Tourism and recreation continue to be two of the largest industries in West Virginia and is responsible for nearly 46,000 jobs in the state every year.
Host, Jim Matuga, sat down with Albert Hammond, President of Main Street Morgantown; Trevor Dolan, Sponsorship and Sales Manager of the West Virginia Black Bears; Shannon Davis, Marketing Coordinator of the City of Morgantown; Susan Riddle, President & CEO of Visit Mountaineer Country; and Ashley Rotruck, Executive Director of the Mineral County Tourism.
Tourists flock far and wide to the mountainous region to enjoy its beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation, including camping, white water rafting, hiking, hunting, skiing, and more.
The tourism industry is supplementally responsible for other businesses and important industries like hospitality, food and alcohol, gas, and local craft stores—it also tends to increase the public’s interest in historic sites and centers each year.
“We’re the glue that tries to connect the dots [for tourism],” said Susan Riddle. “We try to engage visitors in our destination, to spend one more night and one more dollar.”
Tourism is a collective effort, pulling together expertise from tour guides to salesmen and economists to event planners. An auxiliary to West Virginia Tourism, Visit Mountaineer Country is one of the leading organizations attempting to attract visitors to the state.
“We work with our visitors, local businesses, our community, and connect the dots between resources, promotions, and events,” continued Riddle.
Another essential player driving tourism to Monongalia County, specifically Morgantown, West Virginia, is Albert Hammond of Main Street Morgantown. Main Street Morgantown is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the continued revitalization of downtown Morgantown and the Historic Wharf District.
“Our goal is to bring people to the area through monthly events, particularly throughout the summer,” said Hammond. “Since coming out of COVID-19 season, we’ve seen good growth and positive momentum in downtown Morgantown.”
Upcoming events in Morgantown and Mountaineer Country include a Car Cruise-In, June Arts Walks, and Jurassic Quest.
To stay up to date with everything happening in West Virginia, visit www.downtownmorgantown.com, www.milb.com/west-virginia-black-bears, www.morgantownwv.gov, www.visitmountaineercountry.com, and www.govisitmineralwv.com