WHEELING, W.Va. -- For travelers in search of tulips in bloom, the
season is about to begin in northern West Virginia.
For the second year, a Tip-Toe Through the Tulips package
welcomes motorcoach passengers to view the flowers of Waddington
The gardens, located on the grounds of the 1,650-acre Oglebay
Resort & Conference Center, feature a spring floral landscape
of tulips, pansies, daffodils and hyacinths.
Harvey Show Tours and the Wheeling Convention & Visitors
Bureau are offering the two-night itinerary, available from April
18 through May 9. The package includes accommodations at a
participating property, some meals and admission to attractions
such as Wheeling Downs Racetrack & Gaming Center.
Gaming activities at Wheeling Downs include greyhound racing,
video slots, poker, blackjack and keno. Among live entertainment
pickings, country music fans can attend Jamboree USA, the
second-oldest country music showcase in the U.S. after the Grand
Other tourist attractions include the 150-year-old Wheeling
suspension bridge, which tourism officials tout as the oldest
long-span suspension bridge in the world.
The Wheeling CVB will sponsor a 150th anniversary celebration in
November to honor the Ohio River span.
The program is an example of what Tom Zubruch of Harvey Show
Tours, a destination management company, called "partnered
packaging." Zubruch, along with a partnership of hotels,
attractions and Wheeling CVB officials, met to develop themed
packages that will encourage operators to bring motorcoach tours to
The involved tourism entities plan their programs and services
to reinforce the tour package theme. "You've got to come up with a
hook," he said. Zubruch admitted that the partnered-packaging
approach is "a lot of work," but he noted that the effort gives
visitors a new perspective on a destination, especially in the
Harvey Show Tours sponsors similar themed packages that travel
to Richmond, Va., and Pittsburgh, among other cities. Whereas the
first themed package brought seven coaches to Wheeling during tulip
time in 1998, 20 coaches already have booked for this season,
including some repeat visitors.
"If you do the job right," he said, "they'll come back."
Harvey Show Tours
Phone: (800) 888-0092
Fax: (304) 737-4005
Wheeling Convention & Visitors Bureau
Phone: (800) 828-3097