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Convention and Visitors Bureau moving

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau is moving into a new, larger office at Appalachian Power Park.

CVB board members approved the move to 601 Morris St. at their board meeting Wednesday.

"It's a good move," said Charleston Mayor Danny Jones. "It doesn't have to be permanent."

The CVB's nine workers call the Charleston Civic Center home. "I've been in meetings there and you feel like you are in a sardine can," Jones said.

With upcoming Civic Center renovations and construction, coupled with the size of the CVB, the move makes sense, Jones said. He added the city owns both buildings.

CVB President Alisa Bailey said the new office space is almost double the current size but will cost an additional $1,400 per month. She hopes to be moved into the new office by the end of the calendar year.

"We have had space constraints for a while," Bailey said. "We did try and look at different options."

The Gazette reported a potential CVB move into the same office building back in 2005, but that move never materialized. 

The new second-floor office space was previously occupied by another business.

Bailey said that made the move more appealing because they won't have much to do to ready the space for business.

"It is a relief for us because we can move forward with our strategy," Bailey said.

CVB's current home lacks windows and employees can only fit one person at a time in their office. Bailey added the CVB would continue to have a presence at Charleston Civic Center events.

The visitor center at the Capitol Market will remain open. The new office space would allow for better first impressions with business clients, Bailey said.

Bailey added once the Civic Center renovations are complete and if there is adequate office space available, the CVB would be, "very anxious" to move its office back to the Civic Center.

Civic Center president, John Robertson, could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Additionally, board members were briefed on Charleston hosting Travel South's domestic showcase, February 23 to 26.

Bailey said she is "over the moon" about hosting the event that promotes tourism opportunities in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

This is the first time West Virginia has hosted the event. The event will feature a destination showcase in the Civic Center's Little Theatre and a winter carnival on Capitol Street.

"They (tourism agencies) are always looking to offer their clients new trips," Bailey said.

She hopes West Virginia's tourism industry receives a boost from the event.

The event is anticipated to bring in 600 to 800 travel and tourism professionals.

Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.cook@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.

 


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