SEP 2012

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2012 Sneak Peek Directory Subscribe Advertise Contact ALABAMA ARKANSAS FLORIDA GEORGIA KENTUCKY LOUISIANA MISSISSIPPI NORTH CAROLINA OKLAHOMA SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE TEXAS VIRGINIA WEST VIRGINIA Courtesy Charleston CVB INSIDER'S GUIDE By T. Wayne Waters Charleston, West Virginia touts itself as being "hip, his- toric and almost heaven," and from this image, it's hard to argue otherwise. Charleston, W.Va. Tourism industry vet Alisa Bailey recently joined the Charleston CVB. www.con v Hip, Historic…Almost Heaven. Thatʼs Charleston, West Virginiaʼs tag line and it says a lot. The "almost heaven" part brings to mind a classic by John Denver extolling the virtues of a state that is nearly 80 percent covered in forests and has some of the most beautiful mountainous terrain youʼll ever see. The "hip, historic" part highlights the cityʼs strong ties to an authentic past while also looking forward. And looking forward is exactly what tourism officials are doing these days. "Weʼre extremely excited about the more than $70 million in tourism infrastructure improvements now underway," said new Charleston CVB President/CEO Alisa Bailey, adding that the improvements will include major renovations to the Charleston Civic Center. Bailey, a Charleston native, was named to her position this spring. She is the former president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation and led both the West Virginia Division of Tourism and the stateʼs Bureau of Commerce before that. "Charleston is a great destination nestled in the mountains and along the Kanawaha River," she said. "Itʼs the capital city but has a small-town feel. One of the advan- tages of being in downtown is that in five minutes you can be deep in the woods. We also have a small footprint—you land at the Yeager Airport, youʼre in your hotel in five minutes, and everything in downtown is within easy walking distance." ■ SEPTEMBER 2012 ConventionSouth 27 Charleston CVB via Facebook

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