Gauley season sees positive impact due to COVID-19

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SUMMERSVILLE, WV (WOWK) – This past weekend, West Virginia’s most intense and popular white water rafting season officially opened, but in the midst of COVID-19, the recreational activity has seen a positive impact.

According to Visit Southern West Virginia, during the mid-90s, white water rafting peaked in popularity and in 2020, a similar resurgence is occuring.

Visit Southern West Virginia Director, Lisa Slader said, “when you get out on a trail or the river, you feel safe, you don’t feel like you’re in close contact with people, so I do feel like we’ve had this resurgence because people are getting out and trying new things.”

State health officials, for months, have been encouraging people to get outside and enjoy the Mountain State’s beauty and attractions as its the safest form of fun and adventure.

“Just a great way to get out and do the outdoors and be with family friends and just enjoy the great state of West Virginia… you can’t beat it,” said one rafter.

This sport attracts people from all over the world and all that traveling poses a concern for spreading the virus, but Slader says it boils down to everyone being responsible and following the guidelines.

White water rafting companies are enforcing the proper CDC guidelines to ensure its rafters are safe on and off the water.

Follow Haley Kosik on Facebook and Twitter for the latest local and breaking news.

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