Charleston, W.Va.— The West Virginia Tourism Office today announced it has obtained the rights to use “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” in its marketing efforts. The world-famous John Denver song unforgettably dubbed the state “Almost Heaven” in 1971.
Denver’s iconic tune has been an unofficial state anthem since its release and officially became one of West Virginia’s state songs in 2014. Beginning this week, the state will use the song in its promotional efforts.
“‘Country Roads’ has become synonymous with West Virginia all over the world,” said West Virginia Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. “It highlights everything we love about our state: scenic beauty, majestic mountains, a timeless way of life, and most of all, the warmth of a place that feels like home whether you’ve lived here forever or are just coming to visit.
“When there’s a song that millions of people already love and associate with your state, it’s an obvious way to promote your tourism industry,” Ruby continued. “We’re looking forward to using ‘Country Roads’ to remind people of their most positive images of West Virginia and persuade them to give us another look as a travel destination.”
The Tourism Office expects to use “Take Me Home, Country Roads” as a centerpiece of a major new ad campaign to be unveiled early next year. A video using the song to promote the state is available at https://on.gotowv.com/CountryRoads17.
The acquisition of the rights to use the song was announced at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism held in the Northern Panhandle earlier this week. During the conference, Commissioner Ruby unveiled a plan to revitalize West Virginia’s tourism industry. Economic impact from the state’s tourism industry has declined for the past four years, and the move to use “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is one of a series of steps by the Justice administration to reverse that trend.