CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — September means the start of the Gauley River whitewater season as thrillseekers await a roller coaster of rapids.
It was a different type of water — tainted tap water — that dominated talk earlier in the year in the state’s tourism industry.
As southern West Virginia businesses welcome visitors for the two-month Gauley season that starts Friday, they’re looking for a solid end to a tourism season that for a time simmered in the stigma of a chemical spill in Charleston.
While the direct impact on tourism from the January spill along the Elk River in Charleston may never be known, what is known is that businesses survived and have moved on.
State Tourism Commission member Dave Arnold says without question the spill had some effect.