In the year when Miami County unveiled its new brand of  “Home, Grown, Great” the county Visitors and Convention Bureau simply had a very good 2013, Diana Thompson, the bureau’s executive director, reported last week.

Thompson and staff member Leiann Stewart met with the county commissioners March 18 to review the bureau’s annual report.

The county had a record year in 2013 for income from the countywide 3 percent lodging tax. The $361,906 collected exceeded the previous record of $345,437 set in 2012.

“It was a very good year for us,” Thompson said.

Total revenues for the bureau were $409,101, up from $379,447 the previous year.

During 2013, the bureau helped wrap up the research portion of the branding project followed by the creative segment of work. The brand was unveiled in November.

North Star Destination Strategies of Nashville, Tenn., was hired to help with the branding effort.

Northstar also completed a new website for the bureau and the bureau implemented all new marketing materials.

“When you see materials for the Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau you will see the branding applied to it. That is the only way to get that recognition out in the marketplace,” Thompson said.

During the year the bureau also:

-       Assisted the city of Troy and Troy Main Street with the Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road Stopover event in Troy Labor Day Weekend.

-       Initiated a new social medial calendar project.

-       Worked with Troy Main Street with the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure visit in June and with Hobart Arena on the Theater on Ice competition, also in June.

-       Helped sponsor the Division III Wrestling Tournament held at Hobart Arena.

-       Thompson will chair the Harvest Moon & Balloon Fest in October. This will be the event’s second year at the Miami County Fairgrounds. New events will include a visit by the Center for Science and Industry (COSI) and guests from the Columbus Zoo.

For 2014, the bureau board is looking forward to going through a strategic planning session, the first since 2007.  “We have a lot of new ideas, products, information. Now we need some direction from our board,” Thompson said.

Commissioner Jack Evans complimented Thompson and the bureau for their efforts. “It was a very successful year,” he said.

“Congratulations on that year. Now what are you going to do?” Commission President John “Bud” O’Brien said.