The Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Development Authority have teamed up with Yadkin County wineries and lodging to bring Yadkin residents and visitors a new summer opportunity.
The Yadkin Wine Passport offers visitors and residents an opportunity to visit eight Yadkin County wineries or visit six Yadkin County wineries and stay at least one night at a Yadkin County lodging and they will receive a complimentary t-shirt.
Jamie Johnston, administrative staff at Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce, said that the passport program came about after a less than stellar response to last year’s Summer Whites program.
“The summer is just a busy time,” Johnston said. “Tourism season is in full swing and the wineries are busy at their tasting rooms already with regular traffic. We decided we didn’t want to do that type of program anymore and we would replace it with this program.”
A benefit of this program is it lasts from now until the end of the year, allowing visitors to make multiple trips to the area or residents to spread their winery visits in their home county across several weekends.
“With this program you don’t have to rush and get it all done in one weekend,” Johnston said. “You have until the end of the year to finish one of the options on the passport. We hope that they don’t finish their passport all in one weekend. We want them to be repeat visitors.”
Johnston said that in order to complete the passport visitors must purchase a tasting or a bottle of wine at each winery they visit. This will earn them a stamp in their passport booklet.
If they choose to visit six wineries and use one of Yadkin’s lodging locations they must stay at least one night.
“We wanted to do two options,” Johnston said. “We didn’t want to make local residents feel excluded so we added the winery only option.”
Johnston said that all of the wineries and lodging locations were excited to be a part of this new program.
“All of the wineries and the lodging locations in the county are participating and they are all so excited to be able to participate because a lot of the traffic now is for wineries,” Johnston said. “This program gives them something they can hand out to their customers.”
The program is being funded by TDA monies, which are collected from an occupancy tax that business pay. The TDA funds are providing the t-shirts, passports and promotion materials.
“A lot of other places that offer this type of program charge for the passport but we are offering it completely free,” Johnston said. “You only have to spend your money in the wineries s or where you stay.”
Johnston said that when passport participants return to the chamber to pick up their complimentary t-shirt the chamber staff will get an opportunity to learn more about them and what they are looking for in their trips to the Yadkin Valley in order to make them repeat visitors.
“Once they have completed one of the options they have to turn the passport booklet back in to the visitor’s center in Yadkinville to redeem their t-shirt,” Johnston said. “While we get them in we get information from them to learn about where they are from, how long they are in town and what they are looking for. This allows us to personalize events for them to receive from us via email. “
To participate in the passport program visit the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce located at 205 S. Jackson St. in Yadkinville and pick up your passport today.