Cara Rose Reflects on her Tourism Career and Upcoming Retirement

We asked Cara Rose, the retiring Executive Director of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau to share her thoughts about her career and retirement.

“I made the tough decision to take early retirement back in early May, and my last day will be July 6th,” said Rose. I decided it was time for me to take a step back, and focus on home. I have an elderly father. He’ll be 88 this year and many of the listeners will also know that I have a brother with special-needs. And, my father is older and we have a farm, and I like to farm, we have 20 cows. So, I’ve just decided now is the time to take a step back and spend some time with my dad, ensure that the farm is functional, and just enjoy my time with my dad and brother.”

“I’ve loved the work that I’ve done, not only for the CVB for the past 12 years, but all of my work experience throughout my tourism career. I’ve worked in just about every attraction in Pocahontas County that has a paid employee. I’ve worked at Snowshoe Mountain Resort a couple of times. My first actual job was working at Snowshoe on the switchboard, and was a teenager and worked up there one year for Dorothy Coleman and learned a lot. I’ve also worked at Watoga State Park. I worked up at Cass for the Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1988. I worked at the Green Bank Observatory as well, and this past 12 years at the CVB is actually my second position here at the CVB. I was the first Executive Director for the CVB for 9 years.”

I understand you had a little radio experience during your time here. Can you tell us a little about that?

“One of the very first things that I took on as a public relations program in the early 1990’s, was a radio program on WVMR, and it was hosted by me and Gibbs Kinderman. It was called ‘Visitors and Vacations.’ The program ran for a couple of years, and it was a three-segment half-hour show. We would do a 10-minute segment on a local event. And then we would do a 10-minute segment on a tourism story of some nature locally, and we also interviewed somebody from West Virginia. We introduced a lot of statewide tourism stories to the local listeners. That was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot about radio stations at that time. In-fact, one time, after doing that program for a couple of years, I decided I wanted to learn how to run a show myself. And Doug Van Gundy -and some of the listeners will remember Doug- he was doing the morning show. And I would go at 5:30 -6:00 o’clock on the morning and learn how to run the morning show on my own, and I think they let me do it one-time by myself. And than I figures out it probably really wasn’t for me, but I (laughter) truly loved to be on the radio, it was a lot of fun.  I really did enjoy that experience, and bless Doug’s heart for putting up with me. That was my introduction to radio world.”

Cara, now that you’re moving on, how do you see the future of tourism here in the county?

“I’ve said many times, that the CVB here is the best CVB in the State of West Virginia. We’ve been fortunate in our county to have a Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors who could see the vision for tourism. And the work that’s been done by the CVB over the past 30 some years has been very impactful because of the growth of tourism in the county. We have probably the most unique set of tourism attractions that any other county in West Virginia has. So it makes it very easy to sell Pocahontas County. It’s a place where people want to come. It’s a nature’s getaway – ‘Nature’s Mountain Playground,’ and we need to foster that aspect.  We have a great tourism product here, and we need to protect that for the future. This is not just the CVB’s job, it is everybody’s job to ensure that we are good stewards to the product that we have.”

“I have truly loved the work that I have been fortunate enough to do throughout my past 40 years of tourism career. Most importantly, I will miss all the people that I work with and work for. I was just really fortunate to have the opportunity to work for the CVB and I am going to miss all of that. It has truly been an honor to represent Pocahontas County in the tourism industry. But I am not leaving Pocahontas County, I am going to be right in Minnehaha Springs.”

All of us here at Allegheny Mountain Radio appreciate Cara’s service and wish her the best in her retirement.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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