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George Hohmann: Golf's limited potential

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Golf and film production have limited potential for expansion in the state, according to the West Virginia Ten Year Tourism Plan, written by AECOM Technical Services Inc. for the state Division of Tourism.

AECOM's study ranked the various components of the tourism sector by analyzing the component's size and overall growth trends, as well as studying the competitive context and importance to the state.

Golf and film production received the lowest rating.

"The golf industry remains challenged as a result of overbuilding in the 1990s and early 2000s and new golf course development has slowed significantly," the study said.

"While film production is an important industry in terms of economic impact, it remains a niche market within the state relative to other industries, with increasing competition from other locations," the study said.

Gaming, spectator sports, NASCAR and theme parks scored high with respect to overall industry size and potential growth trends. However, "all of these industries rated relatively low with respect to ease of implementation (there are a limited number of nationwide developers and operators) and competitive environment," the study said.

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Here's a reminder that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's 2012 Energy Summit will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Marriott. Among the scheduled highlights:

* A presentation on the fiscal impact of energy industries on the West Virginia economy by Mark Muchow, deputy secretary of the state Department of Tax and Revenue.

* State energy plan recommendations by Tom Witt, former director of West Virginia University's Bureau of Business and Economic Research; Cal Kent, former vice president of Business and Economic Research at Marshall University; and Christy Risch, director of research at Marshall's Center for Business and Economic Research.

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On the topic of energy, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday: "With the Obama administration considering a reshuffling of top energy jobs in its second term, former administration officials and political heavyweights from both parties are calling on the White House to craft a national energy strategy, an elusive goal since Richard Nixon was president.

"The push reflects the unprecedented and unexpected boom in domestic energy production in recent years, with the U.S. poised by some estimates to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil producer by 2020," the Journal said.

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Intrawest, the corporate parent of Snowshoe Resort, has sold its remaining stake in Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in British Columbia to KSL Capital Partners of Denver.

Whistler Blackcomb, a host venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, was the trophy in Intrawest's portfolio of resorts.

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Congratulations to legendary sportswriter Mickey Furfari on publication of his second book, "Mickey's Mountaineer Memories, Volume II."

The book is for sale at the Register-Herald and on its website at www.beckleyregister-herald.com/mickeybooks/.

Reach George Hohmann at business@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4836.

 


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