Question #2: What special qualities does Pocahontas County have that could be utilized toward building a brighter future?
Gandee, Debra Jo Galford
Groseclose, Jesse A.
Mr. Walker did not respond to Eight Rivers Council by the deadline.
Our region contains many natural and historical attractions. These include Droop Mountain, Bear Town, The Cranberry Glades, The Falls of Hill Creek, Pearl S. Buck Birthplace, Watoga State Park, The Greenbrier River Trail, Cass, and Snowshoe Mountain. Despite these advantages, we are still struggling economically. More visitors generate more income for Pocahontas County.
Tourism is one of the few industries where the service provided is consumed at the site of production in which those jobs cannot be outsourced! Visitors in Pocahontas County will often stop throughout the county to purchase goods. For this reason, the residents of our county are at an advantage to reap the benefits. Tourism activities provide many opportunities for our local community. These include, direct employment (approximately 1,090 jobs in 2014), providing goods and services to tourism businesses through the supply chain, but also indirect interaction with the tourist (for example: grocery stores, crafts, food and beverage, gas stations). The generation of earnings among those local people directly involved with the industry of tourism stimulates the economy of Pocahontas County which in return benefits us all. Pocahontas County stands alone and at the top of the chart when it comes to beauty and attractiveness to our visitors. We must continue to promote and showcase what we have to offer here in Pocahontas County. In 2014 there was 65,332 visitors greeted at 7 county visitors’ centers-Cass, Cranberry Mountain Nature Center, Durbin, Green Bank Science Center, Linwood, Marlinton, and Snowshoe Village. Guests spend approximately $24 Million on lodging annually + groceries + gasoline + dining + activities + shopping + supplies + other expenditures while visiting Pocahontas County WV = estimated $120 Million spent by visitors annually in Pocahontas County. An annual tax base collection from tourism alone of $1.5 million help support 12 local organizations from just the hotel/motel tax revenues generated by VISITORS overnighting in county lodging establishments these include; Art Co-Op, Arts Council, County Commission Bricks & Mortar, County Emergency Services, CVB, Dramas, Fairs, & Festivals, Fire Departments, Historic Landmarks Commission, Libraries, Parks & Recreation, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, and Preserving Pocahontas. What other industry in Pocahontas County attracts this many customers? This is what brings light to a brighter future and proves in its own evidence of our special qualities we have here at our fingertips.