WEST JEFFERSON-The Ashe County Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with Germain Media to create a video it believes is the ultimate way to sell the “Coolest Corner” to folks who’ve never been here.
Part documentary and part sales pitch, it’s a production meant to help tourists cut through all the noise and understand exactly why they need to visit Ashe County. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s nearly 40 minutes long
The main video in the series is 37 minutes long, and features everything from the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the county’s towns and the New River to the the thriving arts community. The real star of the show, however, is Ashe County’s gorgeous landscape which the video continually reinforces.
You really only need a couple minutes
If you can’t sit still for what amounts to an entire half of college basketball, don’t worry, the video is broken down into bite-sized chunks that makes viewing easier for those who are constantly on the go. If you’re only interested in what Ashe County has to offer for art fans – there’s a shorter video segment just for that. Are you mainly interested in the New River? There’s a short clip focused only on the river as well.
One fancy convertible
The film’s premise? Host Scott Ballard is traveling in a classic 1970 Olds 88 convertible, showing off the sights and sounds of Ashe County and tossing out interesting tidbits of history along the way.
It’s meant to draw people in
The videos are designed to attract visitors from “off the mountain,” according to Kelley St. Germain, president of Germain Media. The chamber contracted with his film production company to create the Coolest Corner videos. “There’s no better place to live than right here,” St. Germain said. “But you don’t know that until you’ve seen it. That’s what these videos are about.”
And if you’ve lived here forever
Don’t worry, there’s history aplenty in each of the segments to make watching it worth your time. Much of the video was also filmed with St. Germain’s quadcopter – it’s essentially a flying camera – which allows for spectacular aerial views of Ashe County you’ve probably never seen before.
It’s designed to be timeless
St. Germain said his aim in creating the videos was to capture a snapshot of all the best things about Ashe County, but to do so in a way that won’t date itself if you come back and view the video several years from now. “It has no dates, no business names are used – the idea was to make it as evergreen as possible,” St. Germain said. “Our whole idea was to create an interesting journey through the county, and that’s something that is going to be valuable into the future.”
It’s cool, but what do we do with it?
Cabot Hamilton, director of the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, said his goal is to see the video embedded on the website of all chamber members. It’s a way to increase the series’ exposure, Hamilton said, and by extension improve Ashe County’s image. You can find the video on YouTube by searching for The Real Ashe Chamber or by visiting the chamber’s site ashechamber.com and clicking on a blue box near the center of the homepage. It says “Ashe County The Coolest Corner of North Carolina Videos.”
Reach Adam Orr at 336-846-7164 or Twitter.com/AdamROrr.