7News sat down with the Executive Director of the Moundsville Economic Development Council, Suzanne Park, who says this is a crushing blow.
“In 2016 we did a survey, 18% of the people that came to ‘The Mound’,” said Park. “Came to ‘The Mound’ because they were actually coming to the West Virginia Penitentiary, so they came across the street to ‘The Mound’. So, Andrea said when you’re not doing tours their business is down. When we open for tours, she says their business increases. So, it’s going to be a huge hit for the community if we can’t get this done.”
If you’d like to help get that section removed from House Bill 4338; Park suggest getting in contact with your Senators and Delegates.
Along with, getting in contact with the House Finance committee chair Eric Nelson since that’s where the bill currently is.
A bill being discussed by lawmakers in West Virginia could have a huge impact on economics and tourism in Marshall County.
The House of Delegates is working to pass a bill to strengthen the Division of Corrections.
But, local lawmakers discovered that within the bill is a section stating:
“All current leases for or involving the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville…are hereby abolished immediately.”
According to a press release from the West Virginia Penitentiary, the companion bill in the Senate is actually sponsored by senators Maroney and Clements of Marshall County.
Here is a breakdown of what exactly would be affected by this bill:
- The nationally ranked haunted house would have to cease operations.
- No tours would be available.
- Paranormal investigations would no longer be allowed inside the Penitentiary.
- Many annual events, such as the Elizabethtown Festival, Princess Tea, and Superhero Party would have to find new homes.
All of these attractions bring tourism dollars into the county.
We’ll keep you updated on the progress of this bill.