CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Tourism Commissioner Betty Carver is retiring. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin made the announcement Thursday evening.

“Betty has dedicated nearly 40 years to public service in the Mountain State. And for the past 11 years she has led efforts to show the world the many things that make our state great. In fact, under her leadership, travel and tourism revenue topped $5 billion in 2012, contributing $5.1 billion to West Virginia’s economy–the first time in the state’s history,” Gov. Tomblin said in a news release. “I sincerely appreciate Betty’s service to the Mountain State and wish her well in her future endeavors.”


Betty Carver

Carver has had many positions in state government over her 37-year career.

“My time at Tourism has been especially rewarding for me personally–and professionally. West Virginia has so much to offer-small towns, quaint shops, fine dining and so much more. We’ve worked hard for many years and I believe we have succeeded in showing folks from around globe: Wild and Wonderful West Virginia,” Carver said.

Her retirement takes effect May 31.

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  • booldogsuck

    Win a million dollars in WV lottery and retire! Who can blame her? Good for them!

  • WV4ever

    Give the job to Jim Justice so he can just use all of the allocated tourist money to build his hobby, his casino.

  • James Lane

    Now, let's see if they do the right thing and promote Jacqueline Proctor to post.

    • AlleghenyHi

      Let's see if they do the right thing and promote tourism. Haven't heard/read about tourism in this state since Alisa Bailey left that post.

      • WVTourist

        Alisa Bailey promotes nothing but herself. And she doesn't even do a very good job at that.

        • AlleghenyHi

          Give me a break WVTourist. The state Tourism office has been a ghost town since AB left it. We here in the industry sorely miss her and what that office you do that promoted us.

  • Fred

    The saddest part of W.Va.'s tourism industry is the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, formerly known as Weston State Hospital. This top attraction is entirely based on mocking the horrors experienced by patients who suffered and died there over the decades. Their motto of 'Hear the screams of those who checked in and never checked out' is particularly hurtful to the families of the patients. This facility represents our state's own holocaust, where innocent victims were neglected, subject to bizarre medical experiments, and left to die in conditions not fit for barnyard animals.

  • js

    DWL, you need to turn off your computer, your scanner and your TV and try to get a life. May I suggest you tour the beautiful State of West Virginia?

    • Ronin

      Sorry, but it's a valid point. This state's tourism focus is locked on Cass Railroad, New River Gorge, Babcock, Black Water Falls, Canaan Valley Ski Resort and Harper's Ferry.

      I live in Petersburg, where a town that sits on the Potomac River has no riverfront recreation inside the city limits, save one sad little boat slip used mainly for drug deals and jump-starting teen pregnancy. There is a mile of river cut off by a huge, weed-covered levee that is home only to snakes and the occasional stray cat.

      The town advertises itself as the "Home of the Golden Trout", but there is no bait and tackle shop in town, save the counter in the back of Radio Shack (which tells you how booming their business is, hm?). The Potomac runs through it, but there is no place to buy or rent a boat, and Eagle's Nest Outfitters, located north of town outside the city limits, is the only place to charter a trip to the twenty-odd miles of river flowing through Smoke Hole canyon.

      The North Fork trail snakes along 20+ miles of cliffs, but you will rarely see it advertised in state tourism literature, and you would never know a trail once voted one of the "best in the east" follows its spine, since there is no mention of that along the highways, and no outdoor shop selling camping supplies or equipment in the towns on either end, unless you count the surplus stores.

      When stories of New River run out, much will be made of poor little Seneca Rocks, with its two family owned restaurants and campgrounds, its two rock climbing guide services, their coffee shop (because apparently the rock climbing business isn't doing much better than Radio Shack, without state government promotion), and the climbing shop which is open 6-8 months out of the year, if they feel like it.

      The commercial interests to whom WV is prostituted are busily consuming as much of the state as fast as they can, leveling mountains to reach the coal and other treasures underneath, poisoning the rivers with fracking and coal slurry, clear-cutting timber groves. The job of promoting recreation here will always take a back seat to portioning up and selling West Virginia to the highest bidder.

  • DWL

    Is she going to travel to somewhere that has a real tourism business?

    • In da stickes

      I heard she was leaning toward running guided tours of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail.