New Tourism & Business Initiative for Virginia's Blue Ridge - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

New Tourism & Business Initiative for Virginia's Blue Ridge

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The Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau is changing from a membership-based organization to a consumer-based one.

Flying Mouse Brewery is one of the bureau's newest partners and one of the first to not pay to be one. Before, a business would have to pay $250 a year, but after the CVB doubled their budget to $2.7 million from the lodging tax, the membership fee was cut.

The bureau made the announcement of the new initiative at Center in the Square Thursday.

"What we found is that membership is an impediment and it doesn't really tell a whole story," says Landon Howard of the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Some of the benefits of being a partner include listings online and in tourism guides.

Flying Mouse Brewery opened a few weeks ago and says the bureau helped get their name out.

"Any support we can get is really fantastic so it's really important to get people to see," says Frank Moeller.