Nearly two weeks after opening for its 54th season, the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia hosted Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce members and their families for Business After Hours Thursday evening.
Leslie Baker, director of operations for the mine complex, said she and her staff were pleased to host area business leaders so early in the new season.
BRCCC Information Director Joe Guffy explained Business After Hours not only gives chamber members a chance to network with each other, but also to learn about area businesses. Knowledge of the local businesses enables chamber members to promote and suggest activities to guests and tourists, Guffy added.
Also, some chamber members may not have been to the mine and museum in several years and After Hours gives them a chance to get reacquainted with the attraction, which is a “big asset to the community,” he said.
Baker says some people don’t always take advantage of attractions and activities in their backyard and Thursday’s event gave chamber members and their families a chance to experience the underground tour and many of the museum exhibits, including the newest one, “Liberty on the Border.”
Although the new season just began, crews are working to spruce up the grounds in preparation to host many tourists this summer. Baker added that she is especially looking forward to seeing Boy Scouts and their families at the mine in July. While people are visiting the mine, there are plenty of gifts to take home, including two new lines of coal jewelry, which Baker says have been popular, or just a simple lump of coal.
“They always want to take home a piece of Beckley,” Baker commented about the popularity of coal gifts.
Baker also said the Exhibition Coal Mine and Tamarack are sometimes the only attractions in the Beckley area tourists get to experience.
“We really see ourselves as a part of Beckley and we want to create as positive of an experience as we can,” she said.
The mine is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Nov. 1. For further information visit www.beckley.org or to make tour reservations call 304-256-1747.
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