The countywide impact of our tourism industry was on full display this past weekend as we welcomed several significant events to our area.
Events such as DockDogs at the Monongahela Aquatorium, Daniel Tiger Weekend at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, the National Road Festival, the National Pike Steam, Gas & Horse Association Spring Show and the home opener of the Washington Wild Things all drew thousands of visitors to Washington County to appreciate our history and experience great entertainment.
And this approaching weekend we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Meadows Casino, Washington County’s leading tourist attraction, which itself attracts millions of visitors to our county annually.
While we are proud of these events and welcome the visitors they attract to our county, we should also reflect upon the economic importance of the tourism industry in our region. According to a recent report prepared for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, direct visitor spending in Washington County’s tourism industry is approximately $760 million per year, supporting nearly 6,000 jobs and generating over $152 million in federal and state tax revenues. This impact continues to demonstrate that tourism is a major economic driver for our county as well as one of its largest industries.
As the tourism season in our area progresses, we will welcome McSummerFest, the All-Clad Factory Outlet Sale, the “Rockin’ on the Mon!” concert series, the DICK’s Sporting Goods PONY League World Series, The Adios, Corks and Kegs, the Washington County Agricultural Fair, the West Alexander Fair other cultural, historical and entertainment events for our residents and visitors to enjoy. We welcome these guests not only to “Share the Energy” of our great county, but also for the jobs and businesses they support.
Jeff M. Kotula
Kotula is the president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency.