REGIONAL VIEW shenandoah valley

Partnership formed to promote Valley tourism by Joan Tupponce


isitors to the Shenandoah Valley often are not aware of what the region has to offer. The Shenan-

doah Valley Tourism Partnership is hoping to change that with its new marketing cam- paign slogan, “Today’s Shenandoah Valley.” The marketing effort started as a

collaboration involving marketing officials employed by localities throughout the region. “Our jobs are to promote our destinations to increase visitation, which ultimately supports our local economies,” says Jenna French, director of tourism and marketing for Shenandoah County. “We saw great potential in working together to promote the Shenandoah Valley as a regional destination.” According to Virginia Tourism

Corp., visitors to the Shenandoah Valley in 2015 generated $1.3 billion in direct spending, a 1.5 percent increase over the previous year. “They also supported $97.2 million in state and local taxes,” says French. “Our goal is to drive those numbers up with increased visitation.” Launched in May, the tourism partner-

ship now involves 13 communities, stretching from Winchester to Lexington. “Visitors don’t see jurisdictional boundaries, and pro- moting the region as a whole enables us to encourage people to plan longer trips to the area instead of seeing our individual localities


The Strasburg Town Council has voted to allow an asphalt company, Strasburg-based Kickin’ Asphalt, to build a plant in the town’s business industrial park. The vote on the plant was tight, with four council members expressing a wide variety of concerns about the plant, and four members saying that the plant would financially help the town. Mayor Rich Orndorff broke the tie and sided in favor of allowing the plant to be built. (The Northern Virginia Daily)

A Page County business that imports artisanal wines from France and Italy and sells them to high-end American restaurants has the go-ahead to move into Elkton. Elkton’s


Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership is encouraging visitors to plan longer trips to the region.

as a weekend destination,” French says. Working together also enables the

localities to pool their resources and take on projects that would otherwise be too expensive for individual budgets. “A great example of this is a PBS travel series we hosted last year called ‘Family Travels with Colleen Kelly,’ which will air this summer throughout the country and even internationally,” French says. “As indi- vidual localities, we wouldn’t have had the resources to host them on our own.”

Town Council voted to accept a recommendation from Planning Commission members that Palladion Signature Import be allowed to operate a wine importation, warehousing and distribution center at 102 N. Fifth St. (The Valley Banner)

A medical device manufacturer is investing $9.5 million to expand in Frederick County, a move that will create 57 jobs. Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific is expanding its clinical diagnostics operations. Accord- ing to a statement by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, more than 300 people work at the company’s Frederick facility. The firm employs more than 55,000 around the world and has revenues of $18 bil- lion. McAuliffe approved a $110,000 grant from the Com-

Graphic courtesy Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership

monwealth’s Opportunity Fund for the project. Funding and ser- vices to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. (Vir-

Winchester Metals is investing $870,000 to expand its manu- facturing operation in Frederick County. The project will create 17 jobs. The company will add equipment to its facility, which will expand capacity and allow it to add a third shift. Founded in 1975, Winchester Metals is a family-owned steel distribution, processing and fabrication facil- ity serving Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Virginia Economic Develop- ment Partnership will support Winchester Metals’ employee In working with the partnership to

evaluate the area’s strengths and visitor perceptions of the region, Mikula|Harris, a branding and advertising agency, came up with three areas of focus: outdoor recreation and scenic beauty, family trav- els and growing an interest in the area’s farm-to-table movement. “Our main goal now is to increase

awareness of the Shenandoah Valley as a premiere travel destination,” French says.

training through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). Winchester Metals also received a VJIP grant earlier this year when it retrained 29 employees. (


Scott C. Harvard, CEO and president of First National Corp. and CEO of First Bank in Strasburg, has been named chairman-elect of the Virginia Bankers Association. As chairman-elect he is slated to become the association’s chair- man in June 2018. (VirginiaBusi-

The town of Luray will see a new manager at its helm in the com- ing fiscal year. Town Manager Charlie Hoke has given his

notice of retirement. Hoke, 61, was appointed as interim town manager in April 2013, before securing the full-time position in a 4-to-1 council vote four months later. (Page News and Courier)

Earle A. MacKenzie, execu- tive vice president and chief operating officer of Shentel, has announced his retirement, pending the naming of a replacement. He joined the Shenandoah County telecom- munications company 14 years ago, when the company was a small player in a rapidly chang- ing industry. During his tenure, Shentel’s annual revenues have increased five-fold, from $105.9 million to $535.3 million last year. (The Northern Virginia Daily)


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