Classic creating business for local hotels, restaurants

Raleigh County

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — With competing teams and their fans visiting from all over the state for the 2018 Big Atlantic Classic, hotels and restaurants in the area are seeing some increases in business.

“They’re in our hotels and all the teams are eating in our restaurants,” said Lisa Strader, interim director at Visit Southern West Virginia.  “They’re getting gas. They’re seeing our area, and some of them may be seeing it for the first time.”

Strader believes in-state tourism is common in the region, especially with these competitions.

“West Virginians travel in West Virginia,” Strader said.  “They like to see what’s here. They will vacation three or four hours away from their home, so it’s great for them to come here, see what’s here, and be like ‘you know what, this would be a great place to come back.'”

Phil Lane, sales and marketing director for Laurel Lodge Enterprises, says communication is key among all businesses to prepare for the influx of guests visiting the Mountain State.

“(They) let us know as hoteliers, the rafting companies, the other entities involved in hospitality and tourism that events are coming up,” Lane said.

“The last thing you want to find out is that you had 700 people in your area on Friday night for these sporting events and you don’t have the staff to cover it,” Strader said.

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