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Heritage Port Filled With Wine and Jazz

August 25, 2013

WHEELING — Washington, Pa., resident Tom Conley was enjoying not only his wine, but the scenery at Heritage Port Saturday....

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Aug-26-13 6:31 PM

JUSA is still iconic. JITH has kept the OV viable as a C&W destination. But will the non profits ever relinquish control of the Capital for the good of the City? It looks like they have introduced a City sales tax to maintain their salaries despite losses-poor performance- at their venues. Clearly @ 50% of normal attendance the Hockey Team is not working. Are we all to pay sales tax to sustain the failing venues?

btw: The Capitol was available free. It was not necessary to borrow money to purchase the building. The owners wanted out.

The Federal seed and loan money are no longer available for JUSA. The opportunity is probably gone.

WD may be up for sale. It may be a superior venue for a renewed Nashville-like JUSA: a self contained campus w/ parking and hotel.

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Aug-26-13 6:19 PM

hef: The NR publisher sits on the Board of WNHAC who wanted to control the Capitol and do indirectly . WNHAC wanted- and want- to appear to have done something with the 10s of millions in Byrd money they have squandered on Downtown. In fact Downtown is much worse off than prior to the millions spent by WNHAC. Many private businesses were run off ;including JUSA. The City is desolate now. And we all paid for this. The paper is a party to the squandering. Do not expect them to be critical or even investigate.

Many many jobs could have- and should have- been created with the 100 million or so Byrd pumped in.

No one has been held accountable for the squandering and failures. Why?

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Aug-26-13 2:08 PM

every event in wheeling has to do with booze. where were all the dui checkpoints? none. not a one.

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Aug-26-13 2:01 PM

Triton: Understand the non profit staff are threatened by private investment and control. Their jobs depend on them controlling Downtown and keeping it somewhat depressed. They are not necessary with a robust private economy. If one is not sick a "doctor" is not necessary.

I can assure you the Capitol/JUSA proposal was real and could have saved the show and meaningful Downtown tourism.

The festivals do not bring in overnight tourists in the way JUSA did and JITH does.

When the drilling is over. There will be a huge inventory of vacant rooms in the area.

I am concerned the new City sales tax may be a way to subsidize the failing Civic Center and Capitol to maintain the non profit salaries of those who operate them. That would be most unfair and deceptive to the public.

Yes JITH demonstrates a continuing very strong regional market for C&W. It brings millions of dollars into the local economy every year; as did JUSA.

The Capitol is not doing well with just a few show

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Aug-26-13 11:23 AM

I wish there were two ticket fees for the Wine & Jazz festival. Not everyone who wants to pay $20 for wine samples that one is not drinking?

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Aug-26-13 9:14 AM

Well the story of the Jamboree's demise, if true, would make a great story, perhaps the greatest story never told by this newspaper. But the article was about something that did happen, the Wine and Jazz festival which brought people out and allowed area/regional wine makers to show their poducts. So thats a good thing, one of the many good things that does happen in Wheeling. Clearly JITH shows that this area still has valid C&W roots and draw so the story of why Jambo had to go is a good one I wish someone would tell the rest of us. Wheeling is awash in nonprofit personal dreams paid for by taxpayer money, and the Capitol seems to be yet another one. But Kudos to the people who brought the festival in and all of the things we enjoy at the port. There IS a lot happening in Wheeling but unfortunately shoping and working are not on that list.

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Aug-26-13 12:40 AM

hef: yes I lived it. I can tell you first hand the City and associated non profits are a vicious anti private business group. JUSA was an icon of the C&W world. The former owners-AM&FM- were willing to give the building to us along with the show. At the time seed money was available through Marshall along with 10 million in a Fed backed loan for building improvements and operations. The building would have been viewed as equity in the deal. All of this required City sponsorship; Not money; just sponsorship. They refused to cooperate. WNHAC wanted control of the building and rid of C&W music. They got their way. Even the Chamber of Commerce turned on us.We were "black balled" by a conspiracy to keep the Capitol in away from private ownership and under the control of the non profits

I can tell you we had three cable networks very interested in the pilot and Ford was ready to sponsor a very slick TV production; to be created by the Lionel Cartwright Group of Na

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Aug-25-13 11:39 PM

atoddh: It sounds as if you have the full story on why the music died, and I appreciate your telling the story. I don't think the general public is aware of all of this information.

