HINTON – Tourists could be coming down the tracks for this town of about 2,500.
Once a bustling railroad town of about 5,000 situated along the New River just north of the confluence of the Greenbrier River, Hinton has seen its population dwindle by about half. Along with people, businesses and a tax base left after the railroads left when coal started a downward spiral.
The recent announcement that Amtrak is considering upping its thrice weekly Cardinal line to seven has town officials seeing hope for an industry which could be the region’s future.
“We feel it would definitely help promote our tourism,” Chris Meadows, Hinton’s town manager, said of the possibility.
Hinton is in the middle of revamping itself by opening unique stores, a theater and restaurants, including the outdoor shop Otter and Oak and eateries The Market on Court House Square and Chessie’s on the Square.
Kevin Hall, culinary manager for both restaurants, supports the expansion, since it would increase tourism, which would bring a number of new people into the restaurants’ doors.
“I favor anything that brings more people to the town,” he said…