Rockbridge Tourism gets state grant

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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ7) When you take a bird’s eye view of the valley, its benefits seem obvious.
But for people living outside of our area – in other words, potential tourists – this has to be explained.

“We’re definitely going to be focusing on outdoor recreation paired with historical and cultural amenities,” says Patty Williams, the Director of Marketing for Lexington & Rockbridge Tourism.

That costs money. And Rockbridge tourism got a big help this week with a state grant of 23-thousand dollars to help pay for marketing.

“Mostly, we’ll be targeting digital," Williams says, "Because we’ll be able to focus on the emerging Millennial market and our established Baby Boomer market.”

The Baby Boomers said in focus groups and surveys that they’re more interested in history, while, “The Millennials said that outdoor recreation was one of their top draws," according to Williams. "So we’re definitely laying the groundwork to try to build more outdoor recreation opportunities.”

And it’s not just about tourists.

Rockbridge County Director of Community Development Sam Crickenberger says: “Everybody wins. You know, people that are looking for relocating businesses, really looking for areas that have got a lot of outdoor environment for their employees to enjoy. So it’s more than hotels and restaurants. It’s spinoff businesses and a lot of opportunities for other folks besides just creating an environment for further business development.”

“It’s a real exciting time to be able to have a new market that we’re trying to reach," Williams says, "And also provide services to the locals as well.”