CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau (HVAB) has been awarded a quarter of a million dollars in American Rescue Plan funding for the second time.
In July 2021, HVAB received their first $250,000 funding allotment to use for tourism marketing efforts over the summer.
Their initiatives, including commercials and moving billboards, led to over 44 million people seeing Happy Valley branding.
“Because of the pandemic’s detrimental impact on our own organization, this grant enabled the HVAB to effectively market the county at a critical time for our hospitality industry,” Fritz Smith said.
The campaign helped generate about $8 million in visitor spending and resulted in higher hotel demand on weekends, compared to 2018 and 2019.
“Really the goal of it was to get people back to work and we believe it was quite successful in that regard,” said Smith. “Our hospitality jobs were at 6,500 right before COVID, got it back up to 6,300, so 97% of pre-COVID level.”
The new installment of funding will carry their campaign through the winter, a historically challenging time for visitation.
“This bridge campaign will help get us to spring, where activity across multiple fronts is expected to pick up dramatically,” said Smith.