Wheeling has seen some big changes recently, like the construction of The Health Plan and the introduction of some new festivals at Heritage Port.
Another change the city is seeing is a large increase in tourism.
At River City Ale Works, Executive Chef Tom McCardle says they are seeing more tour buses come through town.
The restaurant even has a special menu and a specific parking spot for tour buses.
He says tourism is up because there is now more to do in the Friendly City.
“The Festival of Lights will be coming. There will be a lot of bus tours coming in town. There is a lot of stuff happening up at the Capitol now. It’s bringing more people into town which is good for us,” said McCardle.
Big events like the Festival of Lights or Oglebayfest are good for local hotels, too, but at the Hampton Inn on National Road, they have seen an increase in tourists throughout the year.
General Manager Jack Poling says the month of October is actually 10% busier than last October.
He says a general increase in activity in Wheeling is to thank.
“Buildings are going up, and apartments are getting rented, and the Capitol is doing great. There are all kinds of shows and activity downtown and festivals. It’s nothing but good right now for Wheeling, so we’re very optimistic,” said Poling.
He says the hotel has seen an increase in tour buses as well.
Wheeling is a popular overnight destination for buses traveling both east or west on Interstate 70.
On an average weekend, the Hampton Inn will see about 300 to 400 guests.