BECKLEY, W.Va. — When Amy Shuler-Goodwin addressed nearly 200 people in Beckley in November at a conference on economic diversity in the region, she made the point several times that tourism had to be part of the discussion.
Goodwin, the state’s tourism commissioner, also said marketing dollars spent by her agency were being primarily used to target summer visitors to the state, even though studies showed that nearly half of out-of-state visitors were coming in winter.
“When we talk about the dollars and cents of skiing, we have to think about the fact that we’re supporting 5,000 jobs across the state,” she said. “That’s big business. They call us ‘The Mountain State’ for a reason. We’re known for a lot of wonderful things, and skiing and snowboarding are just some of them. We are encouraging a ‘Go Outside and Play’ campaign every month.”
Goodwin says she wants people to see that they don’t have to travel far to have a good time.
“You have things right in your backyard,” she said. “This is some of the best skiing on the East Coast.
“Our snowmaking conditions are phenomenal. We’re easy to get to. We’re affordable. We need to continue to market and advertise in West Virginia.”