By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Feb. 23 — On Thursday, a crowd of about 30 gathered at the Mimslyn Inn for drinks and hor d’oeuvres to celebrate a new logo and branding campaign for the county that promotes the “Page Valley,” including the launch of a new website a year in the making at pagevalley.org
“We’re really proud of the product,” said Nina Fox, director of the Page County Economic Development and Tourism office. “There’s more there than meets the eye.”
The website directs tourists and locals alike to events and things to do in the area, as well as places to eat and drink, various lodging options, and even help planning a trip to the Page Valley. There’s even a section specifically dedicated to “Weddings”.
“People have been wondering why we have been spending so much on video, photography and videography…this is why,” Fox said of the tens of thousands of dollars spent on the project. A $90,000 grant the office received helped fund the creation of the website.
“This has been a huge undertaking,” said Helen Morton, a representative of national park concessionaire Delaware North and a member of the county’s “Tourism Committee” that recommends to the board of supervisors how nearly $1.5 million in annual Transiency Occupancy Tax (TOT) funds should be allocated.
“Everyone working on this not only has a passion, but it’s fun,” Morton added. “You all see it, but we have to get everybody out there seeing it. I think it showcases our area very well…and it’s always changing.”
Marketing efforts by the Economic Development and Tourism office will target densely-populated areas like those around both the nation’s capital and the state capital, according to both Fox and Morton.
Fox acknowledged that the office is still “working through some bugs” on the website and that “some content is still missing.” That’s where she asks the public to step in and help with great images and stories.
“We are only as good as the information we receive,” Fox said, regarding businesses and organizations. “If you reach out, we can feature you as well.”
“Images are the thing,” Morton said. “We need to keep it growing and keep it fresh.”
Fox gave a great deal of credit to her staff for carrying out the heavy lifting with the project — Communications and Marketing Coordinator Rebecca Armstrong and Economic Development and Tourism Specialist English Henry. The director also thanked District 2 Supervisor Allen Louderback for his support, as well as numerous Tourism Committee members in attendance, such as former District 3 Supervisor J.D. Cave, former Chamber of Commerce president Karen Riddle and cabin owner Randy Howan.
The new website contains at least 130 different pages, and it will continue to grow, according to Armstrong, who coordinates the content on the site. The longtime journalist also plans to publish stories about the people, business and culture of the area on the county’s website as well.
“If you have compelling stories about a business or property, please let me know,” Armstrong said. “You have to help me, help you promote the Page Valley.”
As Fox closed things out at the Mimslyn on Thursday, she told those in attendance to keep sharing ideas to help promote and grow the region we all now as the “Page Valley.”
“Think outside the box,” Fox said, “think of unique promotions.”
To submit an event or business for promotion through the Page County Economic Development office, contact them at the Page County Government Center, 103 S Court Street, Suite F, Luray, VA 22835; or give them a call at 540-743-1216. The office is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.