Controversy surrounds CVB funding in Marion County

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Over the last few years, there has been some controversy in regards to opening specific convention and visitors bureaus (CVB) in different municipalities in Marion County.

This discussion was sparked in Pleasant Valley, by a council members years back, who questioned why they were giving so much money to the Marion County CVB.

Liesha Elliot is the Executive Director of the Marion County CVB and she said that they can better promote the county working together, rather than having several different CVB’s throughout the county.

“There are neighboring counties who have two CVB’s, but what we do is see things the best we can from the eyes of the visitor,” said Elliot. “To a visit if there is two, three CVB’s in one county that may come off disorganized and confusing. If we work together it would be way better than working separately.”

Pleasant Valley gives $170,00 yearly to the CVB, and White Hall gives $65,000. Elliot said next year that budget will be close to cut in half because of COVID-19. Now, Pleasant Valley is asking what they could potentially do with that money — instead of giving it to someone else to handle.

“We are all struggling right now, but if we break off to do our own thing right now I don’t think anyone will see success. I can’t stress enough, if someone comes to Marion county for an event, or festival, they will explore. They will eat, and visit other places throughout the county,” Elliot said. “I know they are seeing that this money is coming in, and they’re saying ‘well why should we be giving that to the CVB?’ The legislation dictates that if you already have a CVB in your area, that you need to work with them, instead of starting a whole new organization. As a whole there’s a lot that Marion county has to offer. I’d rather work with them, so we can work together to promote Marion county.”

Mayor of White Hall John Michael said that they are just discussing right now these possible changes. Michael said all they want to do, is what’s best for the town of White Hall.

For more information, call White Hall’s town officials at (304) 367-5445, or Marion County Convention and Visitors Bureau at (304) 368-1123.

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