As Coal Declines, Three Times the Jobs in WV Tourism - Always Free WV

As Coal Declines, Three Times the Jobs in WV Tourism

 In Southern WV, people come to ride ATV’s, stay for the history of Hatfields and McCoys and mine wars.

Hands counting money on dark background. source Sharon McCutcheon via unsplash

There are three times as many tourism jobs as coal mining jobs in WV today. While the remaining coal jobs pay well, competition from other forms of energy and increasing mechanization are causing a general decline in opportunity for coal miners.

Tourism, however, is booming and offers opportunities for Mountaineers to start a small business. In Mingo County, where there are less than half the miners of 30 years ago, the town of Matewan is reinventing itself with new small restaurants including Mexican and Greek food.

The Hatfield and McCoy ATV trails are a big draw in the region. So is the history of the WV Mine Wars.

WV Public Radio’s Jessica Lily and Eric Douglas talked with some tourists and business owners recently about the changes the area is going through.