Lewis County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Director Chris Richards delivered her quarterly report to Lewis County commissioners Nov. 5. She announced she has been reelected as the President of the WV Association of Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus for a second term.Richards announced a new initiative between WV, KY, and PA called “219 things to do on US Route 219.” She said they are hoping for a spring launch.
Richards’s colleague, Alisa Bailey, from the Charleston CVB, presented the idea to Richards, and Sept. 1 a meeting was held between the three states. A work session was held to map out assets.
Richards said a new marketing campaign, “Labor Day in Stonewall Country,” and “Stonewall Jackson Triathlon,” was a success. The campaign included a mobile device banner ad that could entice travelers interested in county wide Labor Day activities. The CVB also used commercials on cable networks, social media, newspaper, and radio ads. She said all events reported an increase in traffic, admissions, and entries this year.
Richards attended the Southeast Tourism Societies Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. She said is was very successful, and national issues were discussed, as well as state and local. She added that their representatives needed no further follow ups, as they were already supporting all their initiatives.
The CVB assisted local businesses and organizations with several events, including July 4, Mountain State Speedway, Deerfield Country Club. MAGWV, LC First, LC Park, Mountaineer Military Museum, National Night Out, LC Senior Center, TALA, Lambert’s Winery, Relay for Life, McFly’s, Spiker’s Bull Ride, Jamboree at the Mill, Havoc in the Hills, 4-H, Labor Day weekend, Healing in the Hills, Louis Bennett Jr. Library, HCPD, WV Largest Yard Sale, LC Quilt Retreat, Free Fishing Days, Tom Thumb Fishing Tournaments, and many others.
Three hundred two goody bags were requested, and social media and internet ads have increased. These included 17 Facebook, Facebook boosts, Constant Contact, Google Ad Words, YouTube, and calendar of events ads.
The CVB received joint advertising partnership requests from the Pace Yourself group, Jackson’s Mill Jubilee, and Lamber’s Winery. All three have been honored.
Richards attended a new group tour show called Going on Faith. She said this was smaller than other shows she has attended, and she made new contacts. One group is currently working with the Gandy Dancer Theater to book a trip in the area.
Richards has been working with the American Legion Post #4 to create bookmarks and postcards to celebrate Louis Bennett Jr., WWI soldier and Lewis Countian.
The CVB had over 1 million hits in three months, with 136,935 pages viewed, 63,204 total visits, and 35,977 unique user session. Five hundred ninety-nine brochures were downloaded with 281 additional downloads from other pages, and 2,900 people staying on the website for over 15 minutes.
The top five countries to visit the CVB website are the United States, Russian Federation, Canada, Netherlands, and France. The top 10 states and compact city to visit were WV, PA, OH, VA, NY, MI, NC, TX, FL, and Washington, D.C.
The Lewis County CVB is located at 499 US HWY 33 East in Weston. Their phone number is 304-269-7328, and their website is www.stonewallcountry.com.