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Mountain State white water rafting: Open for business

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FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOWK) – The weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day is a critical “make or break” period for tourism businesses across the Tri-State.

COVID-19 temporarily interrupted that business; but now, it should get back on track.

“Immediately reservations just plummeted,” said Heather Johnson, owner of River Expeditions. “April was specifically hard, because we refunded more money than we took in and that is not sustainable. So hopefully we’ll get that turned around really fast.”

Gov. Jim Justice has re-opened all white water rafting companies. Their doors can open on May 21st, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

“That was a huge sigh of relief, even though there are protocols and guidelines in place,” Johnson said. “They’re certainly manageable, we just wanted the opportunity to get started again.”

Restrictions like limiting the number of people transported on buses, and limiting the number of people riding rafts.

But Johnson isn’t concerned about the new rules.

“We can adapt,” she said. “We are resilient. We can work within these guidelines to reopen responsibly.”

Johnson says not many people have booked Memorial Day weekend yet, because of how uncertain a reopening was.

But now that it’s official, she’s ready for the calls she hopes will come this week! And this year, kids ride free.

“That’s really gonna take a financial burden off of families and make it more affordable,” said Johnson.

If you want to make a reservation for Memorial Day weekend, below are some sites!

River Expeditions

Adventured on the Gorge

New & Gauley River Adventures

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