Tourism journalists Jessica Fender (left) and Pamela McKuen, Burnet County Tourism Director Blair Manning, and journalists Celestina Blok and Reginald Dominique take notes as Torr Na Lochs owner Blake DeBerry describes one of the six wines the group tasted as part of a media tour to promote Burnet County. Photo by Alecia Ormsby
A noteworthy group of journalists are visiting Burnet County the week of March 28 to experience, explore, and promote the many advantages of vacationing in the county. They are part of a media tour organized by Debbie Geiger, president of Geiger & Associates Public Relations and hosted by Burnet County Tourism.
Geiger works with states, regions, and small and large city tourism organizations across the country to invite national journalists to explore tourism areas and write about their experiences.
“These days, most journalists give a triple gift of promotion, including print media, the digital version, and then social media, including blogs,” Geiger said.
Burnet County is unique among her over 200 clients, she said, and the journalists praised its attractions.
“I find that Burnet County is yet undiscovered,” Geiger continued. “Everyone that comes here is amazed by the variety and beauty. The five lakes make it unique, and the topography makes it so interesting.”
The tours she organizes include airline passes, lodging, and all meals and activities, which are comped by the companies. On this tour, freelance travel journalists, digital media creators, and magazine editors came from Chicago, Fort Worth, Houston, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, and other metropolitan areas.
On the list of places visited was Torr Na Lochs Vineyard and Winery in Burnet on Tuesday, March 29. Karen and Blake DeBerry, who own the winery, interacted with guests.
In addition to Torr Na Lochs, they enjoyed spirits at Perissos Vineyard and Winery, Save the World Brewing Company, and Spicewood Vineyards.
The journalists lodged at Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park and Resort, where they will have an opportunity to view the spectacular skies with minimal light pollution from the Eagle Eye Observatory.
Over the four days, March 28-31, they will enjoy meals at Blue Bonnet Cafe, Opie’s Barbecue, River City Grille, The Overlook, and Templeton’s.
In addition to all of the eating and wine tasting, a broad expanse of activities are offered, including Longhorn Caverns, Vanishing River Cruises, the chairlift at Spider Mountain Bike Park, and kayaking on Inks Lake.
“Journalists can personalize the trip with all the options we offer,” said Geiger, adding that deciding what to choose might be the toughest aspect of the writers’ job while on the tour.
“It is a real privilege to share a new destination with them,” Geiger said. “And they have so enjoyed their visit to Burnet County.”
Recently hired Burnet County Tourism Director Blair Manning assisted with the Geiger tour. One of her goals is to schedule more media tours to bring attention to the Highland Lakes, in particular Burnet County.
The bottom line is that stories about Burnet County increase tourism, which, in turn, increases the dollars collected via taxes on lodging, restaurants, and other activities in the Highland Lakes. Those tax dollars go to work to improve roads, parks, and other amenities that residents of Burnet County use.