Randolph must keep youth in the county
I am writing in to express an opinion as to why we cannot get our young people to stay in Randolph County and what we could do about it.
First, start in Beverly. You finally have two restaurants, Betty’s Boots and Diner and Mi Fiesta, which is a start. This is to be visited by tourists, but what are they to do once they visit the one or two locations in the town?
The road to Rich Mountain Battlefield is not paved, there is no lodging to speak of in the town. Someone should visit Williamsburg, Jamestown or Gettysburg for examples to see how to grow an economy around historic sites.
So, to continue our journey, we find there is also nothing for the 20-50-year age group to do. Not everyone likes antiques or history.
We come in to Elkins. We do not have a concert venue. We do not have a Barnes & Noble, a Kohl’s, Target, Costco.
We do not have a Staples, Home Depot, Red Lobster, Cracker Barrel, Sonic, Olive Garden, Five Guys, splash pad, aquarium, etc.
How many times can a local resident ride the tourist train to see the trash-laden landscape and run-down properties along the railway?
We do not have a local food truck scene at the depot on Fridays or Saturdays with activities for the children, let alone through the weekdays. We want to cater to tourists but even they need something to do after the train ride.
Has anyone driven through Beverly or Elkins on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon? No activity, very boring.
What about the young professionals who do not hunt or fish? What are they to do?
Anyone wonder why so many people drive to Clarksburg, Morgantown, Pittsburgh or Charleston on their days off?
If we do not do things to attract and keep our youth here they will not stay, and Randolph County may exist but it will not thrive.