CARLISLE, PA (May 26, 2010) - The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau (CVVB) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2010 Tourism Grant Program. The CVVB designated $50,000 from the 2010 hotel tax increase to fund a new competitive grant program for eligible businesses that support hospitality and tourism in Cumberland County.

"We had an exceptional response to our new grant program and we are delighted with the outcome," said Shireen Farr, CVVB Director of Tourism.

Eighteen grant applications, totaling the amount of $175,100, were received by the May 3, 2010 deadline. The applications came from each hospitality-related business sector and core communities of the county. Those candidates that developed their applications in partnership with other organizations were given higher consideration. A half cash match was required.

The goals of the program were to have applicants foster partnerships, increase overnight or extended stays, and new product development to provide an enhanced visitor experience. Applicants were evaluated on the organization's ability to implement the project, track measures of success and provide for promise of sustainability. Below is a list of the recipients, the grant amount awarded and the type of grant.

  • Army Heritage Center Foundation                             $17,000      Heritage Tourism / Product Dev.
  • Camp Hill Econ. Development Group                      $5,000        Cultural Tourism / Product Dev.
  • Capital Resource Conservation & Development   $5,000        Ag Tourism / Product Dev.
  • Carlisle Regional Performing Arts Center               $6,000        Cultural Tourism / Advertising
  • Cumberland Valley B&B Association                        $1,700        Marketing
  • Hayman Farms                                                              $7,500        Ag Tourism / Product Dev.
  • House Divided / Dickinson College                           $8,000        Heritage Tourism / Product Dev.

Total: $50,200

The Army Heritage Center Foundation received a grant to promote and advertise their WWII themed Swingin' to Victory Weekend. This program is a partnership between the Army Heritage & Education Center (AHEC), Allenberry Resort Inn & Playhouse and the Cumberland County Historical Society (CCHS). The weekend is expected to generate overnight stays through the advertising of packages in metropolitan areas and motorcoach companies. The date of the event is scheduled for May 13-15, 2011 with a reception and speaker at the CCHS, programs at Army Heritage Days at AHEC and dinner and a show at Allenberry Resort Inn & Playhouse.

Camp Hill Economic Development Group received a grant for advertising a new community event called Plein Air Competition and Arts Festival. This event consists of an outdoor artist competition, exhibit and sale, along with lectures, demos, collector's party and music. This event is scheduled for June 3 - 5, 2011 in downtown Camp Hill.

Capital Resource Conservation & Development, partnering with Cumberland County Planning Commission, South Central PASA and the South Mountain Partnership, received a grant to support a new event called South Mountain Geo-Bash and the 3rd annual Buy Fresh Buy Local Bicycle Event.  The Geo-Bash event will kick-off the South Mountain Geo-Trail and offer geocachers a starting point to the new trail and invite them to discover the region. The Buy Fresh Buy Local bike ride will include three bicycle routes highlighting vendors, markets, local chefs, regional artisans and other partners along the way. The bicycle ride is scheduled for July 2010 and the Geo-Bash for September 2010.

The Carlisle Regional Performing Arts Center received a demonstration grant to market overnight packages for two of their shows to travelers outside the area. They will be packaging their shows with lodging establishments and restaurants to encourage overnight stays.

The Cumberland Valley B&B Association received a grant to improve the association's Web site including professional photography to enhance web and printed collateral and entry into the social media arena.

Hayman Farms received a grant to promote and advertise the addition of a Hayman Pro Rodeo event to the area which will encourage overnight stays. Opening night for the Hayman Pro Rodeo is scheduled for September 17, 2010 at Hayman Farms in Carlisle. Hayman Farms is a seasonally run attraction open from mid-September to the end of October offering agricultural education for families, hayrides, pumpkin-picking, corn maze and petting zoo. At night, the farm turns haunted offering haunted hayrides, corn maze and walks.

The House Divided Project by Dickinson College received a grant, partnering with the Cumberland County Historical Society, to support the development of Cumberland Valley Civil War stories and maps for the Web site, development of walking and driving tours, printing of brochures for tours and training for 12 step-on guides. These combined resources will enable a wide variety of visitors to consider extending their stay in Cumberland Valley especially with the upcoming Civil War 150th commemoration activities planned over the next five years.

The CVVB's intent, based on need and the grant recipients' outcomes, is to continue the competitive grant program. "We were very impressed by the quantity and quality of the applications we received", said Director of Tourism Shireen Farr, "it was great to see partnerships formed through this grant application process and we are happy to partner with these great organizations and programs who are working to increase tourism in the Cumberland Valley."

The Tourism Grant Review Panel consisted of a Cumberland Valley resident, a local business owner, a member from the public sector and a CVVB staff member.

The mission of the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau is to promote Cumberland Valley as a tourist destination, attract visitors to the area, enhance the visitor's experience, and to encourage and promote overnight stays.

The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau is also part of Pennsylvania's Dutch Country Roads region, the number 1 visited region in PA, a true vacation destination where country meets city and the past lives side-by-side with the present.

Media Contact: Kristen Oakley

Phone: 717.240.7195 - 717.592.8286 Email: kristen@visitcumberlandvalley.com