CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Thousands of fans will make their way through the gates of Appalachian Power Park Wednesday night. Events like baseball games and concerts are helping revive Charleston’s tourism industry.
Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Tim Brady says tourism numbers are 75 percent of what they were pre-pandemic and predicts them to rise during the coming months as travelers hit the road.
“We’re optimistic about the future because we know through research that 88 percent of Americans plan to travel in the next six months and a vast majority of them want to take road trips,” he said. “We’re a great road trip destination.”
Outdoor events continue to bring people to the Capital City. Attendance at this June’s West Virginia high school baseball championships at Appalachian Power Park set a record.
“You’re starting to see people moving around more, there are things happening,” Brady said. “There’s a lot of reason for optimism when it comes to Charleston’s tourism economy as we head deeper into the summer.”
These events bring more business to surrounding restaurants and hotels. Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said summer tourism is vital to the local economy.
“Like Mayor [Amy Shuler] Goodwin says, and Commissioner [Ben] Salango, this works, tourism works,” Carper said. “It’s the backbone of business.”
The more events that take place this summer, the more people that will head to Charleston.
“People are thirsty for things to do outdoors and it’s just so great to see these things happening in Charleston again,” Brady said.