The area that boasts a restaurant made famous earlier this summer for kicking out White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is conducting a marketing campaign to bring tourism back to the sleepy Virginia town of Lexington.
The Red Hen restaurant made national headlines in June when one of its co-owners asked Sanders and her family to leave after they arrived for dinner. The co-owner cited Sanders' position in the Trump administration, and Sanders said she "politely left."
The incident sparked a fierce nationwide debate, with people on both sides of the issue weighing in. Protesters and counter-protesters showed up at the restaurant and picketed in front of it for weeks. Tourism in the historic town of roughly 7,000 residents went down, which forced Rockbridge Regional Tourism to step in.
According to The Roanoke Times, the tourism board approved a plan to spend $5,000 more per month on digital marketing efforts through September to help bring tourism back.
The money will come from the emergency fund.
Rockbridge County, along with Lexington and nearby Buena Vista, heavily depend on tourism dollars. There are several historic sites in Lexington alone, including the grave sites of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and the George C. Marshall Museum. The Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University are also located there.
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