February 2017 Tourism Council Meeting

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

Members Present:  Coe Sherrard, Dan Harshman, Brad Foster, Dick Neese, Bob Luse, Michelle Bixler, Jenna French

Media Present:  none

Guests Present:  Melissa Price, Jessica Sager, Morgan Brill, Kary Haun, Stephanie Zayhowski.

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order by Coe at 12:00 p.m. and a quorum was established.

Approval of Minutes:  Dan made a motion to approve the December minutes as presented, Brad seconded the motion and all approved.

Financial Report: 

Ms. French distributed the year to date financial report and pointed out the following line items:

  • 3160, Professional Services: $8750 is the remaining balance of the website which will also be reimbursed by VTC
  • 3180, Contractual: brochure distribution
  • 3600, Advertising: Southern Living, Virginia.org, Blue Ridge Outdoors (us and Spirits Trail Full page Shenandoah County co-op with Bryce), WashingtonPost.com,
  • 5510, Travel Mileage: Ride to Lexington for Blue Ridge Parkway Association

Dan made a motion to approve the financial report as presented, Brad seconded the motion and all approved.

Director’s Report:

Ms. French handed out the County Tourism stats and again pointed out the following data:

  1. Google Analytics
  • Can now track individual campaigns
  • 14 visits in 1 week (2/5-2/12)  from our spring Trip Advisor Ads
  • Can track demographics such as consumer interests- help with future target marketing
  • Texas, Georgia and Florida have increased since Southern Living (now rival NY and PA)

-  Increase in Germany, UK and China (only 3 countries we are advertising in with CRUSA right now)

- #1 landing page was Shenandoah Wedding Venues

- 58 booking referrals in 2 weeks since website launch (1/25-2/7)

- Top pages viewed = home, scenic roads, events, hiking, eat, public river access

  1. Stats and Leads:

Top referrals came from Facebook, Virginia.org, Caverns, Strasburg Chamber, and American Trails. 

Old Business:   

  1. Regional Efforts: Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership (SVTP).

- Launch event planned for 10am April 6, 2017 at the Shenandoah Valley Regional                                     Airport. Tourism Council will be invited.

- FTCK to air in June

Working with Regional Airport for marketing in Florida through the Orlando                                                 Sentinel

  1. Video Series- Ms. French showed one example of the video productions that have been underway for the past year. The wine video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/Fi7weqVkM4w
  2. New Website- Launched at the end of January, the website developer is continuing to work with us to make sure all the kinks are worked out and the decision was made to send the website back to their server for faster speeds.
  3. Farm2Fork Affair- Scheduled to go on March 6 at the Mimslyn Inn. A workshop was presented for farm producers to learn how to “put their best foot forward” at the event . 30 businesses were in attendance at that workshop. At this time 117 consumers, including Schools, B&B’s and restaurants from Localities like DC, Richmond, Fairfax, Louisa County and other surrounding counties have RSVP’d and the responses continue to come in.
  4. WWI & WWII Commission- Hoping to have the brochure printed and ready by Heritage Day on April 4 .
  5. FY18 Budget- Submitted and reviewed by Administration, Public hearing is in early April. CIP requests were not arranged according to priority this year since the Accountant position had not been filled, so no ranking has been assigned to our request for a Tourism vehicle.


  1. New Business
  2. Fields of Gold Meet & Greet
  3. March 28, 5:30-7pm
  4. DeMello Vineyards
  6. Post FAM
  7. Sept 14, 15, 16
  • Jenna and Kary are working to create itineraries for participants to include Hiking, Horseback riding, Shenandoah Downs, Spirits Trail, Route 11 Chips, Meems Bottom, American Celebration on Parade
  1. Support of Local Arts Grant
  2. Applications were due 2/15 and five applications have been submitted, They will be reviewed by a team on March 7
  3. Artisan Trail
  4. GGG April 22-23 sixteen different businesses are hosting events during this weekend and are including live music, demonstrations  by local artists and craft artisans, food tastings and other special events.
  5. Brochure Reprint- New brochure will be in print before the GGG event, it will include a new cover photo to better represent the current membership.

The trail currently has 50+ members (down from 77 when the trail launched)

Announcements:  Council went around the table providing updates on each industry and town.


Having no further business to discuss, the Shenandoah County Tourism Council adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kary Haun,

PR & Marketing Assistant, Shenandoah County Tourism