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VIRginia International Raceway Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant for Tourism Marketing

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Lindsay Priester 


VIRginia International Raceway Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant for Tourism Marketing

Alton, Va. – May 29, 2023 – Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) received $20,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC). In total, VTC awarded more than $3.2 million for 236 local and regional tourism marketing programs across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism. 

VIR received the $20,000 grant for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix, a featured race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, happening Aug. 25-27 at the Alton-based racetrack. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is a sportscar racing series based in the United States and Canada, organized by the International Motor Sports Association.

“We’re so proud to be a be a Virginia born-and-bred organization,” said Connie Nyholm, CEO and co-owner of VIR. “The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is our biggest racing event of the year, with some of the best drivers and most advanced cars around. It brings thousands of race fans to our community and is broadcast live across the country, so we love that we can show a national audience how special our state is through the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix.”  

Using the hub and spoke tourism partnership model, Virginia entities partner to apply for funding. Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other tourism-related businesses.

 “VTC’s tourism marketing and sponsorship programs are designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships, and to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand to drive visitation,” said Rita McClenny, VTC President and CEO.  More information on VTC’s Marketing Leverage and Regional Marketing Programs can be found at 

“VTC’s marketing and sponsorship programs are powerful incentives creating tourism partnerships across Virginia that are a robust part of Virginia’s economic ecosystem,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “From first-time applicants like Foxfield Races and Paradise Springs Winery to large music festivals in Hampton Roads and Southwest Virginia driving inbound overnight visitation, these programs show that tourism and tourism partnerships help Virginia’s vibrant communities grow and thrive.” 

“Driving inbound out-of-state overnight visitation is a key economic strategy and the VTC grant, and sponsorship programs help create unique partnerships that have tangible economic impacts across Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “Many of these programs also support regional marketing initiatives designed to encourage Virginians to explore their own state.”

For more information on VIR, visit  

About VIRginia International Raceway

VIRginia International Raceway is one of America’s premier road courses, offering professional and amateur racing for modern and vintage classes while providing contemporary resort amenities. A prominent test facility for the automotive industry, VIR has the distinction of being named one of the top six courses in North America by Car and Driver Magazine, and southern roots and hospitality make it one of the friendliest. Conveniently located at the Virginia/North Carolina border, VIR is centrally located in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic with 15 million people within 150 miles. For more information, visit, Facebook or Twitter.

About Virginia Tourism Corporation
Virginia is for Lovers is one of the most iconic and recognizable travel brands in the world. Using that powerful brand equity, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is charged with promoting the Commonwealth as a premier travel destination by showcasing all there is to love in a Virginia vacation. The dollars spent by travelers fuel the economy, provide jobs for Virginians, and improve communities across the state. Simply put, tourism helps make Virginia a great place to live, work, and vacation. Learn more at virginia..