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Old 12-19-2011, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Morgantown, WV
385 posts, read 348,113 times
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Regarding the urbanity of Charleston versus North Central West Virginia, I don't think we're talking about which city is more busy at night, etc. As Chris was trying to point out, the population in that area lives in a dense corridor along the Kanawha River. There are no gaps, just towns back to back to back. It's similar to the configuration of the "Mon Valley" towns south of Pittsburgh. A similar corridor, albeit slightly less dense, newer, and more suburban in nature, exists between Charleston and Huntington. When you leave Charleston westbound on I-64, you're immediately in South Charleston, then Dunbar, then Institute, then Cross Lanes, then Nitro, then Scott Depot, then Teays Valley, then Hurricane, then Culloden, then Milton, then Barboursville, then Huntington. Along the river, it's completely contiguous. When I think "urban," I think a lot of people living in a concentrated area and that's what he's referring to. Along the interstate, it's almost contiguous, as there's no real rural space all the way from Charleston to Huntington. Get off any given exit and you'll find McMansion-filled subdivisions and strip malls. This is why I say Charleston and Huntington are part of the same general area.

In North Central West Virginia, we have urban clusters around Clarksburg, Fairmont, and Morgantown. They are growing together, but it's nowhere near a contiguous unit. The small towns in our area are either clustered around one of the three anchor cities or are in outlying areas. I do agree, however, that NCWV, while not contiguous, is one cohesive area. Taking into consideration commuting patterns and the like, Mon, Marion, and Harrison should be part of the same metropolitan area. As it stands, we have Mon and Preston in the Morgantown metro, Marion in the Fairmont micropolitan area, and Harrison, Taylor, and Doddridge in the Clarksburg micro area. The Fairmont and Clarksburg micros are part of the Fairmont-Clarksburg CSA.

Regarding Charleston's role in West Virginia, it's safe to say Charleston is both the governmental and financial capital of the state. It's also the largest city. However, I take issue with the notion that Charleston is the NYC of West Virginia. I think this is what CT is talking about when he refers to a "Charleston mentality," as I've encountered it as well. Yes, Charleston is the biggest thing West Virginia has. Yes, Charleston has a lot of influence over the entire state. But what I think most people from that area don't understand is, West Virginians don't look to Charleston the way Georgians look to Atlanta or New Yorkers look to New York...not even remotely. This can be attributed to West Virginia's odd shape, the fact that Charleston just isn't big enough to play that role, and the fact that there's little draw for residents across the state to relocate there (i.e. there's no melting pot of rural WVians who "made it" to Charleston). No one in Moorefield or Harrisville is going on a shopping excursion to Charleston unless they're going to be there for another reason. Similarly, no one in Romney or Moundsville looks to Charleston for culture as they can drive a few hours and be in a major city. Even as close as Point Pleasant, "the city" is Columbus. Growing up close to West Virginia with half my family living there, the only times they would mention Charleston were if they were talking about the state government or the state basketball tournament, etc. On a personal level, Charleston's sphere of influence is very small and I think that's something a lot of Charlestonians don't know. I hope I explained that well enough.

In regards to who is and isn't getting their fair share in this state, I have my opinions but I'm not engaging in that argument until someone comes forward with some real references that explicitly tell me that there is or isn't an actual disparity. I will say that I have seen a lot of resentment in the northern half of the state towards the southern half. I won't speak to whether it's justified or not, but I will say that that attitude probably originated back when coal was king.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by drs72 View Post
Regarding the urbanity of Charleston versus North Central West Virginia, I don't think we're talking about which city is more busy at night, etc. As Chris was trying to point out, the population in that area lives in a dense corridor along the Kanawha River. There are no gaps, just towns back to back to back. It's similar to the configuration of the "Mon Valley" towns south of Pittsburgh. A similar corridor, albeit slightly less dense, newer, and more suburban in nature, exists between Charleston and Huntington. When you leave Charleston westbound on I-64, you're immediately in South Charleston, then Dunbar, then Institute, then Cross Lanes, then Nitro, then Scott Depot, then Teays Valley, then Hurricane, then Culloden, then Milton, then Barboursville, then Huntington. Along the river, it's completely contiguous. When I think "urban," I think a lot of people living in a concentrated area and that's what he's referring to. Along the interstate, it's almost contiguous, as there's no real rural space all the way from Charleston to Huntington. Get off any given exit and you'll find McMansion-filled subdivisions and strip malls. This is why I say Charleston and Huntington are part of the same general area.

