MountainFest Brings Millions of Dollars to the Area - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

MountainFest Brings Millions of Dollars to the Area

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MORGANTOWN -

Festivities at MountainFest are officially underway. The ninth annual event is one of the largest in the area, but how large is it really? The numbers are quite staggering.

In comparison, WVU's Coliseum can hold about 15,000 fans, MountainFest is expected to draw about 60,000 people, that's more than four-times as many.

"Year one we though there were a lot of people, year two, we were wowed," said MountainFest President Cliff Sutherland. "It started with about somewhere around 12,000-15,000 people, and two years ago we had a little more than 60,000."

Those 60,000 people bring a lot of money into the area, an estimated $12 million.

"$12 million is a ton of money, and it really comes right back into our area," said Cindy Coffindaffer, of the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The thing about the economic impact and the tourism dollars in the area, is that it also helps the community and property taxes for our local residents as well."

MountainFest's impact is noticed for several days leading into, and out of the event.

Sutherland said many come early and stay late to ride and see the area.

The Morgantown CVB said the impact is similar to West Virginia University home football weekends lined up back-to-back.

"With home football games people come in either Friday night, or Saturday morning. Some leave immediately after the game or stay. With MountainFest everyone comes in around Wednesday and stays until Sunday, so it's like spreading a few football games in over that time," Coffindaffer said.

"We're filling rooms in Washington Pa., Clarksburg, West Virginia, Preston County. It's really a regional event," Sutherland added.

The event also brings in vendors from all across the country.

"I love West Virginia," said Roland "Cobra" Pinan. "The Mountains are beautiful, the people are very friendly in West Virginia, for sure."

For a full schedule of events, visit MountainFest's website.