The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, which tracks the number of people rafting in the state each month, recently released its 2016 commercial rafting numbers. The numbers show 100,312 people rafted the New and Gauly rivers last year, which is down from the almost 105,000 total rafters from 2015.
“Well we were ahead in our advance bookings going into the season, but then on June 23th and 24th, we had a thousand storms. Although it didn’t affect us directly here, it absolutely affected our bookings,” President and CEO of Adventures on the Gorge, Dave Hartvigsen, commented.
The floods that killed over 20 people and devastated over 1,000 homes, definitely deterred out-of-state tourists from returning to the popular vacation destination. Four thousand people may sound like a big loss, but considering the severity of the floods that occurred last June, the industry was expecting a much bigger hit. Thankfully, those tourists seem to be coming back for the adrenaline-filled rafting season this year.
“We’re up again, and our bookings are looking really good! So, we’re expecting an all-time record year for us as a company,” Hartvigsen said.
West Virginia is hoping that 2017 will bring its highest numbers of tourists and rafters.