ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — For the first time since 2000, the National Speleological Society (NSS) will be holding its annual convention in Elkins, West Virginia.

According to a press release from Elkins-Randolph County Tourism, the convention is expected to bring more than 1,000 cavers to the area.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to host this organization, and the economic effect this group will have on our county is invaluable. These individuals will shop, eat out, buy gas and groceries, and many will need lodging. These types of events make people aware of the beauty Randolph County has to offer and bring people back to the area,” said Anne Beardslee, Executive Director of the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism, Convention and Visitors Bureau and Welcome Center.

Elkins previously hosted the convention in 2000 and 1983, but the organizers said that it wanted new members a chance to experience Elkins. “Everyone who attended the 2000 NSS Convention enjoyed it so much and had memories about their time in Elkins,” said Rich Giesler, 2023 NSS Convention Co-chair.

“Randolph County is ideal for the 2023 NSS Convention because we have over 500 caves in our region. We have a very diverse caving system,” said the release. “Almost all these caves are closed to the public due to white-nosed bat syndrome, but nearby visitors can tour through Smoke Hole Caverns and Seneca Caverns in Pendleton County.”

Although the event is for the NSS, the release also said that it will be open to the public. The event will be on June 26. For more information about the event or to register, visit the NSS website.