Elkins Depot Welcome Center reopens doors

Submitted photo Tom Rosier, a volunteer at the Elkins Depot Welcome Center, demonstrates how the center is able to welcome guests while keeping all those involved safe and protected from the pandemic. Guests can receive all of the same information they would obtain inside of the Depot.

ELKINS — The Elkins Depot Welcome Center CVB/Elkins-Randolph County Tourism CVB has reopened for tourists and residents to stop by and get information. The new process developed to receive the information is a bit different than in the past and their current hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Anne Beardslee, executive director, explains that “We had to make some creative changes due to the CDC and West Virginia requirement for our type of facility. We could not have more than five people in the Center at any given time, all brochures had to be removed from public spaces and of course social distancing is required. Most people come for brochures. So, we have developed a system whereby people receive their brochures through one of our windows which contains plexiglass and do not enter the Center.

This allows our staff access to all publications. Unfortunately, we have no public restrooms available at this time.

“When a person comes to the window, we discuss their interests, we collect the necessary brochures and we give them directions, ideas for eating and dining, etc. We are supplying all the same information as in the past, just in a different format,” she said. “Of course, our staff always wear masks and gloves and clean on a regular basis. We recognized the importance of having the center operational and the first two days we were open we saw more than 30 people.”

While the Welcome Center was closed, the staff was taking phone calls, doing mailings and marketing Randolph County every day to encourage visitors to come when the county opened up for guests. Part of the delay in reopening was due to the need for Personal Protective Equipment and establishing safety procedures to protect both the staff and the visitor. All of the staff and volunteers are being tested for COVID 19 before returning to work.


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