This letter is addressed to the citizens of Logan County.
Dear Citizens of Logan County,
I would like to take the opportunity to share some of the many things the Coalfield Convention & Visitors Bureau have done for Logan County. The Coalfield Convention & Visitors Bureau is a not for profit 501c6 organization that markets and promotes the Coalfields. Logan County has always been our home base and our regional office is in Chapmanville. During this time, we have done several brochures exclusively for Logan County. One piece was placed in the West Virginia Heritage Magazine and used as an article about our area.
We have always, from the year 2000, placed an article in the West Virginia Official Visitors Guide. This ad costs $8,100 for a full page full color. We have had over 40,000 “Welcome to the Coalfields” brochures printed in the past couple of years. This brochure as a special section called Logan County. We also have advertised in the National Geographic Magazine.
We placed inserts in the Eastern/Southeastern and Mid Atlantic U.S. newspapers that reaches over 400,000 homes each spring and fall. We joined with the W.Va. Division of Tourism to do a co-op in Washington, DC, area. Our pictures were up in the subways campaign (“Visit Devil Anse in Logan County”). We have placed ads in all local printings such as the Logan Co. Arts and Crafts Fair and in the Aracoma Brochures. We do radio advertising for many of the Fair and Festival in our area. We join in each fair and festival and put out a table with our brochures.
We advertise each quarter in the W.Va. ATV Official Guide with a full page inside cover ad. We attend all the State Division of Tourism functions such as the Governor’s Conference on Tourism which is held each year. The Coal Heritage Conference, The Preservation Alliance Conference, the State Byways Conference, all seminars that the W.Va. Division of Tourism hosts, especially Grants Seminars. I write grants for many of the towns and organizations in our Coalfields. The Coalfield CVB does seminars for our hotels and lodges to teach them better ways to market their properties. We host many state retreats at the beautiful Chief Logan Convention Center and Lodge. The Coalfield CVB just hosted the W.Va. State Convention & Visitors Bureau.
We work with the Hatfield McCoy Trail at many events giving out our brochures and information about our area.
The Coalfield CVB will be giving out the Hatfield McCoy info along with the DVD Trails Heaven that will be playing on our table at the W.Va. State Fair which is going on this weekend. The DVD shows visitors riding the Hatfield McCoy Trail and how much fun they are having. This will be open Friday-Sunday. Our brochures and brochures of Logan County and Chief Logan State Park and the new Chief Logan Convention and Lodge will be available there. Also the statues of Devil Anse and Ranel McCoy will be available. We hope to see all of the Logan Countians there.
We also do co-ops with the Hatfield McCoy Trail as much as possible in such shows as the Huntington RV and Boat show each spring. The Coalfield CVB has done several Familiarization Tours in our area. We also offer a Hatfield McCoy Tour and this is becoming very popular for visitors to our area. This tour is not on the Hatfield McCoy Trails, but travels to points of interest and history of the Hatfield and McCoy families.
We attended the Travel South Trade Show in Myrtle Beach, S.C., this March and we brought in 11 tour guides to our area, took them on the Hatfield McCoy Tour, and put them up for the night at Chief Logan Lodge, and then did a second day with them. They returned to their areas and told their clients what wonderful things we have down here in the Coalfields. We have booked three tours buses that will bring their people to our area. This is what this means: The average bus will hold 50 people and those three buses will be bringing 150 people into our area to sleep and eat and spend money. The average amount each of our visitors spends on a trip is $578 making the economic impact of this Travel South Trade Show follow up Tour to be $86,700. Now that is Economic Impact! We have the means to do this year after year and we believe the Tour Business to be a wonderful way to get many more people to the Coalfields.
We have mailed out over 1,000 brochures at the cost of 75 cents each this year. We will be advertising in the Blue Ridge Country magazine and Family Circle and Woman’s Day. We also are going to be in Southern Living and Ophra in the coming year. We are in the Maryland Visitors Guide.
We have been responsible for receiving many grants for advertising. We spend 40 percent of our yearly budget on marketing and that means out of $40,000 dollars spent last year, the ROI (Return On Investment) was $80,000 worth of advertising thanks to the W.Va. Direct Advertising Grant given by the W.Va. Division of Tourism. On a couple of grants we have received 75 percent grants. This makes us the largest and most efficient Marketing Bureau in the Coalfields.
The one thing that the Coalfield CVB has worked to see accomplished is the building the Country Roads Byway and the Country Roads Byway Interpretive Center. Funding for this facility has been awarded for $480,000 in the spring of 2001. Many of the Coalfield CVB members sit on the Country Roads Byways Board of Directors and we are eagerly awaiting the new Interpretive Center which will be built below Fountain Place in Logan. The Coalfield CVB has the option of having an office in this new facility. This project is in coordination with the Logan County Development and the National Coal Heritage Area and the W.Va. Department of Transportation. We believe this to be a tremendous addition to our area and are working diligently to see its completion.
We have a web site www.coalfieldcvb.org that is being redesigned and currently exceeds 80 megabites of information on our region. When completed, and all the research done, we will list every hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, lodge and campground. Also included will be all the restaurants, places of recreation and entertainment. We will have information and photographs of the fairs and festivals and a calendar of events.
There is talk of Logan County beginning a new CVB. We believe that we offer the very best representation that can be found in our state. Each CVB has to have an individual office that is fully staffed, telephone, and be open five days a week from 9-5. The revenue that the CVB has must be split with 40 percent Salary, 40 percent Marketing, and 20 percent expenses. The money from one entity cannot do what the Coalfield CVB can do when it receives funding from several areas. Logan County has paid the Coalfield CVB $9,000.00 for this year. At the end of the year, it will have paid approximately $18,000. That funding, if given to a new CVB, would have to pay $7,200 for marketing if used with the W.Va. Tourism Advertising grant which could possibly be $14,000 at the most. Would you rather have $14,000 or $80,000 for your marketing budget? Will you find anyone to work for $600 a month? Can you rent, furnish, and run an office for $3,600 a year? These are questions you must consider. The Coalfield CVB has a large office which hosts seminars and meetings and community events and houses the Logan County Genealogy Society and the Shawnee Trail Museum. We are open daily from 9 -5, five days a week. There is easy access parking beside our building. We have had over 800 visitors in our office this July. Our Bureau has just been awarded the Who’s Who Tourism Award and the Executive Directed has just received her degree from the Southeast Tourism Marketing College in Dahlonega, Ga. We are doing a great job and are very proud to represent Logan County. We are asking that you reconsider your decision and support the Coalfield CVB.
We hope you can now appreciate what we do to bring tourism to the Coalfields and we know that our area, with its steep mountains and beautiful scenery have the best and most hospitable people anywhere in the world right here. We also know that once our visitors come to our area, they will want to come back again and again.
Coalfield Convention & Visitors Bureau