Tourism Council August 15, 2017

Woodstock Cafe
117 S. Main St.
Woodstock, Virginia 22664

Members Present:  Bob Luce, Katie Mercer, Amber Dennison, Coe Sherrard, Dan Harshman, Michelle Bixler, Jenna French, Nadine Patel,


Media Present:  none


Guests Present:  Melissa Price, Morgan Brill, Jessica Sager, Willie Meadows, Heather Ream, Sharon Baroncelli, Kary Haun


Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order by Jenna French at 12:00 pm and a quorum was established.


Elect a Chair and Co-Chair:  Coe Moved to Nominate Michelle Bixler to serve as Chair, Dan Seconded. All approved. Dan Nominated himself as Co-Chair and Coe Seconded. All approved.


Approval of Minutes from June 20, 2017 and July 18, 2017 Dan Moved to accept the Minutes and Coe Seconded. All approved.


Financial Report for FY17 and July 2017 Since FY17 is getting closed out today, Ms. French will present the financial reports at the September meeting.


Director’s Report:

  • Google Analytics
    1. 26% of our users are 55-64, 21% 45-54, 16% 35-44
    2. Not seeing as much Yard Crawl traffic to our site since the chamber has taken over and we lost that browsing history with the new site
    3. Roots Rated stories were top viewed pages followed by Scenic Roads, Public River Access and Hiking
    4. Most traffic from FB and Roots Rated, Chamber website,
  • Leads “Stats Sheet” was handed out during the meeting and the following was highlighted:
    1. Top 5 Pages Viewed: Off the Beaten path, Home Page, How to Have a Fun Filled… Scenic Roads, Public River Access, and Hiking
    2. Top 5 Referral Sites: Facebook, Roots Rated, Chamber of Commerce,, Civil War
  • Marketing
    1. 1500 page views from RootsRated Campaign
    2. Followed by

Old Business:

  • Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership
    1. Strategic Planning Session: Planning to Hire Berkeley Young, specialist in Tourism Marketing
    2. Roots Rated Campaign: Blog posts written for monthly content to drive people to the website
    3. Public Relations SEO RFP
  • WWI & WWII Anniversaries
    1. Finalizing text and photos to give to designer, expected to be released this fall.
  • Fields of Gold
    1. New Director named Ms. Spencer Eavers. Meet & Greet event pending.
    2. Photography: Fields of Gold program received a VTC grant for photography. Localities will be able to use photos as well.
  • Shenandoah Spirits Trail
    1. New Maps; Expanded to include Warren, Clarke, and Page Counties
    2. Trail get together at Escutcheon Brewery in Winchester September 28
    3. Digital and Print Marketing with Savor VA
    4. DC Metro Cooking Show: December 2017 14 Spirits Trail Sites featured. Already seeing responses from the cooking show website. The Woodstock Brewhouse and Muse Vineyard will be featured from Shenandoah County.
    5. MATPRA Beverage Sponsor


New Business:

  • 2018 Visitor Guide
    1. 20 ads confirmed, most are new and currently have $6160 in ad revenue.
    2. Will send out another flyer to remind businesses of the deadline.
  • MATPRA Marketplace will be held in Winchester in September, with Shenandoah County hosting a Post-MATPRA FAM tour September 14-17, 2017
    1. 7-8 writers confirmed for the Post-FAM
    2. Itinerary is being finalized and will include Spirits Trail, Artisan Trail, Hiking Trail adventures as well as a visit to the Edinburg Ole-Time Festival.
    3. Looking for giveaways and other items for gift bags.
  • Yard Crawl: Currently has 9500 Facebook Followers (calls were pouring in to the tourism office) Reports showed that New Market Sites were packed as well as Edinburg Flea Market area and Hupps Hill in Strasburg. Feedback also showed that visitors wanted more of the businesses open.
  • VTC
    1. Grant: applying in September for grant money to cover SEO
    2. Shenandoah Valley Rep: Applications Closed on Aug. 4. Hope to have the position filled by Sept.
    3. 48 Hour Itineraries: Looking for new ideas.



Having no further business to discuss, the Shenandoah County Tourism Council adjourned at 1:30 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,

Kary Haun,

PR & Marketing Assistant, Shenandoah County Tourism