POINT PLEASANT — This week, when the American Queen docked for a visit, 330 people (four tour buses) departed the boat for a tour around Point Pleasant and Mason County.
This, according to Denny Bellamy, director of the Mason County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Bellamy spoke to Point Pleasant City Council this week about tourism in the city and the new Mason County Visitor’s Guide, which was recently printed.
Bellamy said he delivered 4,500 of the magazine-style guides printed to visitor’s centers throughout the state on the turnpike and interstates. He said the guides go fast, particularly in the northeastern panhandle. The guides are also a fundraiser for the Mason County Convention and Visitors Bureau and he expressed his gratitude to entities like the city, as well as businesses that supported it by buying advertising.
Bellamy said at this point, the American Queen is not expected to return this year. During their stay, visitors toured the floodwall murals, Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, Fort Randolph, the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center, and the Mothman Museum, among other attractions.
Bellamy also spoke about improvements to Fort Randolph, saying in the recent past, a new roof and two new cabins had been added. He said the fort is a first class facility that is starting to attract more re-enactors, with nearly 400 people coming to witness the Siege of Fort Randolph this year. Two years ago, the siege was filmed by the Smithsonian Institute and can be viewed online, Bellamy said.
Bellamy also spoke about the continued popularity of the Mothman, including the Mothman Museum, which is having a record year with more than 5,000 people visiting at one point. Bellamy credited the vision of Jeff Wamsley for the success of the museum and the September festival, which is planning some new events and attractions.
As Bellamy put it, whether or not you’re a fan of Mothman, “he” drives tourism in Point Pleasant.