American Mountain Theater Receives Grant From State - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

American Mountain Theater Receives Grant From State

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The American Mountain Theater in Elkins has received a grant from the state Matching Advertising Partnership Program.

This isn't the first time the theater has received this grant, but it's even more important as the theater and its audience continues to grow.

The grant is worth more than $70,000 which will help increase public awareness of the theater, both in the state and outside of West Virginia as well. Without the money from the grant, the theater's Meggan Sexton said it wouldn't have nearly the reach it does.

"The matching tourism grant program is vital to our ability to market ourselves to the best of our ability. In the past it's allowed us to double the marketing funds that we use to attract people to come and visit our area, and visit our state," Sexton said.

And the theater has seen that growth firsthand. The theater expects about 37,000 visitors this year, and plans on having more than 40,000 visitors throughout 2013. Sexton also said profits have gone up 16 percent so far this year, and the upcoming holiday season will add to that even more.

"Late September and early October is the peak part of our regular season, because of the fall foliage, and then our Christmas show is immensely popular. We're doing twenty-five performances of that this year," Sexton said.

But that grant is at risk of going away entirely. The state's funding for the program has declined in recent years, making it that much more competitive. But Sexton said keeping it funded can be a big part in helping raise more money for the state, even with the economy in its current condition.

"Tourism is a sustainable industry, even in this economy. It brings I forget how many billions of dollars to the state every year in revenue, in jobs, in taxes," said Sexton.

You can check out their website for more information.