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Folsom goes virtual to promote tourism

By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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Folsom has many amenities to entice visitors, and now there is a new way to attract them. Interested in testing the waters of Folsom Lake before jumping on that wakeboard? What about experiencing cycling on the American River Bike trail without having to wear spandex? These virtual experiences are now available on VisitFolsom.com. Once on the site, click “Explore” and the tour begins. Visitors can explore the city’s amenities or locals can use it as an informational tool, said Mary Ann McAlea, Folsom Tourism Bureau director. “VTour is a showcase of the Folsom community,” said McAlea. “It’s an easy and fun way for visitors to learn about our outstanding recreation and cultural experiences available here.” VTour was officially launched this winter in its new format using html formatting which is friendly to mobile devices. She said the VTour is a cutting-edge web technology gives anyone with a computer the opportunity to explore Folsom from its rich history to outdoor recreation. “Visitors browsing Visitfolsom.com can literally feel the spray of the water while virtual wakeboarding on Folsom Lake or they can take in the local scenery with a ‘helmet-cam’ view of cycling,” McAlea said. “In another quick link, highlights of popular events such as the Folsom Pro Rodeo or Folsom Live can be experienced.” Virtual visitors can also learn about the history of Folsom Prison while viewing the artifacts in the Folsom Prison Museum. Nearly every aspect of life in Folsom can be researched from this simple portal and details can be finalized such as hotel reservations and event ticketing information, McAlea said. Local businesses and restaurants also have the option of being included in the VTour with 360-degree views. “This will be a dynamic tour guide to Folsom as the Folsom Tourism Bureau will provide constant updates to film and locations,” said McAlea. “The world is digital. Folsom has always been a cutting-edge community and this program leverages new technology for its benefit.” Stephanie Rodgers, Folsom Historic District Association director, said VTour will benefit the district. “We are very excited about the new Folsom Vtour,” Rodgers said. ”It allows visitors to stroll through Historic Folsom virtually and discover the charm the district has to offer. We feel the Vtour is very valuable because it showcases our unique businesses located in the district and at the same time allows visitors to discover our rich history.” For more information regarding VTour, please call the Folsom Tourism Bureau at (916) 985-2698 or visit visitfolsom.com.