Highland County Chamber of Commerce Receives Tourism Grant

According to a press release from the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber has received a Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant for tourism marketing.

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) awarded more than $2.7 million for 259 local and regional tourism marketing programs across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.

As part of that, the Highland County Chamber of Commerce received a $20,000 Virginia Special Events and Festivals Program Grant. The Chamber plans to use these funds in three main areas. The first is to market the 63rd Highland County Maple Festival, set for March 11-12 and 18-19, 2023.  A second component of the grant is to advertise the renovation of the Highland Inn, currently owned by the nonprofit Blue Grass Resource Center. This downtown Monterey staple will host 18 guest rooms when renovation is complete, providing much-needed space for visitors to stay both during the festival and year-round.  Finally, the grant will boost an upcoming tourism initiative to provide discounts with lodging, restaurant, and retail partners using the popular Maple Festival keychains.

Executive Director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, Chris Swecker, said, “With funding from this grant, we are very excited and humbled by the opportunity to share Highland

County’s growing maple syrup industry and rural charm with new audiences.  We are equally excited to partner with the Blue Grass Resource Center to further their efforts of restoring the historic Highland Inn to fill a crucial hotel lodging void in the community. Overall, we want the public to know that Highland County continues to be an ideal place to visit, play, work, and live.”

The Highland County Chamber of Commerce strives to lift up local businesses and entrepreneurs,

promote Highland County, and champion economic prosperity and quality of life. The Chamber is the

official Destination Marketing Organization of Highland County, home of the Highland County Maple

Festival and the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail. To learn more, visit www.highlandcounty.org


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

Current Weather