Last week’s episode of The Bachelorette we watched Becca Kufrin and her gaggle of boys leave Las Vegas and head to Richmond, Virginia. When it was announced that the show would be heading to Virginia myself and other fans were so confused. Usually, the show heads to lavish rich white people vacation spots, which typically doesn’t include Richmond, Virginia.
Yes, Virginia is for Lovers, but it’s not really made for TV. Turns out there is a pretty good reason why The Bachelorette went and filmed in this random city and it’s because of money. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Virginia Tourism Corp. paid the show $536,130.38 to film there.
The episode had a whopping 5.22 million viewers and the city of Richmond paid a pretty penny to have those five million plus eyes view their town. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the state’s tourism donated $300,000 to the show to film in the city and then an additional $236,130.38 to cover the cost of rooms, meals, parking, staff and other living accommodations.
But The Bachelorette couldn’t just name drop Richmond, Virginia and be in the clear. In return the show had to verbally mention the state’s tourism slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers,” promote their tourism link on the show’s site and get a shot of the LOVE sign, which Becca did. She awkwardly spelled out the word by mimicking the letters with her body.
“The Bachelorette has a massive audience of almost 6 million viewers per week,” said Caroline Logan, director of communications with Virginia Tourism, to The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “The show is always trending on social media. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to reach potential new travelers. And to reach millions, instead of thousands.”
“Due to our budget restrictions, we’re not able to advertise in our key markets — like New York,” she added. “This was a way that we could reach them.”
Getting The Bachelorette to film in your city for promo is smart, but it’s not cheap.