- Associated Press - Sunday, March 30, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont officials are ramping up efforts to host more sports and wellness events in the Green Mountain State.

“While Vermont has consistently been recognized among the nation’s healthiest states over the last decade, we’re not resting on our laurels,” said State Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith.

Vermont officials said the state is already renowned for winter sports but summer also has a lot to offer athletes. The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing will launch a campaign in April to increase awareness of and participation in events including marathons, bike tours and yoga retreats.

State tourism officials are working with RunVermont to promote marathons as well as the summer line up of running events. The tourism department will also sponsor Wanderlust’s multi-day yoga festival in Bondville at Stratton Mountain.

Outdoor summer events attract many tourists to the state and are growing, according to officials. About 75 percent of KeyBank Vermont City Marathon runners are from out of state. And the springtime Half Marathon Unplugged has doubled participation rates in two years.

The state has been touting Vermont’s outdoor scene and attractions in Boston, Toronto and Quebec.

The Vermont Convention Bureau also hopes to attract more major sporting events to the state.

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