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Aug-25-13 7:13 PM

hef: in commercial television the money is in the sale of the show to sponsors. The studio audience fees is just a small portion of the income. We had Ford trucks on board. The pilot was planned by a Nashville group. The non profits-WNHAC- wanted and still want to control everything Downtown. They killed the deal to get the Capitol. In doing so they ruined the last chance for any major regional Downtown tourism and potential music related business development. The non profit fell very threatened by for profit operators. They need to protect their tax supported jobs. They have made a huge expensive mess Downtown; squandered tens of millions.

JUSA was ideal to convert to television for commercial C&W cable distribution.

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Aug-25-13 4:55 PM

Hef, you forgot Hawkshaw Hawkens!

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Aug-25-13 4:17 PM

hef: The proposal involved converting the show for television.Sponsors were on board ,a Nashville producer,as was federal loan money. City cooperation was necessary for the loan. They refused. The non profits wanted control and eventually got it.

The sale of the TV show to C&W Networks was the main income ;not ticket sales. Remember this was the way JUSA started :as a radio program.

The non profits have taken over control of Downtown;causing its downfall.

PS: fyi record companies encourage TV appearances by artists to gain exposure and promote recording sales. They were most willing to cooperate. Wheeling said "no thanks; go away." btw: the Capitol was being given away free for this venture.

I know all about this as I was involved and made the proposals to the City and related non profits. We were turned away.

This was a huge huge error.

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Aug-25-13 1:47 PM

@atoddH; It would have been extremely nice if the Jamboree had continued but without WWVA continuing with the country music format, and the promotion of the show, the show was doomed. Doc Williams told me that although the local performers appeared gratis, the cost of the big name stars was prohibitive and the Capitol didn't have the seating to generate the income. I remember well the days the Jamboree was at the Virginia Theatre featuring Stoney Cooper and Wilma Lee, Big Slim the Lonesome Cowboy, Doc Williams and the Border Riders, Smokey Bleecher and so many others whose names I cannot remember. I heard that Stoney Cooper’s daughter is on a Television program from Nashville. Don’t we all wish that Wheeling could return to something like it was but we need the jobs to make that happen.

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Aug-25-13 12:27 PM

ugly: Note the Victorian House Tours and the Church Tours were supported by JUSA. When the Show ended so did the tours. The Show could have been updated and continued.

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Aug-25-13 12:25 PM

The centerpiece of Downtown tourism was JUSA for decades: a radio production with a studio audience and tour operation. The City turned away an opportunity to revive the show and tour operation. These festivals would have worked very well with a renewed JUSA for out of town tourism. That is weekend hotel packages and bus tours. JUSA brought millions into the City. It was an icon of C&W music. A huge error was made by the City.

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Aug-25-13 12:20 PM

The Church is stunning; built by the German-Catholic population of 19th Century Center Wheeling. It was almost taken down. The Mount was even more of a relic. It was demolished.

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Aug-25-13 12:17 PM

All these events are very nice but are they(1.) creating many jobs(2.) and reversing the decline in population? Are they true "economic development." Value added.

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Aug-25-13 3:04 AM

Anytime you get people out and doing things it's good. I was thru Wheeling on my motorcycle Saturday. there was a festival at the heritage port/ wine and jazz. and a festival at River City with rock music. I chose to ride thru center and south Wheeling and enjoy the beautiful buildings. I noticed major facade work on Saint Alphonse Church..what a beautiful building. It's truly amazing inside.

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