RIPLEY - Tying up loose ends are part of the necessary duties of a municipality going from the previous year into a new one. It serves as a means to discuss what is wanted and so those planning events will know what is going on in the future.

In a recent interview, Mayor Carolyn Rader spoke of upcoming plans for the City of Ripley. Foremost in the mayor’s mind and those working with her is attracting businesses. However, she stated that while she is enthusiastic about incoming business she was also sad to see an established business that has been the center of many community events close.

“We really want new businesses here and we’re excited about new things coming here to Ripley,” said Rader, “Sadly we are going to miss McCoy’s. They have been here forever. I’d say probably around 40 years. Mr. (John Paul) McCoy has said that he is ready to start his new life. For me, it will be a sad day if and when they sign on the dotted line.”

The mayor stated that her understanding is that McCoy’s Conference Center will be the new home of Sheetz. Also according to Rader, that hinges on if all of the puzzle pieces fit together with Sheetz coming in.
To draw visitors to the city and provide information about what the City has to offer, a Ripley Convention Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) is in place.

“We are excited about the Ripley convention visitor’s bureau. Right now its off and running”, informed Rader, “We have decided that since we have had all of the hotel/ motel tax in past years we gave back that 50% and it’s a formula that goes by the West Virginia Code. They send us their 6% which they have collected from tourists, traveling people then we keep 50% and send them back 50%.” She further said, “We have a lot of people coming to our meetings representing the Ministerial Association, commerce, the development authority and local businesses. We have a representative from the hotel/motel industry and the head of the new bed and breakfast. We have all kinds of representations on our board”.

On a very sweet note the West Virginia Chocolate Festival is nearing just in time for Easter. The annual event has become very popular with residents as well as out of town visitors. Consequently the festival and has grown bigger with each passing year. 

Said Rader, “The Chocolate Festival is the Saturday before Palm Sunday in April. The dates are determined by the date that Easter falls on.”

According to Rader, this year’s festival is scheduled for April 12, 2014 and the venue for the festival would be at the Armory in Millwood.