West Virginia Tourism Industry projects totaling $2.6 million have been approved by the West Virginia Tourism Commission to receive matching funds in the amount of nearly $1.2 million through the Matching Advertising Partnership Program.
MAPP allows state tourism businesses to match their advertising dollars through partnerships with other tourism businesses and the state. Matches are based on the budgets of the applicants with their partners combined, along with the amount of funding available. The matching funds support efforts to promote West Virginia as a premier tourist destination, increasing the number of visitors and travel expenditures to West Virginia.
Approved requests representing tourism projects from across the state include:
- American Mountain Theater - Applicant funding requirement: $177,950.00; state match; $71,180.
American Mountain Theater's campaign is designed to continue increasing the awareness of the American Mountain Theater and the Elkins destination in order to attract individuals and groups to spend their tourism dollars here. An estimated 35,000 to 37,000 visitors are expected to attend the theater by the end of the 2012 season and there are a projected 40,500 attendees for the 2013 season.
- Cabell-Huntington Convention & Visitors Bureau - Applicant funding requirement: $53,848.50; state match: $35,899.20.
Cabell-Huntington CVB's 2012-2013 campaign incorporates 15 area tourism businesses who have partnered to increase overnight visits and the length of those stays, as well as increasing tours to the area. Last year's program saw a 30 percent increase in visitors to the CVB's visitor center. Partnering in the application offers advertising opportunities to small tourism business partners working together to advertise in larger markets.
- Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society - Applicant funding requirement: $50,142.00; state match: $33,428.
Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society's "New River Train 2012 Advertising Campaign" partners with 14 tourism businesses to invite both new and returning tour bus operators and individuals to ride the train. The New River Train offers nostalgic travel through beautiful scenery at an affordable price. In 2011 the train attracted 24 motorcoach groups.
- Country Road Cabins - Applicant funding requirement: $38,700.00; state match: $25,800.
Country Road Cabins' "West Virginia Adventure Awaits!" campaign is a cooperative venture between six businesses located in Fayette County and Southern West Virginia. The campaign will promote adventure activities, attractions and lodging packages that will attract new guest visits and retain past guest, targeting outdoor travel enthusiasts from a 13-state market area.
- Fayette-Mercer-Raleigh County Winter Coalition - Applicant funding requirement: $311,933.00; state match: $209,622.
Fayette-Mercer-Raleigh County Winter Coalition's project incorporates eight area lodging partners in order to increase recreational snow sports awareness among individuals, families and groups for an affordable, easily accessible, multi-day, ski vacation throughout the winter months. The campaign incorporates a four-phased approach consisting of radio, newspaper and magazine insertions, direct mail and Internet media targeted primarily to the MidAtlantic Region.
- Hockey Club of the Ohio Valley - Wheeling Nailers - Applicant funding requirement: $34,695.72; state match: $23,130.48.
The marketing campaign for the Wheeling Nailers targets hockey fans within a 60 to 90 minute driving distance of Wheeling in the Pittsburgh Market. The goals of the project include building awareness that exciting, affordable minor league hockey is available nearby, to increase attendance at Nailers Hockey games, and to promote the Wheeling area as a weekend destination for shopping, exciting hockey, gaming, dining and more. The plan also targets youth hockey clubs within the market radius in order to generate group sales which deliver large blocks of patrons to area destinations and restaurants.
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races - Applicant funding requirement: $381,842.18; state match: $381,842.18.
The goal of marketing and advertising for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is to increase awareness and visitation including the acquisition of new customers, retention of existing customers, and increased visitation among the existing customer base, while providing visitors to our state with a world class destination gaming experience. Media markets include Washington, Baltimore, Richmond, Charlottesville and Northern Virginia.
- Martinsburg/Berkeley County Convention & Visitor's Bureau - Applicant funding requirement: $132,495.00; state match: $88,330.
Martinsburg/Berkeley County Convention & Visitors Bureau's campaign is designed to raise the profile of Martinsburg and Berkeley County as a specific destination with a rich inventory of cultural and historic sites. The "Heritage is Hot" campaign will promote the cultural landmarks and historical attractions while increasing visitation to the Martinsburg-Berkeley County area.
- Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort - Applicant funding requirement: $184,423.35; state match: $184,423.35.
Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort's INClub advertising campaign will focus on direct mail, print and radio, as well as targeted television and outdoor advertising in order to attract new audiences and drive return trips by current customers. Last year's campaign generated over 30,000 new customers to sign up at the players club within eight months.
- Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack - Applicant funding requirement: $112,228.88; state match: $112,228.88.
The "Wheeling Island Regional Marketing Project 2012-2013" project is designed to promote Wheeling as a complete casino destination, offering amenities for slot, table games, live greyhound racing, concert entertainment, banquet and meeting facilities. Last year's project generated more than 1.3 million visitors. Partners in the project benefit through the cross-promotion of events and attractions available in the area as well as overnight golf packages and a new member signup program for visiting guests.