BEALLSVILLE, Ohio - As hundreds of coal miners and their families trickled into the parking lot of the Century Mine main office Tuesday, company officials described the short notice and subsequent effort that went into making Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's visit happen.
According to Robert Murray Jr., vice president of marketing and sales and external affairs of Murray Energy Corp., the effort was "massive" with many extra hours put into planning and organizing.
"We coordinated with the Romney campaign after they contacted us and expressed their interest," Murray said. "They asked us if they could stop here along the campaign trail, we did not solicit them, but we wanted to make it happen once we heard their interest."
Murray said the staff worked for about a week - short notice in terms of hosting such a large event - and followed the lead of Romney's team.
However, Murray said, once they had a general idea for how the event would happen, suggestions were made to help it run smoothly.
"They laid out exactly what they wanted, and then we added our suggestions," he said.
Murray said Romney's interest in coming so far off the beaten path - more than 10 miles to the closest major highway - shows that he understands the importance of coal to the nation's future.
Romney "understands the importance of low-cost, reliable energy and the importance it plays not only to the Ohio Valley, but to America," Murray said. "He also understands coal provides thousands of high-paying jobs, some of the best-paying jobs in this area, and we hope his visit strengthens that view."