Highland Supervisors Hear More About Tourism Initiatives

Monterey, VA – The Highland Board of Supervisors will have its hands full this month dealing with budget cuts to the schools and county offices. The budget process is currently in progress, and the proposed budget will not be released until late March.

In the mean time, county business goes on. At the recent meeting, tourism was on the agenda. John Hull, of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, addressed the board this week, starting with a brief history of recent tourism promotion efforts.

The Allegheny Regional Commission formed a committee with representatives from the counties of Allegheny, Bath, Craig, Highland, as well as the cities of Covington and Clifton Forge, said Hull. This group, Hull continued, worked with a marketing consultant to determine the regions assests, create brand’ for the region, and produce a marketing plan

The marketing consultant delivered a marketing plan and the region was branded as “Virginia’s Western Highlands” in late 2008. A website, VAwesternhighlands.com was set up in cooperation with the Virginia tourism corporation. Mr. Hull went on to describe the gateway communities workshop held last year and the activities of a new tourism subcommittee.

“[T]he group explored topics related to sustainability and a focus on tourism efforts that remain true to a region’s culture,” said Hull.

A subcommittee was formed to see to the initiative’s longer term financial future, he said.

Mr. Hull informed the group that a request for funding has been made to each participating locality in the Virginia’s Western Highlands tourism initiative.

Each participating government is being asked to contribute
$2,167 toward marketing expenses.

The tourism subcommittee has a budget in the planning stages for this year.

The total budget is $21,000, from both public and private contributions.

“The funds for the first year will go toward an electronic visitors guide, an electronic brochure, photography development, and search engine marketing on the Internet,” Hull said.

The board will have to decide later this month if it can find the funds to support the tourism initiative this year.

In related action, the board of supervisors approved the appointment of Carolyn Pohowsky and Liz Delahoussaye as county representatives to the tourism subcommittee.

Harley Gardner, the county emergency services manager, addressed the board next regarding the county’s emergency operations plan.

Gardner said the plan was at a stage where it could be adopted by the board in the next two months. The plan is required by the state’s emergency services and disaster laws.

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Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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