Adventures on the Gorge named to top list

Photo courtesy of Adventures on the GorgeFayette County's Adventures on the Gorge has been named to Booking.com's "Book the U.S." list. Dave Arnold, marketing director for Adventures on the Gorge, said that he and the staff are most excited about receiving the international exposure that Amsterdam-based Booking.com provides.

Adventures on the Gorge, a Fayette County adventure-based resort, was recently named to Booking.com’s “Book the U.S.” list.

The list, assembled by experts from Booking.com, names the top unique places to stay in each of the 50 states and District of Columbia.

Adventures on the Gorge, called by Booking.com “the ultimate thrill seekers paradise,” is joined on the list by unique stays in places such as national landmarks, caves, houseboats, castles, treehouses and even the Empire State Building.

According to a recent study by Booking.com, 22 percent of Americans look for unique stays when booking travel, with that number increasing to 37 percent for global travelers.

That study also found that Americans prioritize experience-based travel and nearly half of American travelers have a travel bucket list.

Founded in Amsterdam in 1996, Booking.com has grown to be an international travel power player.

Both Booking.com’s website and mobile app are available in 43 languages and feature 1.6 million worldwide properties that cover 128,000 destinations in 228 countries.

Each day more than 1.5 million bookings are made through Booking.com.

“For years Booking.com has offered travelers access to every kind of incredible stay they could imagine and now we’re inspiring travelers to find and book the best in every state with this list,” said Todd Dunlap, managing director of the Americas at Booking.com, in a news release. “We’re excited to have Adventures on the Gorge on Booking.com’s ‘Book the U.S.’ List and hope visitors from all over the globe come to West Virginia and experience it for themselves.”

According to Dave Arnold, the marketing director for the company and one of the co-founders of one of its original member companies, it is that international exposure that most excited the staff at Adventures on the Gorge.

“Everybody in West Virginia knows that the Gorge is pretty special and that Gauley is some of the best whitewater in the United States, maybe some of the best in the world,” Arnold said. “We know that it’s a diamond, but it’s very nice to see somebody of that size also see it as a diamond.”

While honored to be the state’s top choice, Arnold said he was most excited that the state is being recognized for its unique nature and adventure possibilities.

Arnold said that if one of his competitors were chosen, such as The Greenbrier or Snowshoe Mountain, he would have been just as happy because any good exposure of the Mountain State to the outside world is a good thing.

“When you can send a positive image to the world that there’s something special here, that’s pretty important,” Arnold said.

While Adventures in the Gorge is known for its constant growth, Arnold said this year the company will center on polishing off the facilities and activities they currently have.

It was 10 years ago that four separate companies decided to join forces and create Adventures on the Gorge, with the resort being named one of the top six adventure resorts in the country by U.S. News & World Report last year.

According to Arnold, while this year may not be a big expansion year, Adventures of the Gorge will still be busy.

Arnold said that the facility will offer new camping opportunities, will finish off its conference center and is looking excitedly toward new water releases in the Dries section of the New River.

“We’re always investing in new things,” Arnold said.

The worldwide exposure to Adventures on the Gorge came at a perfect time as Arnold said the company was disappointed in the fact that proposed increases in the state’s budget to fund tourism marketing were cut.

Arnold said that there is excitement that being included in an international travel company’s top list will help in drawing in customers from further afield.

“It just takes a couple of people to come here and then they tell their friends and the whole world starts to change,” Arnold said.

To view the sites chosen nationally visit www.booking.com/booktheus#/.

Email: mcombs@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @mattcombsRH

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