MOUNT VERNON — The partnership between the Knox County Convention & Visitors
Bureau, the Knox County Board of Commissioners and the Mount Vernon News has
long been a fruitful one. So successful, in fact, that a million copies of the
CVB’s Experience Knox County magazine have now been distributed.
The commissioners were presented with a plaque honoring the one millionth copy of the magazine on Thursday with the News receiving the 1,000,001st copy. Hitting that kind of milestone is an exciting feat in its own. For CVB Director Pat Crow the excitement escalated as the mark was hit during National Tourism Week.
“The partnership we have developed with the commissioners and the News has been exceptional,” said Crow. “This is a day to celebrate.”
The partnership has been going strong producing 15 editions of the tourism-generating magazine which has increased in distribution from 30,000 in the first year to 70,000 currently.
“The commissioners are honored to be presented this display from the Convention & Visitors Bureau,” said Teresa Bemiller, county commissioner and CVB board member. “We are happy it has been so successful. The CVB does a great job for the community.”
Allen Stockberger, commissioner and former CVB board member, said the magazine is not only great for generating tourism in the area but it was also a useful tool to help promote the county with the bonding agency.
“I took along a copy to show what the quality of life is like here in Knox County,” Stockberger said. “[The magazine] really set the stage for the rest of the meeting.”
The production of the magazine is handled by the staff at the News with guidance from Crow as to the content.
“Our mission is to promote all the attractions in the county but we only have 60 pages,” Crow said. “We keep a spreadsheet of all of the articles we’ve printed. Some of them are in every year like the Kokosing Gap Trail and the Knox County Fair; we try to be fair so we cycle through the others.”
According to a study published in 2008 by Tourism Economics, Knox County tourism in 2007 brought in $78.8 million in sales. From those sales, the county saw $2.2 million in tax revenue.
“The important part of this is the partnership that we have developed over the years,” Crow said about the collaboration of the three offices. “With the staff we have, we could never produce that magazine or anything like it. It requires our resources, financing from the commissioners and the resources from the News to make this magazine.”
“What’s so great about this is the local collaboration" said News Publisher Kay Culbertson. “Creating this magazine through a joint effort allows us to produce a magazine we are all proud of that is significant economically and historically. We hope this publication will, one day, serve as a piece of Knox County’s history.”
Distribution of the magazine, aside from those circulated in the News, is coordinated by the CVB through several outlets. From displays in the Ohio Department of Transportation Travel Information Centers; sites throughout Mohican and Amish countries; and trade shows in Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh; other CVB offices; as well as individual requests, the magazines are distributed throughout Ohio and across the United States.
The sole mission for the project is to increase the number of visitors to Knox County.
“This is a tool or vehicle in order to make that happen,” Crow said. “By putting this in someone’s hands it helps them define what our attractions and destinations are so they can choose to come here. The background information they need to make a travel choice to pick a hotel or a restaurant or other auxiliary activities are all contained in that guide.”