GVB Annual Report includes a contest and a facelift

The 2012-2013 annual report from Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau (GCCVB) described the inaugural Best of the Greenbrier Valley contest and a facelift for the organization’s website.

The Best of the Greenbrier Valley contest ran from Apr. 8 through Apr. 28, 2012, inviting the public to cast a vote for their favorite Greenbrier Valley attraction, lodging property, retail shop, restaurant and event. Nearly 1,000 people cast their votes from 32 states.

The best attraction was The Greenbrier, with Carnegie Hall as runner up. The Greenbrier also won best lodging with the General Lewis Inn as runner up. Food & Friends won best restaurant, with Stardust Cafe in second place. Harmony Ridge Gallery was voted best retail shop and Aggie’s, Something Sweet, Something Country and Wolf Creek Gallery tied for second place in the shopping category.

Taste of Our Town (TOOT) was the winner of best event, with the State Fair taking second place.

WWW.GreenbrierWV.com was redesigned in the winter of 2012 to offer visitors a cleaner and more user friendly layout. Listings are broken down to Sleep, Eat, Explore, Shop and Events categories. The website garners nearly 100,000 unique visitors annually.

GCCVB was once again awarded accreditation by the West Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (WVACVB) in October 2012. The WVACVB program was designed to encourage the state’s visitors bureaus to better prepare themselves in developing tourism.

Since the GCCVB’s Mini Grant Program’s inception in 2002, $322,000 in direct marketing grants have been awarded to area fairs, festivals and non-profit organizations to help market their tourism related events. During the 2012-2013 fiscal year grants included $1,200 to City of Lewisburg’s Dare to Cruz, $2,875 to Carnegie Hall, $1,500 to Lewisburg Literary Festival, $3,304 to Greenbrier Valley Theatre and many other worthy functions involved with attracting tourists to Greenbrier County.

The 7.500 square-foot, state of the art Visitors Center welcomed 36,417 visitors from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. Other than providing information, the visitor’s center participates in activities throughout the year including Lewisburg’s First Fridays After Five as well as hosting the United Way of Greenbrier Valley and their Holiday By Design fundraiser during November and December.

The Polar Bear Plunge, Greenbrier Group to Fight Pancreatic Cancer and the Family Refuge Center are among area non-profits welcomed thus far to set up information during First Fridays.

Contact the GCCVB at 304-645-1000 for information about having your organization setting up at First Fridays.

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