TODAY'S NEWS

Warren County tourism spending increased in 2016

FRONT ROYAL — Visitors to Warren County spent nearly $140 million here in 2016, according to a report released last week by the Virginia Tourism Corp. That figure is up about 3 percent from 2015, when tourists spent about $135.9 million in Warren County. It includes revenue taken from hotel occupancy rates and receipts from restaurants and tourist attractions. That spending netted about $2.8 million in local taxes, $6.5 million in state taxes and supported 1,670 jobs, according to the report. Total payroll from those jobs was about $31.8 million.  
The Warren Sentinel /  09-25-2017  

Tourism groups get state grants

HARRISONBURG – Four Valley initiatives have received state funding to boost local and regional tourism. On Tuesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that more than $967,000 in matching grants will be distributed to 50 tourism programs statewide as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program. A $50,000 grant will be split among Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, the city tourism office and the city Department of Economic Development. The Shenandoah Spirits Trail received a $36,000 grant to target millennials and baby boomers in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.The Passport to a Shenandoah BeerWerks Adventure, a 12-location beer trail featuring all four Harrisonburg craft breweries, received more than $22,000 for cross-promotion of each brewery and advertising outdoor activities. Today’s Shenandoah Valley Takes Flight, a collaboration led by the Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership and the Front Royal-based Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, also received $25,000 for the promotion of the Valley as “an outstanding year-round destination to global visitors."

State OKs regional economic development plan

HARRISONBURG – A five-year plan for economic growth in the Valley focuses on raising and retaining employment in five growing industries. On Sept. 13, the 24-member GO Virginia State Board approved an Economic Growth and Diversification Plan prepared by the program’s Region 8 Council. The council consists of 28 business and industry leaders in the 8th Region, which covers the Valley from Lexington to Winchester. GO Virginia, also known as the Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity in Each Region, was created in 2015 to encourage communities in nine regions of the state to work together to spur economic growth. It operates under the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Region 8 plan calls for increased workforce recruitment and training in five industry sectors that are expected to grow in the Valley during the next five years.

Brews and Blues festival to feature dozens of breweries

FRONT ROYAL — Local and regional brewers and musicians will be featured Saturday at the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce's eighth-annual Brew and Blues Festival. About 55 beers will be featured, including selections from Virginia breweries and more well-known national brands, according to Chamber of Commerce President Niki Foster. The beer samplings will be accompanied by performances from Hypnotic Willie and Bugsy Cline and the Blue Devils. Drinking is not necessary to enjoy the day, Foster said. There will also be yard games such as corn hole, myriad of food selections and 40 vendors. The festival is scheduled from noon to 7 p.m. in the Village Commons and on Chester Street. While a portion of Chester Street will be closed to traffic, Main Street will remain open.
The Warren Sentinel /  09-22-2017  
More News

Region sees bump in 2016 tourism revenue

HARRISONBURG — New marketing initiatives and the opening of new businesses contributed to a nearly 5 percent rise in average tourism revenue in four Valley counties and Harrisonburg in 2016. Shenandoah County reaped $213 million in tourism dollars during the 2016 calendar year, according to a report released by the Virginia Tourism Corp. earlier this month. Rockingham County followed close behind with $210 million, the report said. Page County collected $67 million from tourism in 2016, a 5.4 percent bump from the $63 million it collected in 2014 and 2015. Before that, the county received $61 million in 2012 and 2013.

Former local doughnut shop retools, plans to go national

FRONT ROYAL — Naughty Girls Donut Shop, which began in Front Royal as the realization of a 16-year-old girl's dream, will soon become a national chain. The doughnut shop opened in 2014 in the Riverton Commons and operated there for about two years, co-owner Natalie Ramos said. The owners have since rethought the brand and gained an investment from SNM Global Holdings to aid expansion. A Sterling shop is set to open Oct. 1, with future locations planned for Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York and Las Vegas, she said. Natalie Ramos described the Front Royal location as a "mom-and-pop shop," but it was really a mother-daughter venture. It began when her daughter Tiana Ramos, then 16, worked as a baker at Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton. A doctor nicknamed Tiana "little naughty girl" because of her tattoos, Natalie Ramos said.
The Warren Sentinel /  09-13-2017

Governor to visit Fisher’s Hill Battlefield

STRASBURG — Gov. Terry McAuliffe is coming to the Valley on Sept. 19 to celebrate Civil War battlefield preservation. McAuliffe and Julie Langan, director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, will be at Fisher’s Hill Battlefield at 1:30 p.m. to announce the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation’s latest preservation efforts, including the complete preservation of the 70-acre Battle of Fisher’s Hill site at Gordon’s Hill. Gordon’s Hill was the site of a skirmish led by Confederate Gen. John B. Gordon. The event is free but registration is required on the SVBF’s website at www.shenandoahatwar.org.

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Local Sports

Skyline hopes to shake off down season

After missing the postseason for the first time since 2012, Skyline wants to get back to the playoffs.
08-29-2017

Football Roundup 8/25: East Rock tops Spotswood to open High School Slate

A late pick-six, and a pair of Page County blowouts highlight Week 1 of the 2017 high school football season.
08-25-2017

New names set to emerge in Valley District Volleyball

The Valley District's Class of 2016 had a lot of talent that needs to be replaced during the upcoming season.
08-24-2017

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