CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – On October 15, Clarksburg City Council passed an ordinance to create a new Clarksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau in addition to the existing CVB.
The Greater Clarksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau said that they don’t believe the city itself can fund two CVB’s solely on hotel and motel taxes.
Currently, the city acts as a pass-through for hotel and motel taxes and provides those funds to the Greater Clarksburg CVB. Recently the CVB hired a new executive director to lead the CVB to implement her knowledge to bring people into the City of Clarksburg.
“I realize that the goal of the of the current council is to bring the CVB up to speed with 21st-century marketing. But what better way to do that than with Tina Yoke, who just came from the United Way, who has used every method of marketing for the United Way. So, you know, that would be the plus for retaining Tina as the executive director,” said Cathy Goings, President of the Greater Clarksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Officials with the Greater Clarksburg CVB said they would continue to operate as long as they have their funding in place.
Greater Clarksburg CVB officials explained that they don’t believe they are getting enough hotel and motel tax funding because of a lack of tourism due to the global pandemic, whether temporarily or permanently. They also added that the mayor and council should look at numbers and projections on revenue provided from the hotel and motel taxes in the future to fund both entities.
“We realize that the current city council and mayor want to start a second CVB location, but actually they need to take into consideration that we only have four hotels in the city limits, and one is at default. And our current CVB is funded solely by hotel and motel taxes. So, unless they are planning on using actual taxpayers’ dollars to get their CVB up and running, then they will not have any hotel and motel taxes,” said Goings.
Without a downtown hotel or convention center and the Greater, Clarksburg CVB explains that their strongest attribute is the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center.
“Unfortunately, a lot of the members of city council are opposed to the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center. So, we have to constantly look at different ways to put heads in bed. And so, with the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center, we did get a lot of visitors to the area that we’re staying in our hotels,” said Goings.
A decline in the oil and gas industry has diminished the hotel and motel taxes collected, bringing in a significant amount of funding for the Greater Clarksburg CVB. Representatives of the Greater Clarksburg CVB state that decline is a detriment to the funding source.
“Let’s be realistic city council members and mayors come and go, but at the end of the day, it’s the residents of the City of Clarksburg that are going to be left to suffer the consequences. So, we really need to figure this out,” said Goings. There is no way we can support two CVB’s. Ours has been in effect for 19 years. Let’s just make it bigger and better.”
The Greater Clarksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau said they are involved in numerous events downtown throughout the year, downtown Halloween trick-or-treating, and organizing a Christmas parade in years past.
CVB representatives also said the director provides copies of the convention and visitors guide, which is all over the state and performing a lot of behind-the-scenes operations.