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Commission defunds Randolph Co. CVB

ELKINS — The Randolph County Commission voted this week to completely defund the Randolph County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Randolph County Convention & Visitors Bureau is the oldest of the three CVBs in the county, the other two being the Elkins Depot Welcome Center in Elkins and the Beverly Heritage Center.

“Earlier this year, the decision was made by the Randolph County CVB to sell the piece of property that they owned,” Randolph County Commission President Mark Scott said during Thursday’s commission meeting. “That piece of property was on the books for a significantly larger amount than it was actually sold for, and we felt that there may be a conflict of interest in the sale of that property. As a result, we decreased their funding.”

Scott said the commissioners met with the Randolph County CVB board of directors and explained that there was “really not a lot of branding” for the welcome center, which now occupies just a portion of the building located on North Randolph Avenue near the HomeOwnership Center. The house was sold to House Hunters Real Estate.

“It’s created a tremendous amount of confusion because people don’t know where to go for the visitors center any longer, and when they go there, they see a private business,” Scott said. “Many of them are sent down to the Depot Welcome Center, but some of them just leave and just kind of wander around the county– which just creates a bad situation.”

“We feel like the money would be better served in a different place,” Scott said.

“As a result, we looked at the situation and are considering completely defunding the Randolph County CVB and moving it to the Beverly CVB because we feel like it’s a better use of funds. We’ve got them spread out pretty thin over three different CVBs now.”

Commissioner David Kesling added, “I know when we met there with them, we asked them specifically about the branding. They were supposed to address that, but it’s only gotten worse.

“You drive by there and there’s one little sign, but now that business owner has his stuff on that sign,” Kesling said. “They didn’t do anything that we asked.”

Commissioners voted to reallocate the funds to the Beverly Heritage Center CVB. The county funds CVBs through the county’s hotel/motel tax revenue.

Prior to Tuesday’s vote, the Elkins Depot Welcome Center received 70 percent of the funding, while the Beverly Heritage Center CVB received 25 percent and the Randolph County CVB received 5 percent. After the vote, the amount of funding to be received by the Beverly CVB increased to 30 percent.