Jefferson Heritage Trail Gets VA Tourism Grant - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Jefferson Heritage Trail Gets VA Tourism Grant

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Jefferson Heritage Trail Press Release

Jefferson Heritage Trail Receives Virginia Tourism Grant for Tourism Marketing

Lovingston, VA, September 13, 2013 - Governor Bob McDonnell announced that (grant recipient) received $5,650 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Grant Fund program. Governor McDonnell had earlier increased funding for the program as part of his administration's efforts to increase economic development through tourism. In total VTC awarded more than $660,000 for 45 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia's localities through tourism.
The Jefferson Heritage Trail (JHT) received a $5,650 grant for development of Trail in 2012 for one year beginning August 2012. JHT partnered with DelFosse Vineyards & Winery, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard, Virginia Distillery Company LLC, Wisdom Oak Winery, discoverLynchburg, Charlottesville-Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest,  Lazy Days Winery, Nelson County Tourism, Ankida Ridge Vineyard, Lynchburg Museum System, Mountain Cove Vineyard, Rebec Vineyards, and Endstation Theatre Company to supply $22,700 in matching funds for the project.  These organizations are now founding members of the JHT.  The trail bridges the gap between Jefferson's Monticello and his summer retreat, Poplar Forest.  The trail covers almost 80 miles of activities, recreation, parks, bike trails, restaurants, B&B's, vineyards, breweries, orchards, lavender farms, shopping and distilleries. Early visitation records show a 5% increase at many of the JHT member venues since 2012.  
"There are so many stories to be told through the Jefferson Heritage Trail about our nation's third president and his passion for art, architecture, education, food and wine.  This trail has it all.  We see this new trail as an expanded version of the, already highly, successful wine trail concept.  It's a win-win for everyone!" said Kurt Burkhart, CACVB Executive Director. 
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 develop a research-based and measurable marketing program.
"Local tourism efforts get a gigantic boost when parties work together in partnership," said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. "By leveraging tourism marketing funds much good can be accomplished that results in dynamic tourism projects that might otherwise be unaffordable."
"In the first year, and with the help of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the JHT has established itself as a travel destination," said Penny Latham, Executive Director.  "We have a fully-functional website with an event calendar and links to all of our members on the trail.  Over the past year we have been able to create a successful social media presence, distributed 10,000 rack cards to visitor's centers and businesses, and we launched a Trailblazer™ Loyalty Card Program."

Tourism in Virginia generates $19 billion in revenue, supports more than 200,000 jobs and provides $1.3 billion in state and local taxes.

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

Visit the Jefferson Heritage Trail website for events and news about the Trail on Facebook.

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