Visitors bureau releases guide

PARKERSBURG – When someone asks what there is to do in the area, they can get a 2013 Greater Parkersburg Visitors Guide.

The Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau recently released the 72-page guide featuring local attractions and travel details about the region, said Mark Lewis, president of the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

”It is designed to give the best information possible to a tourist planning to visit the area,” he said. ”We put this out every year and this is our primary fulfillment piece. When people interested in visiting the area contact us whether by phone, email or through our website, this is the major piece we send them. It is a big part of what we do.”

The bureau printed 60,000 guides with more than 5,500 shipped to various places including West Virginia Welcome Centers, other convention and visitors bureaus and businesses which partner with the local bureau.

The guide features attractions, lodging, shopping venues and a listing of some major events.

”It is also nice for the people who live here because it has the dates for all of those things, like the Multi-Cultural Festival, The Taste of Parkersburg, the West Virginia Honey Festival, the Parkersburg Homecoming, the Harvest Moon Festival,” Lewis said. ”The guide is primarily to give information to tourists, but also it can be a good guide for people who live in the area.”

The bureau paid tribute to the area’s role in the West Virginia statehood movement by profiling Henderson Hall Plantation on the cover. West Virginia will recognize its 150th anniversary as a state June 20.

”We feel Henderson Hall is an integral part of the history and heritage story here,” Lewis said. ”It is a great place for people to go and see. We are proud to have that on our front cover.”

The bureau also is sending information to Boy Scout councils sending Scouts to the 2013 National Scout Jamboree July 15-24 at the new Boy Scout High Adventure Camp at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in southern West Virginia.

Some may pass this way to and from the jamboree, he said.

A few of the pages in the guide were designed to appeal to Boy Scouts with pictures of Scouts on Blennerhassett Island and on a sternwheeler on the Ohio River.

The high-adventure camp, nicknamed ‘The Summit,’ will produce benefits for the Parkersburg area as Scouts around the country travel into the state. Parkersburg could become a “gateway community,” Lewis said.

”We are going to be conducting direct-mail campaigns to councils that might be passing through here,” Lewis said. ”One of the unique things they can do is go out to the mansion on Blennerhassett Island.”

Camping opportunities on the island are highlighted for scouts.

The guide was designed by the Stonewall Group, a marketing firm with offices in Charleston and Marietta. It was printed by Chapman Printing of Parkersburg.

Several photos were by Jim Osborn with participation from residents of the Julia Ann Square Historic District.