, 2022-09-03 09:15:00,
BEDFORD — With five public courses, Bedford County is no stranger to disc golf.
Now, capitalizing on the sport’s growing popularity and local tourism campaign, “Destination Bedford Disc Golf,” a $19,500 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation to support marketing efforts will help promote the county as a disc golf destination.
“Disc golf in general, in this area, especially Bedford County, has skyrocketed,” said Kenny Palmer, parks and recreation operations coordinator for Bedford County. “Disc golf is, at the moment, by far the most participated-in amenity at our parks. That includes the trail systems, too. Our trails get used quite a bit, but disc golf definitely outnumbers trail users.”
Over the past several years, Bedford County has continually worked to maintain, improve, or expand disc golf courses as a driving tourism attraction, drawing visitors and professional or hobby disc golf players from far and wide. Bedford’s five courses are managed by the county’s parks and recreation department.
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“For this particular application, I chose Destination Bedford Disc Golf as the marketing program because people are coming from across the country to play the courses here,” said Nicole Johnson, director of tourism in Bedford County, via email. “The tourism department started promoting disc golf in 2019 with the roll-out of the Destination Bedford branding and marketing campaign. Now I want to take it a step further. I not only want to generate more awareness of the courses here, but also encourage those who come for disc golf to stay longer and discover other activities and attractions.”
When applying for a Virginia tourism grant, Johnson said, the applicant must have a specific project in mind. The grant money will fund email, print, digital, social media, broadcast television and radio advertising for Destination Bedford Disc Golf.
Part of the draw of disc golf is that it is an outdoor activity, accessible to most everyone, and an activity not negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Palmer said.
Whereas many venues and events were shut down or limited,…
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