Pocahontas Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Cara Rose on the Hotel/Motel Tax Receipts
We asked Cara Rose, Director of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau to talk about how Snowshoe’s December weather tribulations have affected the County’s Hotel/Motel Tax receipts and other tourism issues.
“I think overall in terms of Hotel/Motel Tax for the fiscal year, July through June, summer and fall was good” said Cara. “I think most of the lodging sectors from Snowshoe to B & B’s to small hotels saw an increase in lodging revenues during the summer and fall. During the winter months, though, 85% of our hotel/Motel tax is collected. And we’re starting off with a slow ski season for the month of December. The exact difference in what was collected last year and what was collected in December of this year is not known yet. We won’t know for a couple of weeks.”
Cara says there have been a few positive things that have come out of the December weather.
“We saw a lot of visitors in our office looking for activities” Cara said. “Mountain biking along the Greenbrier River Trail, I know that several of the retail shops around the County that rent bikes, rented them all. People were looking for things to do. People were very positive. One of our staff members who works up at Snowshoe said that she interacted with some guests who said that they had been coming to Snowshoe for years and years and years during the ski season and had never explored Pocahontas County until last week. So there have been some positives about it. Again, people have been very understanding. They knew before they came the weather conditions and still chose to come to Pocahontas County. So that’s good news. We’re a great travel destination year round, and can overcome weather.”
So in a way the weather cooperated with one of the Convention and Visitors Center’s goals. Cara.
“One of our objectives of course is to really capture those skiers for return visits during the spring, summer and fall” said Cara. “So we continue to do efforts that hopefully get that return visitor.”
There are also other things happening at the Visitor’s Bureau. Cara talks about a slick printed informational piece entitled “Tourism by the Numbers” that the Visitors Bureau has just produced.
“The purpose of this piece is to share with pour local residents, with our legislatures, our officials and business people what the Visitors Bureau does” Cara says. “Some of the statistical data based around our marketing efforts and work that we do. And also information that allows our residents and officials to understand the true economic impact of tourism to Pocahontas County and when you look at the numbers, you’ll understand that Pocahontas County is one of the top counties in West Virginia positively affected in the economy by tourism.”
This interesting brochure will be placed on our web site –alleghenymountainradio.org- with this story.
So, while Snowshoe makes snow and recovers, the Visitor’s Bureau is already preparing for the upcoming year, as Cara explains.
“It’s always busy year round for the Visitor’s Bureau” Cara explains. “What we are doing right now is looking at our marketing plan, preparing ads to go out for the spring, summer and fall advertising that we have in place. We’re doing some travel shows. We are going to ‘The Villages’ which is the large retirement facility in Florida. They have a large travel expo, so we’re going to try that – we’ve not done that show before. I’m also going to the ‘Tri-State Outdoors Show’ in Pittsburg the end of January. We’ll be reaching an audience of people that are in adjacent states that are recreation oriented -people who like to get outdoors, family oriented people. That is really the core audience for Pocahontas County, particularly during the spring, summer and fall.”
Of course we can’t talk to Cara without asking about upcoming tourism events.
“Well, we will be hosting the annual 8th grade business luncheon in March” Cara said. “We also host a Tourism Partner Luncheon in May. We’ll be announcing the Tourism Partner of the Year during that luncheon. So those of you who are listening, if you know of someone or an organization or a group that you think has contributed significantly to tourism,, you are welcome to submit the application for that person or that group to win that award.”
So, let’s enjoy our unique weather and beautiful year round scenery here in Pocahontas County and encourage our out-of-county friends to come here to visit.