As Virginia taxpayers this couldn’t please us more.
How would you feel if your government paid more than half a million dollars to help cover the costs of production for a really lame reality television show?
Ask the people of Virginia. The state’s tourism agency paid $536,000 to bring an episode of The Bachelorette to Richmond, of all places, in exchange for some promotion of the state’s “Virginia is for Lovers” tourism motto.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch got the details. The Virginia Tourism Corp. gave $300,000 to the show itself. It gave another $236,130 to “defray the costs” of meals, rooms, and production space at two hotels where the show’s staff stayed during filming.
These are direct subsidies to the private sector. They aren’t even tax credits. In exchange, the state of Virginia got “exposure.” Specifically, it got an in-show shot of a “Love” sign, a reference to the “Virginia is for lovers” motto, and some other minor mentions. Even the Times-Dispatch news story casts a bit of shade on the idea that this is significant “exposure” by putting the words in quotation marks.