CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – In the first year of its return, the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta has earned the Mountain State Award for 2022.

City officials say award recognizes an event or facility that “stands above the rest” in regard to its programming quality, including the types and number of activities available for tourists; its distinctiveness; attendance at the event; the organization’s marketing efforts; and the impact on the state’s economy and/or image.

It was presented to the Regatta Commission, Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau at the Stars of the Industry Awards ceremony during West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s Conference on Tourism. The city says the Stars of the Industry Awards give the West Virginia Department of Tourism a chance to recognize industry partners in their achievements and contributions to the Mountain State’s tourism industry.

“It is a tremendous honor for the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta to be recognized as an event that stands above the rest by our State Tourism Department,” said Goodwin. “Our Regatta Team did an incredible job of putting together a robust schedule – making sure the lineup was a mix of past favorites and new ideas – and they worked hard to make sure Regatta’s return was a remarkable success.”

According to city officials, the five-day event generated $31,507,883 in economic impact and directly supported an estimated 5,978 jobs. Officials say approximately 210,000 people attended the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta, 71% of whom were local attendees and 29% of whom were from out-of-town and traveled at least 50 miles. City officials estimate that hotel capacity during the Regatta was at approximately 95%.

“The overwhelming support from our business community sponsors and the tireless efforts of city workers and volunteers was the catalyst for the success of the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta,” said Regatta Commission President Alisa Bailey. “We have seen, firsthand, the exceedingly positive impact this year’s Regatta has had on both our economy and our image. It is truly an honor for Regatta to be recognized with the Mountain State Award.”

“Tourism is such a significant part of the future of Charleston’s economy, and there has been no bigger tourism draw in Charleston in the last decade than the 2022 Sternwheel Regatta,” said Tim Brady, president and CEO of the CCVB. “For the West Virginia Division of Tourism to bestow this honor on the event is a testament to the hard work of a lot of people. We’re grateful to the Regatta Commission and the staff and volunteers who made it so successful.”