Pocahontas Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Annual Update to County Commissioners
During her Annual Update to the Pocahontas County Commissioners at their September 4th meeting, Cara Rose, the Director of the County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) said that the FY 2017-2019 tax received through the Hotel Occupancy Tax was the 2nd highest amount ever –almost 1.7 million dollars. She said that about 28 million dollars was spent on lodging in Pocahontas County during that fiscal year, and visitors overall spent an estimated 100 million dollars in the County. Rose attributed the increased tax revenues to three things:
- An exceptional winter tourism season this past winter
- A good warm weather tourism season and
- Increased enforcement of the Hotel Occupancy Tax collection by the sheriff’s Office.
Rose pointed out that the winter season remains the most productive with 79% of the Occupancy Tax generated by winter sports tourists.
Going forward, Rose talked about the effort to establish an International Mountain Biking Association Regional Ride Center in the County as part of the effort to increase summer tourism. Rose also presented the official 2018 Annual Report of the CVB to the Commissioners.
This report discusses efforts to increase summer tourism by, in addition to the Mountain Biking efforts, emphasizing hiking, kayaking and other outdoor recreation. It cites CVB involvement with the following activities and programs:
- The Mountain Music Trail
- The Appalachian Waters Scenic Byway
- Agro tourism
- The Greenbrier Valley Railroad
- The effort to establish the Snowshoe Highlands IMBA Ride Center
- The annual 8th grade Business Luncheon
- Providing the PCHS Tourism Scholarship Award
- Sponsoring the PCHS Tourism Club
- Providing businesses with Hospitality and Customer Service Training and
- Providing field trip support for K through 8th grade students.
The CVB has also partnered with local tourism businesses to provide the Tourism Partnership Luncheon; the Tourism Person of the Year award; and the production of the Annual Visitor’s Guide and other tourism related brochures
The report emphasized that future marketing efforts will increasingly emphasize the use of proven digital resources such as the CVB’s Website, social media and travel sites, such as plans to launch a Pocahontas County Destination Page on Trip Advisor.
In other actions at this short Commission Meeting, the Commissioners approved the hiring of Holly Beaudoin as a Part-Time 911 Dispatcher, at $12.00 an hour, effective on September 6th.
They once again deferred action on authorizing Identification Cards for County Commission Employees until they ask the Sheriff in writing if he would be willing to produce the cards at no cost to employees as his office already does for employees of the Assessor’s Office.