In North Central West Virginia, we have urban clusters around Clarksburg, Fairmont, and Morgantown. They are growing together, but it's nowhere near a contiguous unit. The small towns in our area are either clustered around one of the three anchor cities or are in outlying areas. I do agree, however, that NCWV, while not contiguous, is one cohesive area. Taking into consideration commuting patterns and the like, Mon, Marion, and Harrison should be part of the same metropolitan area. As it stands, we have Mon and Preston in the Morgantown metro, Marion in the Fairmont micropolitan area, and Harrison, Taylor, and Doddridge in the Clarksburg micro area. The Fairmont and Clarksburg micros are part of the Fairmont-Clarksburg CSA.

Regarding Charleston's role in West Virginia, it's safe to say Charleston is both the governmental and financial capital of the state. It's also the largest city. However, I take issue with the notion that Charleston is the NYC of West Virginia. I think this is what CT is talking about when he refers to a "Charleston mentality," as I've encountered it as well. Yes, Charleston is the biggest thing West Virginia has. Yes, Charleston has a lot of influence over the entire state. But what I think most people from that area don't understand is, West Virginians don't look to Charleston the way Georgians look to Atlanta or New Yorkers look to New York...not even remotely. This can be attributed to West Virginia's odd shape, the fact that Charleston just isn't big enough to play that role, and the fact that there's little draw for residents across the state to relocate there (i.e. there's no melting pot of rural WVians who "made it" to Charleston). No one in Moorefield or Harrisville is going on a shopping excursion to Charleston unless they're going to be there for another reason. Similarly, no one in Romney or Moundsville looks to Charleston for culture as they can drive a few hours and be in a major city. Even as close as Point Pleasant, "the city" is Columbus. Growing up close to West Virginia with half my family living there, the only times they would mention Charleston were if they were talking about the state government or the state basketball tournament, etc. On a personal level, Charleston's sphere of influence is very small and I think that's something a lot of Charlestonians don't know. I hope I explained that well enough.

In regards to who is and isn't getting their fair share in this state, I have my opinions but I'm not engaging in that argument until someone comes forward with some real references that explicitly tell me that there is or isn't an actual disparity. I will say that I have seen a lot of resentment in the northern half of the state towards the southern half. I won't speak to whether it's justified or not, but I will say that that attitude probably originated back when coal was king.
I agree that in terms of a contiguous group of small towns, the Kanawha Valley has that. But, we're talking about a whole state of small towns here. There is no way a town of 50,000 will hold any significant sway over anything more than 30 or 40 miles from it, unless it is basically in the middle of nowhere. It's not just the shape of the state, it is the size of the towns in the state and the proximity of the northern and eastern parts to real cities.
We don't like Pittsburgh here in Morgantown, but we do turn to it as a cultural and sometimes entertainment center, and sometimes for shopping.
We have more in common with Pittsburgh than we do with Charleston aside from the political connection.

There are other small states where that is not the case. New Mexico has a population similar to West Virginia's, and it is a much larger state geographically, but most of the state's population is clustered around
Albequerque and Santa Fe, so those towns do hold sway in the state. Nebraska is similarly situated. We just don't have a town in West Virginia that is large enough to significantly influence the rest of the state.

Charleston as the banking center? I suppose to a degree, but Wesbanco is a very large bank headquartered in Wheeling, and the controlling stockholders of Chareston's primary bank are from Wheeling (they also own a professional baseball franchise, numerous newspapers, a ski resort, and so forth). The main offices are in Charleston, but not the real control.

You could also throw Greene and to some extent Fayette counties in our mix here in NCWV. We have always had a lot of interaction with Greene, and Fayette is of growing importance with the completion of the Mon Fayette Expressway. I know folks from Uniontown who work here and vice versa. We even have an urban bus connection between Morgantown and Uniontown now. Granted, we'd have to share Fayette with the Pittsburgh Metro Area, but there is definitely significant overlap.

My point about the activity was concerning the urban feel. In some ways, our town has more of an urban feel than does Charleston. In others, that is not the case. The neighborhoods in Charleston are more urban in character. The town that once had by far the most urban feel in our state (Wheeling) has lost a most of it.

Last edited by CTMountaineer; 12-19-2011 at 11:46 PM..
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:01 AM
 
Location: Morgantown, WV
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Originally Posted by CTMountaineer View Post
I agree that in terms of a contiguous group of small towns, the Kanawha Valley has that. But, we're talking about a whole state of small towns here. There is no way a town of 50,000 will hold any significant sway over anything more than 30 or 40 miles from it, unless it is basically in the middle of nowhere. It's not just the shape of the state, it is the size of the towns in the state and the proximity of the northern and eastern parts to real cities.
We don't like Pittsburgh here in Morgantown, but we do turn to it as a cultural and sometimes entertainment center, and sometimes for shopping.
We have more in common with Pittsburgh than we do with Charleston aside from the political connection.

