Carey Harveycutter is director of tourism for Salem, VA.; John P. Shaner, MS, is director of Salem Parks and Recreation. As 2017 Connect Sports Game Changers, they discuss their passion for sports tourism.
What we do: Oversee all sports marketing for Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Why we are game changers: Together we have made the City of Salem “Virginia’s Championship City.” The efforts that we put into sports marketing makes up 67 percent of the heads in beds in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Together, we have hosted over 85 NCAA Division II and Division III National Championships since 1993. We’ve also coordinated more than 70 Virginia High School League State Championship events in football, basketball, wrestling and soccer, and hosted the likes of ASA, USA Softball, USSSA, AAU, ISF, NSA, ACC, Big East, Atlantic 10, ODAC, Mountain East and CIAA.
Greatest career accomplishments: Convincing the NCAA Division III football committee to return to Salem after the initial three-year contract expired and having the opportunity to host the USA Olympic Softball National Team three times.
Impressive Stats: In July 2018 and 2019, we will host two Girl’s Youth Fast-Pitch National Championships that will bring in more than 15,000-plus hotel room nights from both events.
What we’re working on: CIAA football, cross-country and softball will begin a three-year run in 2017-18. We are also working on highlighting our revitalized downtown area in Salem to attract a new boutique hotel while working to increase ADR and occupancy in our existing hotels.
What we do outside of work:
Carey: I am an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where I have been a member since birth; Serve as chair of Dispatch of Business committee for the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Virginia; Member of Board and Executive Committee for Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce; Life Member of Salem Rescue Squad and Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads; Member of Board for Salem Roanoke County Food Pantry
John: I Love to fish and hunt and am an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Salem Rotary Club, Sports Virginia, Salem YMCA board of directors and Salem/Roanoke Chamber of Commerce board.