What would you like to see in Elkins in the near future? How about in the next 20 years? This week, about 30 people from throughout Randolph County attended the first ON TRAC Community Circle meeting to share their ideas.
One of the main topics was the larger-than-anticipated response to the Polar Express holiday train excursion and its expected growth for the coming year. This year, 6,000 people were welcomed on 26 trips. Next year, 40 trips are scheduled. Missy McCollam, owner of the Old Brick Playhouse, told the group that the event has "changed the economy" in other towns. She also expressed that she'd like to see the community work together to ensure an enhanced stay for visitors - one that may entice them to spend an extra night to shop and dine.
McCollam is right on the mark in her suggestions, and those same ideas could be applied to other community and tourism events. In addition, wouldn't we want our residents to have equally pleasant experiences here at home? We certainly think so, and that's where community involvement comes in.
Everyone working together for a common goal of improving the local area instills community pride. That pride can swell as people tell their friends and family about the ongoing projects.
Exactly how all this will come together and be accomplished depends on the involvement and sharing of ideas during future meetings of the ON TRAC Community Circle. Sessions are planned for noon every Thursday at the Old Brick Playhouse. Anyone who wants to join in or has something to contribute is welcome to attend.