Governor McAuliffe Announces New Virginia Tourism Growth Fund Project in Wytheville
~The Bolling Wilson Hotel courtyard to bring new jobs, tax revenue, event space to Wytheville~
WYTHEVILLE – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that that The Bolling Wilson Hotel in Wytheville is the latest recipient of grant funding from the Virginia Tourism Growth Fund (VTGF), a Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) program established to grow tourism development projects across the state. The Bolling Wilson Hotel plans to redevelop an open area adjacent to the main building and create a new patio space for dining, entertainment, and special events. The project represents more than $127,000 in capital investment and the creation of four new jobs in the first year of this expansion.
“Locally-owned businesses like the Bolling Wilson Hotel capture Virginia’s true character and contribute to tourism activity that is an essential part of the new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I am pleased to announce this Virginia Tourism Growth Fund grant, which will help Wytheville take another important step in creating a truly one-of-a-kind destination, showcasing the region’s rich history, beautiful outdoor landscapes, and cultural offerings, all helping travelers discover why Virginia is for Lovers.”
Wytheville is the birthplace of former First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson and home to the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum.
“The Southwest region, including Wytheville, has become a premiere travel destination in Virginia” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “Since 2004, travel expenditures in Southwest Virginia have increased by more than 50 percent to $337 million. In 2015 alone, visitors to Wythe County spent nearly $138 million. Tourism businesses like The Bolling Wilson Hotel are continually evolving and improving, enhancing the visitor experience. With the help of today’s grant announcement, travelers to Wytheville now have another fantastic addition to make their Virginia vacation memorable.”
The Bolling Wilson Hotel courtyard project will receive more than $19,000 in VTGF funding which is being matched by the Town of Wytheville. The redevelopment is projected to create a local, yearly tax benefit of more than $5,000 annually.
“The hotel courtyard will add a much needed outdoor music venue within the Town of Wytheville’s downtown,” said Bill Smith, Owner of the Bolling Wilson Hotel and Graze on Main Restaurant. “We are investing in new furniture, fixtures, and the equipment needed to provide an outdoor music and event venue. Ultimately, the courtyard will extend our hotel and restaurant offerings, and help draw more shoppers, diners and main street seekers downtown.”
“As a cultural and musical partner, and hub, of the Crooked Road Music Heritage Trail, Wytheville will be able to host more special music, cultural, reunions, meetings and weddings,” said Trent Crewe, Mayor of Wytheville. “The courtyard will also create new product and visitor experiences, contributing to our marketing efforts already in place.”
The VTGF is a VTC program established to grow tourism development projects to include new or expanded facilities or venues for lodging, recreation, entertainment, epicurean, cultural, or destination retail products or services designed to attract travelers to the Commonwealth. Both non-profit and for-profit private sector businesses are eligible to apply. VTGF grant awards cannot exceed 15 percent of project cost and there is a minimum 1:1 locality match of VTGF grant award. The project must create net new jobs and public financing cannot exceed 30 percent of project cost.
Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. In 2015, visitors to Virginia spent $23 billion, which supported 223,100 jobs and contributed $1.6 billion in state and local taxes.
For more information on the Virginia Tourism Growth Fund, click here.