CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau is reporting that sales in hotel rooms are up this year, which means that tourism to the city has increased.
With six weeks to go in the fiscal year, the CVB has around 2,000 more rooms to fill to meet its 30,000 room night goal, a 2,000 room increase from last year’s goal.
Currently, 28,072 nights have been booked, and Charleston CVB President Alisa Bailey said it’s had a $20 million economic impact.
“We’ve always met our sales goals in the past five years, but we upped the sales goal, because we knew that all these developments were coming online, primarily the $100 million renovation and expansion of the convention center, and that makes meeting planners excited,” she said during Wednesday’s CVB meeting. “When they see the rendering of the glass expanse and the customer experience, they get excited.”
These expansions, including the addition of soon-to-be opened Shawnee Multi-Sports Complex is giving Charleston more visitors, as well as having a positive impact with meeting planners and sports rights holders.
“This wonderful development of Shawnee Multi-Sportsplex Park already has some bookings there, so for the Valley it’s a perfect storm,” Bailey said.
Bailey said she thinks that these new projects in Charleston are contributing to meeting the 30,000 room night goal.
“We’ve already exceeded last year’s booking goal, and we upped it this year to 30 (thousand), and we were a little nervous about it, because you never know. The economic, lots of things, can impact, you know, what you’re doing,” she said.
Bailey wants more meeting planners, sports rights holders and journalists to visit the city, too.
“They’re always pleasantly surprised,” she said. “It’s not that they think Charleston is not a great place, they just don’t know. They have never been here, and they don’t know about it.”
Bailey said she thinks that getting more of these groups into the city will help the CVB “knock it out of the park next year”.
Story by Jordyn Johnson