FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — Every year, an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people descend on the New River Gorge Bridge to celebrate Bridge Day.
The small town of Fayetteville has a big mission every October, as it serves as the gateway to the New River Gorge Bridge.
Local businesses take the calling seriously.
“What a weekend here,” said Lori Tabit, franchising director for Tudor’s and Gino’s Pizza and Spaghetti House. “We’re so blessed here in the town of Fayetteville, you know, to have the amazing, gorgeous bridge that everybody wants to come and visit, and, of course, our national park now. But just the influx of people we have here, it’s amazing. I mean, it’s amazing for the business for Gino’s and for Tudor’s.”
Pete and Marie Haynes, a couple from Mount Airy, North Carolina, stopped at Gino’s for lunch on Friday, October 20, 2023, a tradition they started after stumbling across the local spaghetti house during an earlier Bridge Day visit.
The couple plans to participate in a 5K marathon on Bridge Day this year.
“We needed to carb up, and, so, by accident, we come through here. So we knew we needed pizza or spaghetti or something, really good carbs. So we got here three years ago, and we’ve been back, ever since. It’s delicious,” Haynes said.
It’s not just Fayetteville businesses which feel the surge. In nearby Oak Hill, eight miles south of Gino’s, the locally owned Café One Ten gears up to serve Bridge Day visitors their homemade dishes.
The assistant manager said Café One Ten attracts the Bridge Day crowd, which local owner Don Williams approves.
Server Madalynn Brown agreed.
“We have a lot of people who the music is a huge thing,” said Brown. “Our owner is super proud of his music. So aside from food and menu items, everybody loves the play lists, everybody’s always heard a song playing which makes them happy, which makes Don happy, because he’s super proud of his music selection.”