MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Downtown business leaders in Martinsburg were upbeat Monday about the economic health of the community's historic commerce district, despite less than tourist-friendly gas prices and unsettled financial times on Wall Street.
Tuscan Sun owner Laura Gassler said she saw fewer people at her gourmet food and wine shop from the Washington, D.C., area when gas prices were high this summer. But she also noticed a lot more "local traffic," including a number of relatively new residents of the area who said they never visited the downtown area.
Gassler's comments came amid a visit by U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who also toured the adjoining Newberry Executive Center and stopped at DeFluri's Fine Chocolate and the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention & Visitors Center.
Gassler said exposure for her business still is a big challenge, but has found that teaming up with other merchants to market events and promotions "certainly pays off" though it might be a little more work.