Mask-Up Awareness Campaign Begins in Pocahontas County

Everybody in Pocahontas County has surely noticed our recent significant spike in COVID-19 positive tests in the county. Locally, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, or CVB, is involved in helping limit the virus spread through a “Mask-Up Campaign. The CVB’s Director, Cara Rose, wanted to tell our listeners about both that campaign, and about how wearing masks and taking other precautions will not only help keep us safe but may also help save our winter tourism economy.

“I am sure that all of our listeners know that the CVB guidelines include the wearing of masks” said Rose. “It’s one of the number one things that we can all do when we are around people to prevent the spread of COVID. We have implemented a Mask-Up Campaign in the county, Hopefully the listeners have noticed these signs. It is a gentle reminder of how important it is for us to continue to follow all of the guidelines, but particularly wearing masks when we are around people. The winter economy for Pocahontas County is vital. Last year the counties Hotel/Motel Tax was around two million dollars. And seventy-five percent of that Hotel/Motel Tax was generated November through March. That can translate easily over to the impact the winter economy has on our overall annual tourism economy. So, it is very important, now more then ever, as we start to see our winter guests coming to Snowshoe, visiting all of our lodging partners, our small businesses, the resort, our grocery stores, even our State Parks and our trails, that we continue to reinforce wearing the masks. So, we do have signs around the entire county and some larger banner signs as well within the community. So, again, we really feel we need to reinforce this because the tourism economy does drive the county’s overall economy, so it is vital. And we can, without question, keep our economy moving, we can keep it thriving through the winter months, as long as we follow the guidelines -wear our masks, give people six feet when we have to be out, so social distancing is vital, washing our hands often, using hand sanitizer and ensuring that we keep our public spaces clean, clean, clean.”

“I know we can do it. The supper was a wonderful example of how well we can manage our tourism economy in the midst of a pandemic by following these guidelines.”

“Snowshoe Mountain Resort has opened for the season. They do have a number of measurements in place to protect their guests and employees, so that we can make this winter season successful and safe for everyone.”

Some other nearby states are telling their people to not travel, is that going to affect Snowshoe’s winter season?

“I will imagine that we will feel some effect from those restrictions that either states have implemented or individuals have personally implemented. But the great news is the winter outdoors experience is outdoors. It’s a much safer environment in terms of COVID. They’re wearing masks typically already, you have gloves on, goggles on, helmets. I feel very confident that we can make this winter season successful if we follow the guidelines.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“I’ll remind people how important it is, especially this season, it is to shop local, shop small, eat local, eat small. It is very important that we keep our local businesses thriving. And we do that by patronizing our local shops. So, to keep our economy strong, shop local.”

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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