There are other small states where that is not the case. New Mexico has a population similar to West Virginia's, and it is a much larger state geographically, but most of the state's population is clustered around
Albequerque and Santa Fe, so those towns do hold sway in the state. Nebraska is similarly situated. We just don't have a town in West Virginia that is large enough to significantly influence the rest of the state.
I mean I basically said that in my third paragraph.
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Originally Posted by CTMountaineer View Post
We don't like Pittsburgh here in Morgantown
I call BS. One of the most apparent things I've noticed about people from this area is that, aside from UPitt (for obvious reasons), everyone around here loves Pittsburgh and can't get enough of Pittsburgh and can't stop talking about Pittsburgh... blah blah blah. Everybody goes crazy for the Steelers and the Pens and the Pirates and just loves how we're so conveniently an hour away. Frankly, it gets on my nerves. Pittsburgh's not that great and isn't really all that big. Don't get me wrong, it has lots of nice things but I don't particularly care for it. Just my opinion and an observation I've made coming from Maryland (I've talked to a lot of people who seem to have made the same observation as well). But I'll save this discussion for another time and place.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Clendenin, WV
3,477 posts, read 2,915,297 times
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Originally Posted by drs72 View Post
Regarding the urbanity of Charleston versus North Central West Virginia, I don't think we're talking about which city is more busy at night, etc. As Chris was trying to point out, the population in that area lives in a dense corridor along the Kanawha River. There are no gaps, just towns back to back to back. It's similar to the configuration of the "Mon Valley" towns south of Pittsburgh. A similar corridor, albeit slightly less dense, newer, and more suburban in nature, exists between Charleston and Huntington. When you leave Charleston westbound on I-64, you're immediately in South Charleston, then Dunbar, then Institute, then Cross Lanes, then Nitro, then Scott Depot, then Teays Valley, then Hurricane, then Culloden, then Milton, then Barboursville, then Huntington. Along the river, it's completely contiguous. When I think "urban," I think a lot of people living in a concentrated area and that's what he's referring to. Along the interstate, it's almost contiguous, as there's no real rural space all the way from Charleston to Huntington. Get off any given exit and you'll find McMansion-filled subdivisions and strip malls. This is why I say Charleston and Huntington are part of the same general area.

In North Central West Virginia, we have urban clusters around Clarksburg, Fairmont, and Morgantown. They are growing together, but it's nowhere near a contiguous unit. The small towns in our area are either clustered around one of the three anchor cities or are in outlying areas. I do agree, however, that NCWV, while not contiguous, is one cohesive area. Taking into consideration commuting patterns and the like, Mon, Marion, and Harrison should be part of the same metropolitan area. As it stands, we have Mon and Preston in the Morgantown metro, Marion in the Fairmont micropolitan area, and Harrison, Taylor, and Doddridge in the Clarksburg micro area. The Fairmont and Clarksburg micros are part of the Fairmont-Clarksburg CSA.

Regarding Charleston's role in West Virginia, it's safe to say Charleston is both the governmental and financial capital of the state. It's also the largest city. However, I take issue with the notion that Charleston is the NYC of West Virginia. I think this is what CT is talking about when he refers to a "Charleston mentality," as I've encountered it as well. Yes, Charleston is the biggest thing West Virginia has. Yes, Charleston has a lot of influence over the entire state. But what I think most people from that area don't understand is, West Virginians don't look to Charleston the way Georgians look to Atlanta or New Yorkers look to New York...not even remotely. This can be attributed to West Virginia's odd shape, the fact that Charleston just isn't big enough to play that role, and the fact that there's little draw for residents across the state to relocate there (i.e. there's no melting pot of rural WVians who "made it" to Charleston). No one in Moorefield or Harrisville is going on a shopping excursion to Charleston unless they're going to be there for another reason. Similarly, no one in Romney or Moundsville looks to Charleston for culture as they can drive a few hours and be in a major city. Even as close as Point Pleasant, "the city" is Columbus. Growing up close to West Virginia with half my family living there, the only times they would mention Charleston were if they were talking about the state government or the state basketball tournament, etc. On a personal level, Charleston's sphere of influence is very small and I think that's something a lot of Charlestonians don't know. I hope I explained that well enough.

In regards to who is and isn't getting their fair share in this state, I have my opinions but I'm not engaging in that argument until someone comes forward with some real references that explicitly tell me that there is or isn't an actual disparity. I will say that I have seen a lot of resentment in the northern half of the state towards the southern half. I won't speak to whether it's justified or not, but I will say that that attitude probably originated back when coal was king.
Very good post for starters.

Top Comment:
I think you are right, and I'd like to thank you for understanding my point. And it really is like that down here.

Middle Comment:
I understand what you and CT and saying here and I agree with that. The people of WV could care less about its capital as they are mostly interested in living near a hospital and Walmart. I do honestly believe however that Charleston is the true center of all business and commerce. With that being said, part of the reason might be that the state gets their dirty hands on any and every business deal. Part of the reason why businesses hate WV. Most of our state's major companies and institutions are right here, and they directly affect work in all of the state.

