Located in the southwestern part of the state, Virginia’s Blue Ridge is now one of the trendiest tourist destinations in the country. It’s also where I’m from, so please join us as we discover what makes the Blue Ridge so much fun to visit.
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In 1999 I finished up graduate school and moved to the Washington, DC region, a part of the world that I still call home. Even at that point I hadn’t lived full time in Southwestern Virginia for more than five years, and calling it home was a stretch. Moving around a lot as a kid I’ve lived in 12 states and Roanoke, Virginia was my home city for a scant three years before graduating high school and leaving for college. And yet I consider it to be my hometown, a spiritual connection to a place we all experience but in my case it was a tenuous one. I recently had the chance to revisit this beautiful part of Virginia and wasn’t just reminded why I enjoy it so much, but how it’s changed in recent years. In this week’s podcast I share my travel experiences and chat with several Roanoke locals who are working to make the region a fun place to live and visit.
Taylor Spellman began working for Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge in 2015 to promote the region she loves to the world. As the Director of Public Relations, Taylor works with travel writers and journalists to showcase Virginia’s Blue Ridge as a must see mountain destination. Taylor is a co-founder of Experience, a young professional organization attracting and retaining talent in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and also serves on the board for the Virginia Recreational Facility Authority for Virginia’s Explore Park.
Larry Landolt is the founder of Tour Roanoke and as such, has never enjoyed work more than he does now. His professional life has been quite varied, entertaining and successful. A New Jersey native, finishing his BA in Miami, Florida, at St. Thomas University (than Biscayne College). Larry began his career in advertising/marketing in South and Central Florida. Then a shift in focus brought marketing/sales positions for the Orlando Predators (Arena Football), Youth Basketball of America and Rebound Sports. After a move to Roanoke, VA, Larry became the Executive Director for the non- profit organization that organized and grew many events and festivals in downtown Roanoke. It’s this background which he now uses in his business Tour Roanoke.
Scott Ramsburg is responsible for all aspects of marketing, branding and public relations for Roanoke County’s department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. In that capacity he works regularly developing strategy and content for print, video, web and social media in support of properties including Green Ridge Recreation Center, Splash Valley Water Park, Explore Park and Camp Roanoke. He also oversees the business and technology components that support a large recreation operation.