Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail:  The Crooked Road has received $5,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Recovery Marketing Leverage Program (RMLP), designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds.

More than $1.9 million in matching grant funds were awarded to 161 local tourism initiatives through this program. This funding cycle, local partners will provide more than $5.6 million in-kind value to match the VTC grants. The grants will ultimately impact 483 statewide tourism entities.

Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail: The Crooked Road will use the VTC Recovery Marketing Leverage grant funds to highlight The Crooked Road’s major venues and push potential visitors toward The Crooked Road’s social media channels.  The ultimate goal of these initiatives is to keep reminding the potential visitor of all the opportunities for a unique experience along the 330-mile music trail as well as the other communities in The Crooked Road and SWVA region.

“Virginia Tourism Corporation has been a tremendous partner for The Crooked Road in the past and we are thrilled to continue this partnership through this marketing grant.  The ultimate goal of these grant-funded marketing initiatives is to keep reminding the potential visitor of all the opportunities for a unique experience along the 330-mile music trail as well as all communities along The Crooked Road and in the SWVA region,” says Larry Yates, President of The Crooked Road’s Board of Directors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism and hospitality industries in Virginia.  As the Commonwealth slowly reopens for business, VTC offered these grant funds as a first step to re-entry into the marketplace to spur economic activity and future travel across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Tourism is a crucial section of the Virginia economy and when we invest in this industry, we support local job creation and drive regional economic growth, which is desperately needed now due to the pandemic,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “These funds give localities and businesses access to critical marketing resources that will help bring more travelers to our Commonwealth, increase visitor spending, and grow demand for Virginia products.”

Tourism is one of the Commonwealth’s largest economic engines, with visitors to Southwest Virginia spending more than $ 1.1 billion in 2019, and The Crooked Road supporting over 130 work opportunities and contributing $9.1 Million per year of economic impact in Southwest Virginia. The tourism and hospitality industries have also been among the hardest-hit by the pandemic, experiencing decreased revenue and job loss, along with the temporary closure of many tourism-related businesses. A revived tourism economy can help spur new economic activity and inject critical funds back into Virginia communities.

About Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail:  The Crooked Road (TCR)    

The Crooked Road is a 330 mile driving trail through the mountains of Southwest Virginia that connects nine Major Venues and over 60 Affiliated Venues and Festivals that visitors can enjoy every day of the year.  Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail: The Crooked Road is also a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization founded in 2004 whose mission is to support economic development in Southwest Virginia by promoting this region’s rich heritage of traditional music.

The Crooked Road office is located at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center and Marketplace in Abingdon, VA.  General information can be found at The Crooked Road website,, by email at or by calling (276) 492-2400, ext. 2409.  Southwest Virginia visitation information can be found at

About Virginia Tourism Corporation

Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. In 2019, visitors to Virginia spent $27 billion, which supported 237,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more, visit

Sarah Mast
Author: Sarah Mast