The most valuable dollars in the county may be the "Catch Your Breath" bills printed locally.
"The scrip will be used to prove the value and impact of tourism dollars on the county's general revenue," said Janet Hollinger, who is coordinating the effort for the Tourism Advisory Council.
"Tourism dollars are the most valuable dollars in the county. This promotion will show county officials how many dollars tourism generates."
By the end of the summer, the council hopes to circulate about 500,000 of the "bills," certificates redeemable for discounts or giveaways at about 25 county businesses.
"I hope, at the end of the year, I will gather boxes of used bills from participants," said Ms. Hollinger.
The council will mail 20,000 envelopes, stuffed with the bills, to businesses in surrounding counties, state tourism agencies and distribution booths.
Customers can exchange the bills for discounts and giveaways at shops, motels and restaurants. Participating businesses will mark a customer's zip code on the bill and return it to the Tourism Office.
"This tracking will help us determine where our promotions are working and where we need to focus," said Joan D. Meekins, Carroll Office of Tourism administrator.
The council also will distribute the bills at the Wine Festival, which traditionally draws about 20,000 visitors to the county.
"These are people who live close enough to come back," said Ms. Meekins. "This will help them come back and spend dollars here. We need to attract people who can do day and weekend trips."
Ms. Hollinger tried to drum up more enthusiasm for the "tracking system" at the Carroll County Tourism Association meeting Tuesday. Organizers hope to add about 20 more businesses to the seven that already have joined the promotion at a cost of $168 each.
"This is money well-spent, and we will not let your advertising sit on the shelf," Ms. Hollinger said. "You have the potential of reaching 500,000 customers and rarely with something so cost-effective."
Carroll is the only county in the state to try the promotion, said Ms. Meekins.
"We are getting our tentacles out everywhere," she said. "It will be an attention-grabber with a political purpose."