There are currently 40 Convention and Visitors Bureaus in the state of West Virginia all with one main goal, promoting their communities.

In June, 2014, the Ripley CVB was created. The CVB is funded by the local hotel/motel tax. Of this type of tax, three percent goes toward the city and the other three percent goes to the CVB to use as it sees fit to promote the town at no charge.

Mike Ruben and Carson Broom with the Ripley CVB are working hard to promote Ripley as they discussed during a recent Rotary meeting.

Broom, a co-op student from Ripley High School who has remained with the CVB following his graduation, has created visitor’s guides and most recently collaborated with Ruben to develop and implement a video for the promotion of the town.

“We print 5,000 visitor’s guides per year and have at least six to 10 requests per week for them from individuals or groups wanting to come to Ripley,” Ruben said. “We decided to use Broom’s expertise, while he is still with us, to develop a video as well.”

Broom was able to put his skills to work to create a three-minute promotional video of Ripley using local residents and attractions. The video, which took two months to create, has received over 37,000 views and 700 plus shares in less than one month on Facebook.

“I take pride in where I’m from,” Carson added. “I was happy to work with the community to make this video.”

“It makes people feel good about their hometown of Ripley,” Ruben said. “It is the job of the CVB to put heads in beds and feet on the street and I feel that is exactly what this video will do.”

Other items discussed:

• Ruben noted that “The Last Gallows” aired on Monday, Jan. 21 on WV Public Television.

• Melissa Kerns, president of the Ripley Rotary, encouraged member to brain storm ideas to help raise Rotary funds.

• Kerns also suggested working on ways or ideas to get more items for the teenagers of the Adopt-A-Family program.

• Dick Ledford invited the group to the Critter Dinner at Parchment Valley Conference Center at 6 p.m. on April 26. He noted there is no charge; however, it is a fundraiser for the Jackson County Hunting Heroes organization so all donations are welcomed.

• It was mentioned that speakers are needed for the Rotary meetings in February.

• Cam Matheny shared that he and Bobbi Ferrell have been invited to participate in the 2019 Class of Leadership West Virginia.