WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — When you strike up a conversation about the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, hunting and fishing aren’t typically the topics which come to mind. However, Joey Miller who heads up the outdoor adventure activities for the resort hopes an event planned for this fall will change that.
“A bunch of us working in our fishing area were joking about how much fun it would be to do a fishing festival. Our director of special events Stacy Miller suggested we could do fishing one time and hunting another. I thought, well, we could probably combine both,” he said.
From those initial, humorous conversations, the inaugural Wild, Wonderful Hunting, Fishing, and Conservation Expo was born. The event is slated for September 22, 23, and 24 at the resort in White Sulphur Springs.
“It will be in the Greenbrier Hotel itself in some of our larger ballroom spaces. We’ve done a lot in the past with exhibits, but nothing in the way of hunting and fishing. We already have 50 or 60 companies who have signed on and we’re expecting close to 200,” he said.
The status of the Greenbrier commands more power than most exhibitions. Instead of a just a local dealer, companies like Mossy Oak and Sig-Sauer are expected to be part of the event. Miller said along with that, when you’re checking out their products, the Greenbrier has space where you can not only talk to representatives of those companies
, but actually try out the gear on the shotgun and shooting range at Kate’s Mountain Lodge or for fishing along Howard’s Creek which flows through the resort.
Along with the opportunity to showcase hunting and fishing vendors, the resort hopes to also highlight a number of conservation organizations like the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, Project Healing Waters, and Midway USA Foundation will have a benefit shoot as part of the event to raise money for youth shooting sports activities. The U.S. Forest Service and the West Virginia DNR are expected to contribute to conservation seminars for the land and streams.
“It’s just a little bit of everything and embodies everything West Virginia has to offer and it’s open to the public,” Miller explained.
The Greenbrier features an array of outdoor adventures for resort guests to enjoy West Virginia’s outdoors. Miller said in fact, it’s probably the biggest opportunity for outdoor recreation in America.
“Of all the resorts in the United States, the Greenbrier probably has more activities than any other resort. We have groups who come here all the time and the reason they choose us is there’s no limit to what they can do,” he said.
The resort features sporting clays and skeet and trap shooting, fly fishing instruction and actual fishing on the resort property. There are fishing excursions on the nearby Greenbrier and New Rivers and guided hunting trips are workable during the season. Along with the hook and bullet pursuits, guests can ride horseback, ATV’s, enjoy world class whitewater rafting, mountain biking, or a host of other activities most of us in West Virginia take for granted.
“I want to be open to anybody and everybody to show what the Greenbrier really is and what it means to the state of West Virginia. It brings a lot of money and tourism dollars to the economy,” he said.
He’s hoping it will give a lot of West Virginians the chance to visit the Greenbrier, perhaps for the first time.