Mountain State Maple Days, Snowshoe Mountain Resort and Tourism
With the arrival of arrival of the COVID vaccines and the nationwide slow decline of infection rates, and the hope of a return to normalcy in the air, we asked Cara Rose of the Pocahontas Convention and Visitors Bureau about tourism here.
Cara, can you tell us about Maple Days this year, is it on or is it off?
“The Mountain State Maple Days is the statewide Maple Producers Association’s event promoting maple syrup production in West Virginia and yes, Pocahontas County will be participating” said Rose. “This year we have three maple sugar camp tours being offered: Frostmore Farms in Dunmore; Fort Warwick in Green Bank; and the new one is the Yew Mountain Center just outside of Hillsboro on Lobelia Road.”
“Maple days are scheduled for two Saturdays, February 20th and March 20th. So, on those two Saturdays, our sugar camp tours will be offered to the public, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. These tours are outside, so it’s a safe activity for people to get out and enjoy the outside. Following social distancing protocols. Masks will be required. And, as well, we have restaurants around the county featuring maple themed menus.”
On another topic, Cara, I understand they had some problems with COVID up at Snowshoe?
“Yes, there was an uptick in COVID cases at Snowshoe following the holiday period, and of course, snowshoe has taken very seriously the safety of the community and their employees and implemented a wide range of protocols and safety measures. They’ve made a number of adjustments to their operational schedule to mitigate the spread of COVID. And as of the first of this week, numbers are declining and it looks like the surge in the number of cases at the resort are declining. And they did do a through investigation, and they could not attribute this rise in cases to guest visitation. I think it is important for our listeners to understand that Snowshoe Mountain Resort, and the entire tourism industry, has taken very seriously the importance of following all the state mandates and going above and beyond those state mandates and CDC guidelines in order to protect the employees, the visitors, and of course, our community.”
What will things look like once we beat this thing and it’s over?
“Well, the wonderful thing about Nature’s Mountain Playground is that we are blessed with an outdoor recreational product spring, summer, fall and winter. So, visitors are coming here throughout the year to enjoy outdoor recreation. And that provides everyone the opportunity to get out and social distance while enjoying nature. I am confident that as we move into spring, we will begin to see our events returning, once the numbers decline and the state removes some of the more strict guidelines. And, of course we have the Mountain Biking World Cup coming to Snowshoe in September. And it’s a great opportunity to put Pocahontas County and snowshoe Mountain Resort on the world map for a second time. As you recall, Snowshoe hosted the world Cup in 2019, and they chose to return this year as well.”
“So, with any luck, we will see our visitations, all of out activities, our festivals and events return to normal as we go through the spring, summer and fall.”