Mountain State Maple Days Returning to Pocahontas County This Year
Cara Rose, Director of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau tells us about the upcoming Second Annual Mountain State Maple Days.
“I am pleased to say that we are going to do the second annual Mountain State Maple Days in Pocahontas County” said Rose. “The Mountain State Maple Association has set the two dates for the statewide Maple Days for February 22nd and March 21st, which are both Saturdays. And Pocahontas County will be participating again. We are very fortunate in Pocahontas County to have two sugar plants that are open to the public -Fort Warwick Farm in Green Bank and Frostmore Farm between Dunmore and Frost. And both of those sugar camps are open to the public on those days. Frostmore Farms is also open on additional weekends during maple season as well.”
“It is really fascinating that people want to know how to make maple syrup” Rose said. “It is quite a process. Fort Warwick Farm does a very traditional method of boiling down the sugar sap and Frostmore Farm does a more modern technique. They have modern equipment. So, when visitors come to Pocahontas County and visit both those camps, they get to see two different ways of producing maple syrup, which makes it even better.”
Along with the sugar camp tours, which are again, the anchor to this entire program, we have several restaurants in the county who are offering special maple menus of those two Saturdays as well. Those restaurants right now include the Dirt Bean in Marlinton, the Last Run Restaurant in Cass, the Snowshoe Mountain Resort; the Starlight Café at the Green Bank Science Center, Station Two Restaurant in Durbin, and we also have the Pocahontas County High School FFA doing a breakfast fundraiser on the March 21sr date in Dunmore. We have three lodging packages that are being offered as well. Clearly, the Convention and Visitors Bureau is interested in getting overnight stays when we do programs and projects. The Locust Hill Bed and Breakfast, the Station Two Hotel rooms and Jericho Bed and Breakfast are offering packages for guests to spend the weekend enjoying the entire county and Maple Day events.”
“Also, we have two evening events at the Opera House as well” said Rose. “Which again helps us build that overnight stay, which is very important because once the guest overnights, then the opportunity for more economic activity is increased. On February 22nd, at 7:30 (p.m.) ‘Opry Night’ at the Pocahontas County Opera House is happening and March 21st, Ceria Conway is performing.”
“So, it is a complete package of something fun and different for the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote” Rose emphasized. Not only are we giving free tours of the sugar camps, but at the end of that experience, the guest then has the opportunity to purchase the syrup and other maple products. And then, of course, go to a restaurant, have a great meal, and then have a great experience at the Opera House. So, it’s an entire package experience that we are promoting and the timing’s perfect, because it’s in the late winter which is a great time to have something a little different going on. And it is open to the residents of the county as well.”
“And ultimately it is our goal to see this program grow year-after-year” she said. “Obviously we have neighboring county – Highland County in Monterey, Virginia – who has been extremely successful in promoting sugar camp tours. We have a lot of visitors coming to Pocahontas County during that time to ski and snowboard at Snowshoe, so, we have a lot going for us in terms of being able to promote this and grow this kind of tourism product and we are looking forward to it again this year.”