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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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November 14, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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November 14, 2018
 

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SPIRIT of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE NEWS PAGE A9 Wednesday; November 14, 2018 An artist's rendering shows the Jefferson County Convention and Visitors Bureau expansion. Construction on the project began in September. I By BONNIE WILLIAMSON Special to the Spirit HARPERS FERRY -- Progress on the expansion of the Jefferson County Con- vention and Visitors Bureau is taking shape and Annette Gavin Bates, the bureau's chief executive officer, said she hopes the building will be ready by sum- mer. The CVB is located just off of U.S. 340 on the way to Charles Town. "It's the front door to the Annette Gavin county," Bates Bates said. "People will get their first perception and impression of West Vir- ginia from thisbeantiful wel- come center." The first funding for the project, $350,000, came in 2009 from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Grants and other sources contribut- ed over the years to reach the total of $950,000. Construc- tion on the expansion started in September. "It took three different ver- sions of the plan to come within budget," Bates said. "It was a tremendous pro- cess and a lot of, good people helped get us here." The architect for the expan- sion is Michael Mills of the Mills Group in Morgantown. The interior of the CVB will double the size of pub- lic areas with supporting re- stroom facilities tripled in ca- pacity. The interior cathedral ceiling main hall has been enlarged to house an exhib- it hall, which will focus on highlighting the county's his- tory, recreational amenities, and tourism destinations. A larger circulatory space will feature touchscreen monitors and a learning space; maps; a virtual reality space; and other exhibits to encourage and introduce visitors to the county and local activities. "This welcome center will give visitors a tidbit of what the county has to offer," Bates said. "We want visitors to get out and experience the county's slice of Americana, our history. The architect for the expansion is Michael Mills of the Mills Group in Morgantown, The interior of the CVB will double the size of public areas with supporting restroom facilities tripled in capacity. We're right near the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. We have large windows so vis- itors can see the nearby moun- tains. It's a unique experience to come to Jefferson County. So many people in Washing- ton, D.C and the Baltimore area need to get out of the city. We need to draw them out to see what we offer." Bates said 60 percent of the CVB's budget goes to mar- keting to attract tourism to the area. Jefferson County gener- ates nearly 19 percent of the state tourism revenue. Tour- ism in West Virginia provides $519 million in state and lo- cal taxes, "We were the first in the state to insert a visitors guide in the Sunday section of The Washington Post, reaching 500,000 households," Bates said. The CVB is credited with increasing visitation to the Harpers Ferry National His- torical Park by 34 percent between 2013 and 2017, ac- cording to the 2017 bureau annual report. Bates said the CVB Com- munity Partnership Grant Program has awarded more than $60,000 in grants to pro- mote local events including the Jefferson County Afri- can-American Cultural and Heritage Festival, the Charles Town Car Show and the Con- temporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown. "We are always working to stay relevmt, to connect with our communities," Bates said. Kris Kringle Saturday 9am-Spm. Sunday 9am-3pm Hagerstown Community College Admission $3.00 with total door proceeds to benefit local charities FREE PARKING FREE Goff Cart Shuttle FREE Package Holding Area FREE Vendor Door Prizes FREE Shopping Bags to adult shoppers ATM's Available FREE ENTERTAINMENTI KEVlN BOOTH (ELVlS) aroma cnaca6o Me (/11 Gr cies 8th 7 am- 11 am~ Friendship Fire Corn Bolivar / Harpers Ferry, WV Satl{a will be coming to town early for Breakfast before the Parade! Enjoy Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Juice and Coffee, s6 per plate I s3 ages 4-10 1 Under 4 are free Donati()ns a~e N(: ede(t, and Appreciated 2018 Friendship Fire pany Line up at 10:30 am I Parade at 11:30 am III ~~~t~ mstreetbake~t (304) 930-1363 i Now acce 618 N. Mildred St. in Ranson special orders for holiday baked Rolls, bread, buns, pies and more!, OPEN 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday ; 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.ml Saturdays } r .