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The French Goat Receives Tourism Partner of the Year

May 10, 2018

Lewisburg, W.Va., May 10, 2018— An evening of celebration and gratitude at Travel and Tourism Take Center Stage, on May 10, hosted by the Greenbrier County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). Associated with National Travel and Tourism Week, the event brought the accomplishments of the CVB as well as the local tourism partners into the spotlight.

Kara Dense, executive director of the CVB, distinguished one business for their outstanding commitment to the Greenbrier Valley. The French Goat received the honor of Tourism Partner of the Year.

“We appreciate everything they do to make tourism in Greenbrier County wonderful. They are a very special part of our area,” Dense said. “They are always willing to work with [the CVB] and host travel writers. They’re always working with other businesses and partners throughout the county.”

Selected by CVB staff, Arthur Forgette and Deborah Porter, owners of The French Goat and Maison Marcel were recognized for their efforts to promote Greenbrier County to visitors. The pair were applauded for their understating of how to create an experience that embodies the Greenbrier Valley. Forgette and Porter collaborate with local spirits businesses to promote their products and create unique events. The French Goat also provides an early three-course meal for diners attending a show at Carnegie Hall or Greenbrier Valley Theatre.

“I just want to thank everybody that has been so supportive of us. From our business partners, from the City of Lewisburg [everyone] has been very welcoming and easy to do business with,” Forgette said. “This has been a great welcoming experience. To all of the guests we had at the restaurant, we’re very pleased to be here.”

Forgette and Porter moved from Washington, D.C. to Greenbrier County in 2015 to open The French Goat.

The Greenbrier Valley is one of the top destinations in West Virginia and as a result, tourism is one of the largest industries in Greenbrier County. Accounting for one in eight jobs in the area, the success of the industry for Greenbrier County relies heavily on the hundreds of dedicated businesses. Their efforts helped secure $200 million spent by visitors in 2016.

Dense acknowledged the many accomplishments of the area’s tourism partners throughout the past year. The Greenbrier Valley has been featured on a regional and national level with coverage in Southern Living and to name a few.

Board of Directors President Mike Kidd commended the CVB for its work throughout the previous year. The CVB received seven awards for its work in marketing initiatives. The most recent accolades come from: Southeast Tourism Society two Shining Example Award for Tourism Office of the Year for destination marketing offices with budgets of up to $2 million as well as The Partnership Award, for effective tourism partnerships within the industry. The CVB was the only direct marketing office in West Virginia to be recognized. Other awards for the year include:

  • 2017 American Advertising Awards WV (ADDY) – AHM Digital Best of Digital/Online

  • 2017 American Advertising Awards WV (ADDY) – Gold Addy for Website

  • 2017 Stars of the Industry Award – Best Website – Greenbrier County CVB

  • 2017 Stars of the Industry Award – Tourism Professional of the Year – Kara Dense

  • 2017 International Gold MarCom Award – Website


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