March 2017 Tourism Council Meeting

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

Members Present:  Coe Sherrard, Dan Harshman, Bob Luse, Michelle Bixler, Jenna French, Katie Mercer, Nadine Patel, Bill Schumacher

Media Present:  Nathan Budryk, NVD

Guests Present:  Melissa Price, Jessica Sager, Morgan Brill, Kary Haun, Amber Dennison and El Keegan.

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order by Coe at 11: 58 a.m. and a quorum was established.

Approval of Minutes:  Dan made a motion to approve the December minutes as presented, Bill 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-  Final payment on website

3500, Printing-  Rack Cards for the Historic Courthouse

3600, Advertising-

-  $3000 Blue Ridge Outdoors

- $900 Virginia.org

- $50 Facebook

- $4000 CRUSA

- $3000 Trip Advisor

- $5000 Roots Rated

Dan made a motion to approve the financial report as presented, Bill 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:

-    Leads up from Germany, China and UK

-   Top 5 states were VA, DC, MD, CA and PA  (

(So far California ranks #4 for the month of March!)

-   Top referrals- direct, facebook, google organic search, whsv, yahoo organic search

SVTA dropped significantly for us.  Only 3 referrals from SVTA

- Top pages viewed were history (facebook blog post), grilled cheese & tomato soup fest, events, scenic roads, Bryce

- Several referrals and visitor guide requests from Trip Advisor so far in March

  1. Stats and Leads:

Still receiving leads from Southern Living Ads.

Old Business:   

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

- Launch event moved to May 24 2017 at the Shenandoah Valley Regional                                    Airport. Tourism Council will be invited.

- Awarded VTC marketing grant for $25K Each DMO (12) budgeted $5,000 to put toward that grant for the marketing effort. The group plans to apply for the Spring grant as well.

  1. Farm2Fork Affair – Very successful event, out of 34 producers, 1/3 were from Shenandoah County. Sinclair Farm reported “Most lucrative event they have attended”. Over 200 people representing businesses from all over the state and the DC area attended. Organizers will plan to make this an annual event.
  2. WWI & WWII Commission- Heritage Day: April 8 11am-3pm. History Mobile will be available with WWI and WWII exhibits inviting the public to bring images and letters to scan to digital archives.

Trivia Night at the Woodstock Brewhouse Sunday April 9.

  1. FY18 Budget- Public Hearing will be April 13, 7pm WW Robinson.
  2. Fields of Gold- March 28 Meet & Greet at DeMello Vineyard to talk about video, photography , and Tour de Farm bike event.
  3. Artisan Trail GGG- April 22-23, all print ads complete, Blog written and posted on OpenDoor Tour.org, Tourism website and Facebook posts scheduled. Display will be set up in Chamber of Commerce window.
  4. Support of Local Arts Grant: Government Challenge Grant recipients have been decided, but no announcements have been made yet. 

New Business

  1. National Tourism Week- decided to hold off until 2018
  2. Cedar Creek FAM- March 29
  3. Shenandoah National Park guide- Potential for CoOp for full page ad divided into quarters.

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

Adjournment: 

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