'The Heart Of Your Adventure'

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FARMVILLE — The “Heart Of Your Adventure” beats in the Heart of Virginia.

And now there is state funding to help reach everyone with an adventurous heart.

The Town of Farmville has won a $5,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leveraging Grant Fund program.

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The state is sending the funds on an expeditionary journey to Farmville for the Town’s joint “The Heart Of Your Adventure” tourism project with partners Prince Edward County, the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Farmville Downtown Partnership, which will provide the necessary $5,000 in matching funds.

One cannot start a promotional fire without first striking matching funds.

A new tourism brochure, fulfillment bags, LOVEworks artwork and a tabletop display will be produced by the funding, according to the Town of Farmville.

“The Heart Of Your Adventure” is a collective initiative to promote the area’s abundance of fun and adventure, the Town points out in a news release.

Helen Person, executive director of the Farmville Downtown Partnership, told The Herald that the project “is the ideal public-private collaborative effort. With this initiative, the Town of Farmville, the County of Prince Edward, the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Farmville Downtown Partnership are pooling resources and talent to develop a strategy that will bring people to our area to take advantage of the myriad natural, historical and economic resources we have in our midst.”

The Moton Museum, High Bridge Trail State Park, Wilck’s Lake and the Appomattox Blueway are all actually within the Town’s corporate limits, with additional offerings just a handful of miles away.

Person can see the benefits of the program quite clearly.

“For the Farmville Downtown Partnership,” she said, “’The Heart Of Your Adventure” provides an opportunity to showcase our historic commercial district that serves as the heartbeat for our region. Whether someone comes here for our beautiful architecture, our historic landscapes or to have a shopping and dining adventure, Farmville Downtown can provide a home base for their visit to Farmville-Prince Edward County.”

The state tourism marketing leverage program is indeed created and intended to stimulate new tourism marketing by pulling area partners together and leveraging what would otherwise have been limited marketing dollars with the goal of increasing visitor spending. The program requires a minimum of three partners.

“We are most excited for the future of this program,” Person said, “and what it can mean for the overall revitalization of our region. Farmville Downtown Partnership is honored to be part of this collaboration and looks forward to the implementation of ‘The Heart Of Your Adventure’ as we move into the next phase of development.”

The Town’s press release included a quote from Governor McDonnell who spoke of the economic benefits of tourism. “When more visitors come to Virginia, the localities and the commonwealth realize increased tax revenue, businesses prosper and new jobs are created,” the governor said.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation’s President and CEO, Rita McClenny, stated that, “local tourism efforts get a gigantic boost when parties work together in partnership. By leveraging our tourism marketing funds, so much good can be accomplished that results in dynamic tourism projects that might otherwise be unaffordable.”

Tourism in Virginia generates $20 billion in revenue, supports more than 207,000 jobs and provides $1.3 billion in state and local taxes, the state notes.

Local partners have taken note of that note.