Tourism Coming Back in Pocahontas County

With more tourists seen roaming the Pocahontas County highways, we decided to ask Cara Rose of the Convention and Visitors Bureau if tourism is picking up once again.

“We have an increase in visitation to the county for sure” Cara replied. “And the majority of visitors are travelling to Pocahontas County because we have beautiful outdoor recreation, and this is what people are looking for in the wake of all of this health crisis. And we offer a travel destination that is outside. Dr Clay Marsh has reinforced that message a few times on Governor Justice’s press briefings that getting outside is healthy for us. Fresh air is very healthy for us. And people are taking that to heart and finding their way to Pocahontas County to mountain bike, hike, kayak along the rivers, fish and enjoy the great outdoors that we offer.”

Cara, do you feel the return of tourism can be done while preserving the community’s safety?

“I believe our business partners, their workforce, and the residents of the county are committed to the protocols and the guidelines that the governor has asked us to follow. And our visitors are very aware of the protocols and our expectations as a community. As long as all of us, including visitors and our community members are washing our hands often, practicing social distancing and wearing masks when we are in public spaces, that we have a good opportunity to welcome back visitors, and grow our economy back while staying safe.”

The Tourism Committee that was appointed by the commission has come out with a “Best Practices” document. (click here to view this document –Best Practices for Lodging Businesses) Can you tell us a little bit about that?

“Sure, the County Commission did ask a group of tourism professionals and the Health Department to work on clarifying guidelines that the State DHHR and the CDC handed down early on, so that our lodging partners could implement more protocols and better understand how best to clean rooms, how best to handle linen, and create a very safe environment for the visitor and ultimately for the workforce, housekeeping and the community as well. So the document is complete now, it was presented last week to the County Commission and it is a good solid document. It is available, contact me and it will be available of Allegheny Mountain Radio’s website as well.”

Have tourism businesses and attractions reopened yet?

“Most of our businesses have reopened. Snowshoe Mountain Resort is scheduled to reopen on July 2nd. Our train excursions will begin running again on the weekend of the fourth of July. The other attractions in the county such as State Parks -the day parks like Droop Mountain, Beartown, Falls of Hills Creek, Cranberry Glades, Highland Scenic Highway -those are all open as well. You can take self-guided walking or bicycling tours at the Green Bank Observatory. And there are a few attractions that have yet to announce their reopening plans, such as the guided tours at the observatory, Pearl Buck (birthplace) and the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center.

Pioneer Days, the Little Levels Festival and Durban Days have been cancelled. Right now, we have a few events in August still on the calendar, and of course, some fall events are still up in the air. “

“I really want to stress how committed all of our business partners and attractions are to following and even implementing more enhanced protocols to keep not only themselves, their workforce and our local residents safe and healthy. We are all committed to ensuring the safety of our community.”

To see a poster designed for new visitors click here: Poster for Arriving Visitors

To view video of Cara Rose talking about the county attractions click below link

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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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