Upshur CVB helping local businesses

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is helping local businesses advertise and create success, officials said at Wednesday’s CVB meeting.

CVB Executive Director Laura Meadows said she has “nominated the heck” out of Buckhannon in various competitions, such as the Budget Travel’s Coolest Small Town contest – where Buckhannon placed third overall.

The CVB also hired an event center manager to schedule and coordinate events at the new Event Center at Brushy Fork facility, which is part of the new National Guard Armory in Buckhannon. The CVB will act as the center’s management, but if the National Guard is in need of the facility at any time, they will be given priority, officials said.

Meadows also reflected on the advertising campaign “33 Things To Do,” a collaborative effort of the CVB along Route 33. The campaign highlights places and activities in all areas along Corridor H, including Stonewall Resort and the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Lewis County and Buckhannon’s Main Street and Festival Fridays in Upshur County.

Another campaign, “Stay the Weekend,” includes ads that are exclusive to Upshur County, and has worked well, Meadows said.

“It really helps the special events in Buckhannon, so we hope that we can highlight the bigger special events in the county and then also encourage people to stay the weekend and look at everything else they can do,” Meadows said. “I think it’s been really a decent campaign.”

Meadows also said the CVB now has an advertising grant program that helps local businesses advertise. The allocated amount is $4,600, which Meadows said can be broken up into multiple small grants, about five or six $750 grants, and distributed to qualifying businesses.

“It’s a really wonderful, easy system for them (people who get the grants) because we end up doing all the work, because we want to take the pressure off of a local business or a local event and be able to cover that,” Meadows said. “That’s why we’re here.”

Meadows said some people will return to ask for the grant again. She said businesses can get the grant for up to three years, but after that time she hopes they are at a point where they are able to start advertising on their own.