It’s difficult to gauge economic development.
The “if you build it, they will come” philosophy for government or private infrastructure development is usually a safe bet. Especially when you’re talking about drawing more than 40,000 visitors to a particular spot for a week.
Numbers released earlier this week regarding the Boy Scout Jamboree at Summit Bechtel Reserve near Oak Hill have supported the short-term success of the development. The Associated Press reported that construction of the permanent home for the national Jamboree pumped nearly $170 million in income into southern West Virginia over the past four years.
A report by SYNEVA Economics of Asheville, N.C., found that $121 million went directly into the community, and another $48 million indirectly benefited the community through construction, supporting 848 jobs.
On top of that, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Monday that the project has generated $45.1 million in tax revenues between 2010 and 2013, with some $15.8 million for state and local governments.
That’s just the beginning, state officials believe.
Before the Boy Scouts of America chose Fayette County as the permanent home from the 80 sites in 28 states under consideration, the organization held its annual Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. But it was always a temporary site in nature, which required dismantling and rebuilding of structures every four years.
Summit Bechtel is expected to be open year-round and available for Scouting events, retreats and conferences.
Tomblin says the numbers will continue to grow as those within the Scouting community tell friends and family about their experiences in West Virginia.
“Hopefully, the word of mouth resonates and they go home and say, ‘Wow, we didn’t think of West Virginia’ as a place to go,” Tomblin said earlier this week.
And then there’s the world Jamboree scheduled for 2019, which officials are already predicting will draw more than 80,000 Scouts from around the world and will mark the first time the event will be held in the United States. Not only will there be much more construction and work to prepare the 10,000-acre site for twice the number of visitors, but the impact on the supporting businesses — gas stations, hotels, grocery stores, restaurants — will be astronomical.
We know how much Summit Bechtel has meant to the state so far. This isn’t a temporary influx of dollars in our economy. It is a solid foundation that will foster growth and even more development. We know that visitors from near and far will carry home stories of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia as they experience the scenic beauty and outdoor recreation like never before over the next 10 days.
And we know West Virginia will not be the nation’s “best-kept secret” for much longer.
It’s difficult to gauge economic development.
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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