CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Members of the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau hope an aggressive new marketing campaign will help lure visitors to West Virginia's capital city.
At the bureau's annual organizational meeting on Wednesday, members were told the visitors bureau has a new website, a new media ad campaign, and a new marketing plan.
Members of the visitors bureau heaped praise on bureau president Alisa Bailey, finishing up her first year on the job. "The marketing plan is a real marketing plan," said Yeager Airport director and visitors bureau member Rick Atkinson.
"If you look back at where we were, versus where we are, it's night and day," said Charleston Mayor Danny Jones. "New leadership works."
The bureau has adopted a new marketing plan that specifically targets the National Boy Scout Jamboree, scheduled to take place in Fayette County July 15-24. Officials are expecting 40,000 to 50,000 Boy Scouts and their support network to descend on the Mount Hope area for the Jamboree.
Visitors Bureau Vice President Jama Jarrett said Beckley and Fayetteville don't have enough hotel rooms to handle the expected influx of people for the Jamboree. "We know we're going to get some guests," Jarrett said. "We just aren't sure how many there's going to be."
Since many Scouts and their parents will have to stay in Charleston for the Jamboree anyway, visitors bureau staff decided to roll out the red carpet and show off all the area has to offer.
Bailey and Jarrett said travelers flying into Yeager for the event will be greeted with information booths telling them all about Charleston and the area and touting the city's selling points. Other information booths will be set up around town, and visitors will find out about opportunities to visit the Clay Center, Appalachian Power Park and other destinations.
Special Scout-themed events and promotions also will be going on. Jarrett said the National Boy Scout Jamboree Band would perform at Live On the Levee, which is going on at the same time as the Jamboree.
"What we're doing is capitalizing on what we've already got going on," Jarrett said. "It's going to be a couple of Boy Scout-themed weekends. We'll see how it goes."