The Vinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is working on several projects designed to boost tourism and increase the money local businesses receive from travelers, campers and other tourists. Recently, Vinton County Marketing Director Caleb Appleman was interviewed by The Telegram, at which time he shared some insights on upcoming projects.

With the spring season approaching, the CVB is expected to open its Hope School Welcome Center the first weekend in March. CVB Board member Sharon Conner, along with some volunteers, will be staffing the new location. The Welcome Center is located along State Route 93, north of McArthur, in Swan Township. The county is also planning to place a new cell tower near the center that will boost broadband Internet coverage.

Another project still under development is the Hotel McArthur renovation project. Appleman said talks are still underway about a pending property sale with owner Kate Matteson. The CVB hopes to buy and renovate the historic building (built in 1839) and renovate it. The plan would be to move the CVB office there, rent 13 rooms and lease a renovated restaurant and bar to an operator.

Appleman also explained the CVB has been working with a Columbus-based company interested in developing a large camping site just off Flatwood Road near Prattsville. He said the developers, doing business as Goshen Properties LLC, are hiring an engineer to help with the project and are awaiting soil test results. The CVB will give an update on the property when more information is available.

The developers have a website, Goshenplace.com, providing information on the project and The Telegram hopes to interview company officials soon.

In other news from the CVB, it appears as if the popular Midnight at Moonville event is back on track. Appleman stated the CVB had its monthly meeting last week and decided festival planning will begin next month.

The event was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, partly because of concerns about disinfecting the shuttle vehicles used to transport people from the parking lot to the tunnel. The event features plenty of good food, music and scary tales about the historic -- and allegedly haunted -- rail tunnel deep in the Zaleski State Forest. The event draws a good local crowd as well as numerous students from Ohio University.

Another upcoming event is the Wild Turkey Festival, set for the first week in May. Appleman said Committee members are indicating they are planning on having a festival this year, although an official announcement has yet to be made. The Committee is scheduled to update McArthur Village Council when Council meets on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m.