Player Retention Project” utilizes targeted print, broadcast, and digital media along with direct mail to reach new and existing casino guests in order to generate increased revenue and awareness of casino amenities, monthly promotions, concerts and new member offers.

Woodlands Amenities, LLC dba The Cabins at Pine Haven
Applicant funding requirement: $2,500.00; state match:  $7,500.00

The “West Virginia Outdoor Adventure Vacation Packages” project targets visitors within a five-hour/300 mile radius through Internet media to book exciting outdoor adventure vacations including luxury cabin or treehouse accommodations with just one click or call.