The Hopewell Downtown Partnership Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Recovery Marketing Leverage
The Hopewell Downtown Partnership (HDP) has received $4,648.50 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Recovery Marketing Leverage Program (RMLP), designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds.
More than $1.9 million in matching grant funds were awarded to 161 local tourism initiatives through this program. This funding cycle, local partners will provide more than $5.6 million in-kind value to match the VTC grants. The grants will ultimately impact 483 statewide tourism entities.
The Hopewell Downtown Partnership will use the VTC Recovery Marketing Leverage grant funds to develop and brand Route 5 and Route 10 as the "5 and Dime" - a collaborative network and road trip. A strong presence of restaurants, wineries, venues and historic sites already exists along Route 5 due to the advocacy efforts of the Route 5 Corridor Coalition. Starting in Hopewell, HDP will work to cultivate a hospitality network along Route 10 to bring more attention and foot traffic to the unique destinations in the region. HDP hopes to eventually cross-market with their Route 5 counterparts to encourage tourism, north and south of the James River.
“We learned of the 5 and Dime one summer morning when a group of Harley riders cruised into the HPG Visitor Center to grab some literature in preparation for their all day ride” explains Becky McDonough, HPG Chamber CEO. They described the all-day ride as the most beautiful ride east of the Blue Ridge Mountains…widely known among motorcyclists as the 5 and Dime.” – Becky McDonough, CEO of the Hopewell-Prince George (HPG) Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism and hospitality industries in Virginia. As the Commonwealth slowly reopens for business, VTC offered these grant funds as a first step to re-entry into the marketplace to spur economic activity and future travel across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“Tourism is a crucial section of the Virginia economy and when we invest in this industry, we support local job creation and drive regional economic growth, which is desperately needed now due to the pandemic,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “These funds give localities and businesses access to critical marketing resources that will help bring more travelers to our Commonwealth, increase visitor spending, and grow demand for Virginia products.”
Tourism is one of the Commonwealth’s largest economic engines, with visitors to Hopewell spending more than $28.2 million in 2019, supporting 247 work opportunities and contributing $2.4 million in local and state tax revenue. The tourism and hospitality industries have also been among the hardest-hit by the pandemic, experiencing decreased revenue and job loss, along with the temporary closure of many tourism-related businesses. A revived tourism economy can help spur new economic activity and inject critical funds back into Virginia communities.
The Hopewell Downtown Partnership is an accredited Main Street organization dedicated to building a healthy, vibrant and more prosperous central downtown district for the Hopewell community.
About Virginia Tourism Corporation
Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. In 2019, visitors to Virginia spent $27 billion, which supported 237,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more, visit virginia.org