Visitors to Jefferson County Share Their Experiences
Posted on 05/15/2013 by cvb
Travel Trends: Where Do You Fit In?
In a constantly changing travel world, it’s interesting to see how your personal travel planning compares to national and international trends. Here’s the latest research, compliments of the United States Travel Association (USTA).
Relaxation and reconnecting with family and friends:
• Travelers are placing premiums on experiences that provide great memories.
• Travelers want to learn something on their vacation and share secret discoveries with family and friends.
Reason for travel and types of trips:
• Average traveler will take 2 week-long vacations and 3 getaway weekends
• Family Vacations are on the rise—70% in 2011, up from 45% in 2010
• 32% plan a getaway where family and friend have gone
• 31% plan a getaway because of diversity of activities
• 42% go to the beach or lake
• 33% shop
• 23% attend family reunions
• 22% enjoy learning activities
• 20% go to waterparks/campgrounds
• 73% agree that “Life has become too complicated.”
• 76% agree that “I need new ways to reduce my stress.”
• 86% agree that travel increases their level of happiness and provides positive feelings.
• 82% say travel builds or strengthens their relations with family and friends.
• Also, Girlfriend Getaways and Mancations heat up while Staycations cool down.
Discounts and packaging:
• Travelers want value and bragging rights that they got a deal. Living Social Phenomenon: Price discount under 10% will have almost no impact. 20% is the tipping point.
• Discounts are not created equal. Of 13 types of discounts, $50 gas card joins “price discounts as most popular.”
Other popular discounts:
• One night stay
• 2 for 1 deals
• $50 dining card
• Free Upgrades
• Packaged Deals
• Packaging and associated savings will drive purchasing.
• 40% said getting a good deal on hotels, rental cars, flights, etc. is important when planning a getaway.
• Travelers care about choice, transparency and convenience.
Gateways and centerpieces:
• Hub and Spoke concept-- Nine in ten travelers visit more than one destination on a trip.
• Travelers think in hours—not in miles.
Vacation aspirations of travelers:
• Atmosphere—Hip, Historic... Almost Heaven
• Great for walking or strolling
• Great for scenic drive
• Not too crowded
• Interesting towns/villages
• Interesting Dining-particular local food/wine
• Exciting Entertainment & Culture—Music, Performing Arts
• Good for families
• Outdoor recreation
• Good for Couples
• Sporting events
Planning Cycle for overnight trips:
• 6 months or more 18% (slightly up)
• 3-6 months 17% down from 21%
• 2 months 22% same
• 1 month or less 43%
• 40% planned trips using mobile devices
• 60% downloaded Apps while traveling
• 52% researched restaurants
• 46% read about destinations
Posted on 02/16/2013 by cvb
How Many Opera Houses Is 2 Many?
Definitely not two! In Jefferson County, there’s one in Charles Town and one in Shepherdstown—historic, beautiful opera houses that between them serve up live theatre, live music, films, and opera and ballet on the big screen.
The New Opera House in Charles Town—also known as the Old Opera House, The Opera House or simply OOH—is a restored theater, designed by T.A. Mullett of Washington, DC, son of his more famous father, architect Alfred B. Mullett, whose architectural styles ranged from Renaissance to Gothic to Romanesque. It opened in 1911, bringing minstrel shows, vaudeville, touring theater groups, circuses and even Wild West shows to Charles Town. By the 1930s, a projection machine was installed, but the theater closed in 1948.
Since re-opening, things have gotten a whole lot more sedate. It’s a community-supported performance space. This year, OOH is featuring a collection of comedies, thrillers and even a musical—Shrek, the Musical (www.oldoperahouse.org/jos/index.php).
Tickets are at a premium. The theatre is enthusiastically supported within this vibrant arts community and among outside visitors who’ve discovered just how special this place is—intimate, with not a single bad seat among the 328 available, including a classic balcony space. Not surprisingly, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Opera House in Shepherdstown was built in 1909, the same year that one of the earliest motion picture projectors in America was installed. The Opera House ran nightly, often showing as many as three different films a week. In 1928 it became the first motion picture theatre in West Virginia with sound, enabling it to show the newfangled “talkies.”
The two opera houses function very differently—Charles Town’s presents state-of-the-art live theater, and Shepherdstown’s continues a legacy of independent films, mixed creatively with other events.
The space is small and cozy—fewer than 200 seats—but a dance floor is wildly popular, especially during “Rockin’ the Opera House” special performances by regional bands and featured artists.
The Opera House stands out among the many architecturally significant buildings on Shepherdstown’s four-block downtown. Its beauty and simplicity are in contrast to more complicated architectural styles. But there’s nothing simple about the wide range of events that take place here.
Funk, modern and jazz bands; sophisticated opera and ballet; and cutting-edge films make this a remarkable addition to what’s considered a community with way more culture than you’d expect of a small town in West Virginia. It’s way beyond ordinary.
Posted on 02/16/2013 by cvb
Getting In & Out of Jefferson County Is Now a Whole Lot Easier!
With the recent opening of a 5-mile stretch of Route 9 connecting Virginia to West Virginia across the Shenandoah River, getting to the many historic, cultural and recreational attractions in Jefferson County is easier and faster. The new road cuts 10 to 15 minutes off a typical drive from Dulles to Charles Town. And from there, the towns of Harpers Ferry, Shepherdstown, Bolivar and Ranson are just minutes away.
For residents, the new bridge means a better, safer commute to Northern Virginia and Washington, and for the county, a connection to economic development. The “Shenandoah River Bridge,” which took 3 years to construct, was the last section to be completed of the almost 16-mile four-lane highway that connects the WV/Virginia state line to Martinsburg and I-81. The road had been named a priority highway project as far back as the late 1970s.
Here are the particulars: The “Shenandoah River Bridge” is 1,650 feet long; stands 200 feet above the river; cost approximately $42 million; and has over 13 million pounds of reinforced steel and 7,700 cubic yards of concrete. The bridge is held together by more than 960,000 bolts and held up by four massive Y-shaped piers that range in height from 43 feet to 112 feet.
If you haven’t been across the new bridge, it’s worth the drive.
Source: examiner.com | Bob O'Connor
Posted on 02/16/2013 by cvb
Shepherdstown, WV One of the 15 Coolest Small Towns in America!
After 924 nominations, 96,605 votes and 2,415 comments, Budget Travel's list of the 2013 coolest small towns in America has been narrowed to 15—and Shepherdstown, West Virginia is on the list! Please cast your vote once a day through February 15th and make Shepherdstown #1.
You might say all roads lead to West Virginia's oldest town, which celebrated its 250th birthday in 2012: The Potomac River, the C&O Canal, and the Appalachian Trail all pass through this Revolutionary War-era town in the lower Shenandoah Valley. But look behind those preserved 18th-century brick facades for surprisingly cool signs of life—this place is by no means a living museum. Housed in a Confederate hospital, the Mecklenburg Inn is known for its live bluegrass music and was named one of the best bars in America by Esquire. And the sophisticated Bistro 112 is housed in an 1830s brick building that once served as the town's haberdasher. The Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University stages productions from renowned playwrights like Neil LaBute, David Mamet, and Sam Shepard.
Posted on 02/05/2013 by cvb