HARPERS FERRY, W.Va, (WDVM) — Jefferson County in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle got the week off to an exciting start with a ribbon-cutting for its new visitors center.
In the Mountain State’s fastest-growing region, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R – W.Va.) says the new visitors center can raise the bar for all of West Virginia.
“This is where I think you can be the example for the rest of the state: how to grow… sensibly and what’s attracting that next vision of tourism,” said Capito.
Christian Asam is President of the Jefferson County Convention and Visitors Bureau and is a respected figure in the hospitality industry. He says the new visitors center promotes scenic attractions in the area like the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park just down the road.
“We look at this area here in Harpers Ferry as a gateway to West Virginia, so to be right here on Route 340 and have this beautiful building, it almost serves as the billboard to get off the road, come inside and learn about Jefferson County,” said Asam.
Due to its location on the Maryland-Virginia borders, Jefferson County can bring in tourists from beyond West Virginia, capitalizing on its strategic location.
“This is so important for the county because it’s… the first impression of welcome to West Virginia,” said Annette Gavin Bates, CEO of the Jefferson County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
And Harpers Ferry is so rich in history, the National Park Service is even hosting a “writer in residence” to share the special stories to be told at this junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.
“Harpers Ferry is one of the most special historic sites anywhere, and I encourage everyone to come out and see it,” said Kathleen Ernst.
A Wisconsin native, Ernst is effusive about just how special Harpers Ferry is, not just to Jefferson County, but to the entire Mountain State, a real gem among the nation’s destinations for visitors.