The Vinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has developed a creative way to promote business locations to travelers.

Marketing Director Caleb Appleman told The Telegram the CVB is working with local designer Tad Gallagher on a full-color map with the local businesses highlighted. There is a map legend on the left side depicting the grocery store, restaurants, Wi-Fi locations, schools, churches, gas stations and more. The maps will be sold for $2 at Lake Hope State Park and gas stations in the county.

“We have been working with Lake Hope officials on this idea,” Appleman stated. “We want to point their guests toward county businesses and keep their money from flowing out.”

The map is to serve as a marketing vehicle and brings more people to the doors of local businesses. The tourist trade in Vinton County is already helping some of the restaurants and gas stations. The maps will also be available soon at various tourist attractions.

Appleman also noted the CVB is developing some merchandise to promote the unique heritage of the historic Moonville Tunnel. It is reportedly haunted and has 121 websites dedicated to it. The director stated merchandise with Moonville logos would be for sale soon at the Visitors Center on West Main Street in McArthur and the Visitors Center at the old Swan School House. There is an array of items ranging in prices from $3 to $15. Another item for sale will be a kids’ coloring book featuring family destinations and rural spots. Appleman asserts young people can learn about their county and also have some fun coloring.

The CVB is busy on several other fronts right now and hopes for more business growth. Those projects include working on a plan to purchase, renovate and reopen the Hotel McArthur. That endeavor is moving along through several channels and the CVB hopes to make an announcement soon. Appleman says this project has widespread support, including from the Village of McArthur. He says every effort is being made to make this project happen.

On a more long-term basis, the CVB is also working on agritourism plans. Many rural communities have turned to agritourism and are getting some positive economic results. According to the national ag law center website,  “Common examples of agritourism include pumpkin-picking patches, corn mazes, hayrides, cut-your-own Christmas tree farms, living history farms, on-farm markets, winery tours and wine tasting, rural bed and breakfasts, and garden tours.” 

Some areas also have barn dances and entertainment venues. Appleman points out the CVB is always looking at any positive options to help businesses. He invites people to visit to learn more.