PARKERSBURG - The Greater Parkersburg Convention & Visitors Bureau unveiled the cover design for the 2011 Wood County Visitors Guide at a meeting Thursday with the Wood County Commission.
The new cover features local Civil War re-enactors firing off the cannon.
Steve Nicely, director of the bureau, said the same cover will also be on the website as well as a Spirit of Wood County poster. The photograph was taken by Jim Osborn.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Steve Nicely with the Greater Parkersburg Convention & Visitors Bureau unveils the design for the cover of the 2011 Wood County Visitors Guide.
"The guide will feature our Civil War history; there are more Civil War markers up, and there will be special sections and photos devoted to that history. The book this year is a little more modern and stylized; we think it's very colorful and everyone should be very pleased," said Kari Thompson.
Dwight Marty, chairman of the tourism board, seized the occasion to present Commissioner Rick Modesitt with an appreciation plaque for his years of service on the board of directors.
"Commissioner Modesitt has been with us through some of the best and worst times and we wanted to recognize him for his efforts on behalf of tourism in the community," Marty said.
"The travel industry goes through ups and downs and Rick has supported the bureau throughout that time and been a great asset," said commission President Blair Couch.
"In the past, there were some rumors and comments about the bureau and its work. I think it was an effort to get control of the purse strings, and it was just wrong. When I got there I found a great group of hard-working board members and Steve has been doing the job for many years," Modesitt said.
"The board concentrates on bringing visitors to Wood County. The innovative grant program has helped keep people coming here to the local hotels during down times. Blair will become a member of the board Jan. 1. Everyone in the boat is rowing in the same direction. We should never underestimate the power of tourism; it pays dividends across the board to the entire community, but sometimes it's overlooked; we have a lot to offer," Modesitt said.
Nicely told the commissioners the number of visitors to the newly renovated Greater Parkersburg Convention & Visitors Bureau headquarters has increased, and hotel/motel stays are on the rise.
"We continue to see significant increases in walk-in traffic at the tourism center; it's up about 97 percent year-to-date over 2009. We think that is primarily due to the additional signage and renovations at the center," Nicely said. "We also have signage on Route 50 and downtown that has been helpful. We are working on additional signage. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to find our offices."
"Our hoteliers report in August, September and October, room nights sold were up over 2009. Revenues are also up from the hotel/motel taxes for this year as well; that's good news for all the entities that receive a portion of those tax dollars. We believe it is up at least in part due to the sports marketing effort we've been aggressively pursuing. The innovative grant fund has been a very positive factor in attracting new events and growing the ones we already had in this area," Nicely said.