Justice announces new tourism campaign 'Almost Heaven'

Published: Jun. 4, 2019 at 8:15 PM EDT
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Gov. Jim Justice today announced a new pilot program and partnership between the West Virginia Tourism Office and the West Virginia Trucking Association to wrap Almost Heaven ads on large box and semi-trucks across the state and country.

“Today is a great day for West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said Tuesday afternoon at the Matheny Truck Center in Mineral Wells. “I’ve been saying for years we need to work together. We need to sell our state. And that’s exactly what this pilot program is designed to do. Starting today, roads in West Virginia and across the country will be filled with trucks that promote our state through beautiful imagery and encourage all those passing by to visit Almost Heaven.”

The event in Mineral Wells included the official unveiling of the first truck wrapped in ads provided by Matheny Motors, a fourth-generation West Virginia company.

“Since my first day on the job, Governor Justice has encouraged us to think big and think outside the box,” Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby said. “Thanks to this partnership, we are expanding our advertising and will now have moving billboards traveling the country that inspire travel to West Virginia every day.”

Daniel Hall, Director of Government Affairs of the West Virginia Trucking Association said: “With so many association members across the state and region, this program has enormous potential to expand and grow over the coming months. It’s a great representation of two organizations working together to promote West Virginia, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”

The first truck in the pilot program will travel a continuous daily loop across West Virginia – from Parkersburg to Beckley to Huntington and back – targeting local commuters for in-state travel as well as drivers passing through the state for return visits. The images on the truck include ATVs, whitewater rafting and hunting.

“We’re thrilled to be the first company to join this pilot program,” Tim Matheny, president of Matheny Motor Company said. “We’re proud to have our business roots in the Mountain State, and we can’t wait to start telling more and more folks about all there is to see and do in West Virginia, all the while driving our daily route.”

West Virginia’s convenient location provides for easy program expansion and increased audience reach. The state is within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population, and 85 percent of overnight travelers arrive in West Virginia by car. As more trucks are added to the program, additional imagery and activities will be displayed based on truck routes, target markets and seasonality.