WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The new West Virginia Commissioner of Tourism says this week’s Greenbrier Classic is a terrific way to sell West Virginia. “They’re coming here. They’re spending money in West Virginia,” said Amy Shuler Goodwin who’s been in that new role for about a month.
The state tourism division, she said, advertised The Greenbrier Classic in states like Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Visitors have been pouring in to see some of the biggest names in golf.
But Goodwin said they’re not the only ones taking advantage of the PGA stop. It’s a crowd pleaser for lots of folks right here in West Virginia.
“We’ve got to look to the left and look to the right and to the 55 counties and remind all of us of the benefit we have, nature’s outdoor playground!”
Visitors to the Greenbrier during tournament week average around 27,000 a day. That’s about half the population of the city of Charleston. With that many people in one place, Goodwin says it’s important to get the word out about other events and activities in West Virginia.
“We have great opportunities in West Virginia to do that, with the golf trail and the craft beer industry that’s just booming right now. We have tremendous opportunities and it’s right in our backyard,” explained Goodwin.
She stressed, right now, golf is big and getting even bigger in West Virginia. The numbers are proof.
“Tourism, as it relates to golf in West Virginia, we’re on the upswing right now. We register about four percent of folks who come into West Virginia and say ‘I want to do something.’ Four percent of those folks have golf as an activity,” according to the Commissioner. “That’s three percent nationally. West Virginia is moving forward. We’re already up to four percent now.”
Goodwin said you don’t get a much more picturesque place than the Greenbrier to advertise other activities across the state.