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TDC to get free advice on marketing Levy County

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The good news is that the Tourism Development Council is going to get free marketing advice and planning to help them better utilize the Visit Florida website’ s services—to the benefit of all of Levy County.

Visit Florida has chosen Levy County as their next marketing project. They will send a team to learn what the Council needs to attract tourists and how best to do it. After that is determined, they will share their plan with the board and business partners.

Additionally, Visit Florida is offering a free website listing to new members. They can go to visitflorida.com for more information or to sign up.

The bad news is that after this fiscal year, the TDC will no longer make advertising grants to individual events but will instead use the money to advertise the county as a whole, while including information on upcoming events.

After a workshop last month and their regular meeting Tuesday night, the TDC voted to continue the use of the existing grand application for the 2011-2012 grant cycle rather than revising it. However, after that time, the monies that would be allotted for individual events will be rolled into the general advertising budget and will pay for general ads for the county with tag lines for specialized evens. The decision will be officially announced to attendees at the special grant workshop meeting in May and this year will be the last grant cycle that be will considered.

In other news:

• Executive Director Carol McQueen, has been instrumental in several bringing much needed positive media attention on the county, in over a dozen examples of print media so far this year.

• Outgoing council member Debra Jones was presented a plaque thanking her for her dedication to the Council during the past several years. Jones, who represented the city of Williston, is leaving the TDC after losing re-election to the Williston City Council. Former Levy County Commissioner, Lilly Rooks was also honored but unable to attend the meeting.