Official - Tourism needs to be promoted in W.Va.

April 08, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Charles Town's future could rest with its historic past, a tourism official said.

More than 2,000 people have toured the Jefferson County Courthouse since tours began one year ago Sunday, said tour director Nan Furioso. Tourists have come from more than 40 states and a dozen nations to see the courthouse made famous by the trial of abolitionist John Brown.

Furioso briefed members of the Charles Town Council about the courthouse tours at Monday night's meeting.

She also touched on a variety of tourism issues, including a recent meeting with 40 owners and drivers of motor coach tour buses to encourage them to bring tourists to Charles Town.

Furioso pointed out to the Town Council that she has printed, at her own expense, the walking tour brochures and other pamphlets to draw people into town. The brochures for the walking tour cost about $3,000 for 10,000 copies.


"I have had people with brochure in hand, actually change their travel plans, saying `I had no idea all of this was here. How can I find a bed and where do I find a meal?' That's money that goes to our hotels and motels and restaurants," she said.

She said she thinks tourism can improve the town's economy.

"I think it will be the salvation of this town," she said.

Furioso said she thinks Charles Town can become a main destination for tourists, rather than a side trip for people heading elsewhere.

"We don't have to be a little sister to Harpers Ferry," Furioso said.

She criticized the Town Council for approving $4,000 to donate to a Civil War re-enactment battle instead of spending it on long-term tourism efforts.

Furioso encouraged Council members to take one of the courthouse tours so that they can better promote what Charles Town has to offer tourists.

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