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Written by: Beth Deatherage
Wednesday December 12, 2012

Philpott Lake and the surrounding areas will receive a dose of international publicity this coming Sunday, December 16th at 1 p.m. when the reservoir is featured on the NBC Sports Network's "FLW Outdoors." The one-hour long television program can be seen on Comcast Digital Channel 226 and DISH Network Channel 159.

In September, Martinsville-Henry County EDC's Tourism and Film Division co-hosted the National Guard FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championships on Philpott Lake, along with Franklin County Commerce & Leisure Services, Patrick County Tourism and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers- Philpott Lake.

40 college fishermen from nine states and 14 high school fishermen from seven states participated in the three-day tournament which also featured a daily Fan Expo for the public at the Martinsville Wal-Mart. Data gathered from event surveys indicate that the event had an economic impact of $49,566 in direct expenditures and FLW estimates the value of print and digital media coverage to be valued at approximately $441,000.

Weigh-ins were live-streamed over the internet during the 30-minute "FLW Live" webcast each day during the tournament. The hour-long NBC Sports program will show footage from the web-cast filmed in Martinsville and will also show new footage from on the lake that was not seen by spectators during the tournament. 

"We are honored to have our beautiful lake and community featured on this international television program" said Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for Martinsville-Henry County. "High profile, media coverage like this can really help put Philpott Lake and our tri-county region on the map as a recreational destination of choice. We hope that viewers who enjoy outdoor recreation will plan to come visit and see the scenic beauty of Philpott Lake first hand after viewing it on television."

Craig "Rocky" Rockwell, the Operations Project Manager for Philpott Lake, stated that "Having this tournament come to Philpott Lake was incredible and it highlights the partnerships and local investments in our operations at Philpott Lake. FLW could not have brought this tournament to Philpott Lake without the Twin Ridge Fishing Tournament Facility, which was built and put into operation just this last spring as a result of a local partnership effort, for which Franklin County invested $50,000." Rockwell added "With just the immediate economic impact of this tournament, the tri-county area around the lake saw nearly a 1,000% return on the local investment. That's absolutely incredible and will only be multiplied by the exposure of being televised internationally." 

In addition to covering the tournament, NBC Sports also sent a crew to specifically film other attractions in the Martinsville area. The highlighted points of interest that were filmed included: fly fishing on the Smith River, Martinsville Speedway, Smith River Sports Complex, Virginia Museum of Natural History, The Big Chair, Studio 107, Uptown Martinsville, and the Circus Mural. According to Doss, "Our staff was informed by the producers that these scenes would be used as brief glimpses of life in Martinsville-Henry County as the main focus of the program is fishing on Philpott Lake. We realize that not all the scenes filmed will make it in the final cut of the show but are excited to watch and see which attractions are shown."

Martinsville-Henry County EDC's Tourism & Film Division is one of only two film offices in Virginia certified by the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI). For additional information on film related projects in Martinsville-Henry County see www.visitmartinsville.com/about-the-film-office .

The mission of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation is to create new job opportunities and expand the tax base for the area. The organization strives to support and develop local industry, as well as market Martinsville-Henry County globally as an exceptional place to live, work and play.

The EDC is a public-private partnership between the City of Martinsville, Henry County, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber's Partnership for Economic Growth (C-PEG) and the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont.

Related Stories:

August 31, 2012- FLW To Host Tournament at Philpott Lake 

September 5, 2012- Spectator Activities Planned for FLW Tournament 

September 21, 2012- Fairmont wins FLW Tournament 

Event Photos 

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