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May 15, 2012

Greetings from Thurston County:
I am pleased to announce the kick off of our Official Thurston County Thumbs-Up Experience campaign and invite you to participate in the program. First, please "like" our new Facebook page by clicking here.  Second, please post pictures of your favorite Thurston County Thumbs-Up experience. Third, if you are a business, attraction or event please contact  me about how you can participate and promote your visitor experience.
We will be conducting a weekly drawing as part of the campaign. Congratulations to Annalee T. from Lewis County who was our first winner and won two tickets compliments of Wolf Haven International.
This weeks contest is for $20 in Olympia Farmers Market tokens. To enter to win just "like" the Thumbs-Up Facebook page.  
We are working with Thurston County, WSU Extension, and the Thurston Economic Development Council to hold an AgTourism workshop on Saturday, June 2, 9am-3pm at the Thurston County Fairgrounds. Curtis Beus of Washington State University, an expert in AgTourism, will facilitate the workshop and showcase best practices. An overview and Frequently Asked Questions about the recently adopted Thurston County Agtourism overlay district will be provided by county staff. Successful area AgTourism Businesses will share information about their experience and lessons learned. Area organizations will share resources available to those interested in entering the AgTourism industry.  For more information about the workshop please email
We begin weekend operations of the Visitor Information Center starting Memorial Day weekend. We are looking for a few more volunteers to help us staff the VIC this summer on Saturday and Sundays from 10am-2pm. If you would like to meet people from all over the world and share with them where to go and what to see and do please contact Cathy Mah at 360-704-7544 or
Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Meeting and made it a success. A shout out to Robin Bammert and the Red Lion Hotel staff for going the extra mile to make it a very special evening for all attendees. 


George Sharp

Executive Director

Discover Thurston  Be sure to check out this weeks VCB Visitor Attraction and Thumbs-Up Experience Video featuring: 
Swantown Inn Bed & Breakfast.

To see the video click here.

Thank you to our
Renewing Members:

We invite you to share with us your favorite Thurston County Thumb-Up Experience and enter to win our weekly prize giveaway just by "liking" our new Facebook page. This weeks prize is $20 in tokens to the Olympia Farmers Market.

Upcoming Events In Thurston County
May 19 - 20
Lacey Spring Fun Fair
Two days of FUN for families and young people of all ages!  Since 1988, Lacey Spring Fun Fair has provided FREE Kidsworld activities and entertainment.

Be sure to turnout for the new 2012 Grand Parade on Saturday at 6pm.

For more information
thousands of visitors.

May 20   
Capital City Marathon
The VCB is pleased to welcome the participants of the 2012 Capital City Marathon. We encourage residents and businesses to come out and cheer on the participants along the course and at the finish line. The Capital City Marathon is a fundraiser for scholarships for area students.  
For a map of the course click here.  
For more information about the race click here
June 1 - 3
South Sound
Wine Trail
Summer Kick-Off
Summer is just around the corner, help us celebrate the sun and all the outdoor adventures. Get your passport to taste wines June 1st-3rd from all seven of the wineries on the South Sound Wine Trail.
For more information
For more events see the event calendar. If you have an up-coming event please post it to the VCB website by clicking here. We populate this enewsletter and post to our Facebook page and Twitter account from the events listed on our website.    
Welcome Committee

A Message from Welcome Committee Chair, Doug Mah.


I am pleased to serve the VCB as the Chair of the new Welcome Committee. The Welcome Committee was recently established to help prepare for two extraordinary and unique events in the South Sound region: The 2012 Canoe Journey, hosted by the Squaxin Island Tribe, and the grand opening of the new Hands on Children's Museum. These two events are defining moments for tourism in our community because they will attract a huge number of first-time visitors to our region over a short period of time. This is a unique opportunity to put Thurston County tourism on the map in 2012. We know that making a positive first impression for new visitors should involve the entire community. The Welcome Committee will share information and raise awareness throughout the community about these important events, discuss issues around cultural sensitivities, and help to anticipate the needs of families visiting the region for the first time. Our goal is simple: create a positive, Thumbs-up Experience for thousands of visitors arriving for two events in the summer of 2012. You can help the Welcome Committee by inviting representatives to speak with community groups and employees. Send your suggestions for "Frequently asked Questions" and request information you need to help establish Thurston County as a premier visitor destination. You can also join the committee as a fellow volunteer by emailing the VCB at 2012 is shaping up to be a monumental year for tourism in the South Sound. I look forward to our successes. 

Tourism Cares Grant
Tourism Cares is a non-profit organization supported by the travel industry with a mission to preserve the travel experience for future generations. In 2012 the program will provide twelve grants of $10,000 each for brick-and-mortar capital improvement projects or educational programs that will enhance interpretation of the site. The upcoming deadline for the letter of inquiry online application process is July 2, 2012 at 5 pm Eastern Time. For eligibility criteria and more information click here.
Olympia Traverse
The VCB's newest member Olympia Traverse, invites you to participate in this year's event on July 14th. The Traverse is a multi-sport adventure relay for solo, tandem and teams celebrating the life cycle of wild salmon. It starts out in the Capitol Forest and winds its way into downtown Olympia for a strong finish at Port Plaza. Fishtale Ale and local food vendors will welcome participants and supporters near the finish line.  The Traverse raises funds for area non-profit organizations.

For more information
National Recognition
The Clean Boating Foundation has awarded its Certified Leadership Clean Boatyard award to Swantown Boatworks, which is owned and operated by the Port of Olympia. Earlier this year, the boatyard was among the first to receive the Certified Clean Boatyard honor. To read more click here. 




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      Located at 120 Olympia Ave NE, Olympia Washington 98501
Store Hours:  9am to 5:30pm Monday through Thursday
9am to 4:30pm Friday                   
Closed: Saturday & Sunday

Visitor Information Center                                                                          360-704-7544  phone

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Olympia, WA 98501                                                                                  360-704-7533  fax