CVB touts summer tourism
With the arrival of the summer tourism season, Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau representatives met last week with local lodging establishments to unveil its summer tourism marketing campaign and remind lodging operators how much the county's state parks have to offer their guests.
With gas prices on the rise, CVB Marketing Specialist Gail Hyer said marketing efforts will focus on attracting in-state visitors from the I-77 corridor and selected regional cities through radio, television and online advertising.
Greenbrier River Trail State Park Superintendent Jody Spencer highlighted recent improvements to the county's state parks, visitor trends and new events coming up for this summer season.
Along the 78-mile rail-trail, Spencer said he and his employees have been adding river access points and improving trailhead parking areas. Several camping sites have also been added, for a total of 16 sites along the trail. Many of these can accommodate equestrian users, which Spencer said are the trail's fastest-growing group of users.
In most cases, however, over-night trail users are older adults who aren't interested in roughing it on the trail, Spencer said. Instead, they want comfortable lodging, close to the trail. In recent years, Spencer said, the leadership at the Department of Natural Resources has started to see the local economic value of allowing parks like the Greenbrier River Trail to promote and recommend lodging and amenities that aren't necessarily DNR managed.
Spencer also highlighted some of the new events coming up at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park this summer, including watercolor and photography workshops in June and a new "Ribs and Rails" special train, featuring music by Homer Hunter and Hot 'Mater Gravy. Cass is also revising its schedule of trains, with daily runs to Bald Knob at noon and to Whitacker Station at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.