Tourism Plays Major Part in WV Economy


National Tourism Week has just kicked off and members of the West Virginia Department of Tourism decided to visit Oglebay to experience just how wild and wonderful the Mountain State is right here in the Ohio Valley.

From golfing, to rafting, and even maybe some tennis, tourism is a major industry across the U.S. accounting for $2.1 trillion in money being spent to travel across the continent.

“This was started in 1983 to bring attention to the significant economic impact that travel and tourism brings to this country,” said Frank O’Brien, Executive Director of the Wheeling-Ohio County CVB.

Tourism in the Mountain State alone has a $4.5 billion impact on our economy, and with places like Grand Vue and Oglebay Parks and the number of other area attractions, it’s no wonder.

“We’ve probably got more holes of golf, than any other area in the state; with the three 18-hole courses, our 9-hole par-3, and then our 9-hole course at Wheeling Park,” said Rico Coville, Oglebay’s Director of Golf, Skiing, and Tennis.

In 2014, the tourism industry employed some 46,000 workers across the state and that’s why the West Virginia Department of Tourism sends a group out to various location to see everything the Mountain State has to offer.

“This is National Tourism Week, the Wild and Wonderful West Virginia team, we’re all over the state and we’re here to kick off golfing at Oglebay today,” said Vicki Vaughn, W.Va. Dept. of Tourism Director of Customer Service.

With such a booming industry, tourism brings thousands of people to the Ohio Valley each year, and officials here at Oglebay Park say they’re busy making $5.5 million dollars in renovations to their Wilson Lodge, thanks to the West Family.

“Completely gutting the wing, taking three rooms and making two rooms out of them, so it’s very exciting for us and we’re looking forward to it. Should be open, before the Festival of Lights,” said Scott Scherlein, Oglebay Director of Sales and Conference Services.

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