Travel Association To Close New Market Visitor Center, Reorganize

Press Release -- July 20th, 2010

The Shenandoah Valley Travel Association announced they will be closing the visitor center in New Market in August — a move they hope will allow them to refocus on “strategic marketing programs” to attract more business to various localities in the region.

The Board of Directors of the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association (SVTA) voted unanimously on July 9 to adopt a new strategic plan that will allow the association to make a much larger investment in marketing the region to tourists. This decision is part of a reorganization that also includes ceasing operations of the Shenandoah Valley Visitor Center, located at exit 264 in New Market. The center’s final day of operation will be Sunday, August 1.

SVTA President Sheryl Wagner said this is a positive step forward for the association. “With this decision made, SVTA will now be able to re-direct the costs of operating the visitor center and focus on strategic marketing programs to attract more visitors to the Valley. We need to remain competitive as a destination, and the only way to do that is to increase our investments in tourism marketing programs,” Wagner said.

Originally opened to the public in 1975, the Shenandoah Valley Visitor Center was one of the only facilities of its kind in the Valley, welcoming an average of 60,000-70,000 visitors per year. By 2009, that number had dropped to just over 20,000 visitors.

“With the state-operated Clear Brook Welcome Center just 50 miles north and the recently re-opened rest areas along I-81, travelers have a lot of options for restroom breaks and for picking up travel-related literature,” Wagner said. “Additionally, most communities now operate their own visitor centers, which wasn’t the case when our facility was originally established.”

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