Bottom Comment:
Respectable comment, and you are perfectly fine with posting what you want, when you want.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Clendenin, WV
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Originally Posted by CTMountaineer View Post
I agree that in terms of a contiguous group of small towns, the Kanawha Valley has that. But, we're talking about a whole state of small towns here. There is no way a town of 50,000 will hold any significant sway over anything more than 30 or 40 miles from it, unless it is basically in the middle of nowhere. It's not just the shape of the state, it is the size of the towns in the state and the proximity of the northern and eastern parts to real cities.
We don't like Pittsburgh here in Morgantown, but we do turn to it as a cultural and sometimes entertainment center, and sometimes for shopping.
We have more in common with Pittsburgh than we do with Charleston aside from the political connection.

There are other small states where that is not the case. New Mexico has a population similar to West Virginia's, and it is a much larger state geographically, but most of the state's population is clustered around
Albequerque and Santa Fe, so those towns do hold sway in the state. Nebraska is similarly situated. We just don't have a town in West Virginia that is large enough to significantly influence the rest of the state.

Charleston as the banking center? I suppose to a degree, but Wesbanco is a very large bank headquartered in Wheeling, and the controlling stockholders of Chareston's primary bank are from Wheeling (they also own a professional baseball franchise, numerous newspapers, a ski resort, and so forth). The main offices are in Charleston, but not the real control.

You could also throw Greene and to some extent Fayette counties in our mix here in NCWV. We have always had a lot of interaction with Greene, and Fayette is of growing importance with the completion of the Mon Fayette Expressway. I know folks from Uniontown who work here and vice versa. We even have an urban bus connection between Morgantown and Uniontown now. Granted, we'd have to share Fayette with the Pittsburgh Metro Area, but there is definitely significant overlap.

My point about the activity was concerning the urban feel. In some ways, our town has more of an urban feel than does Charleston. In others, that is not the case. The neighborhoods in Charleston are more urban in character. The town that once had by far the most urban feel in our state (Wheeling) has lost a most of it.
Well, I'd agree to a degree. Charleston might not have social power over most of WV, but (30-40miles) please. There is nothing in a 40 mile radius of Charleston, other than Huntington. That area is who is influenced most by Charleston. The Clay, Boone, Mason, Roane, ect.. counties of the state need Charleston. Simply because they don't have anything else. But I will agree that someone from Hillsboro isn't coming to Charleston to shop or eat, unless they have business to do or some kind of family gathering.

But then again, Charleston is a business center for our state, and that is what I'm talking about. Yes Charleston is a banking capital of the state. Wheeling may have one bank, but Wesbanco isn't that large of a bank. WV's largest bank has its state HQ here which is BB&T. Suntrust, Chase, Fifth Third, Huntington, ect... have major offices here that run state operations. City and United are actually headquartered here in Charleston and are a huge part of banking in WV. Other financial institutions like Wells Fargo and Northwestern have major operations here in downtown. And this is just banking operations. Unions which seem to play a large role in our state are all located here. Healthcare is a large industry here that affects the whole state.

Back to urban talk, because I like this subject. Let me just point out again that you are looking at it all wrong. We aren't talking about one city with 50,000 poeple, but one greater city with 200,000 people. That might not hold gound in Florida, but here in WV that is a pretty large machine. The unit is all one, and works together as one city. We've been trying for years to switch to metro government and we should. NCWV is scattered and not one city. It may have almost as much in people as Charleston, but its not one city. It's three that are not connected at all. Charleston is also more urban in culture and character. Everything actually in Charleston city proper is actually much like a large city. Downtown is very dence, and has alot going for it right now. Business is booming, and new restaurants, stores, and offices open here all the time. Unlike what you may have seen 15 years ago, there is a large evening crowd now in downtown. I went to our newest sports bar the other night (Adelphia) and along with live jazz music, that place was packed. i'd say over 200 people and this was around 11PM. Right next door to Adelphia is Pies and Pints and they are always packed. Several other places including the Town Center are crowded now all year long and in the late evening. Sure we don't have clubs and lots of packed bars, but is that a bad thing??? Lord No its not a bad thing, it's a great thing! Along with the booming restaurant business here, Art galleries, unique local stores, and other types of urban culture are forming all through the city. There is alot of construction, and alot of new jobs and business. Times have changes for Charleston, and ddon't be suprized to see a population change here in the next few years.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Chriscross309 View Post
Well, I'd agree to a degree. Charleston might not have social power over most of WV, but (30-40miles) please. There is nothing in a 40 mile radius of Charleston, other than Huntington. That area is who is influenced most by Charleston. The Clay, Boone, Mason, Roane, ect.. counties of the state need Charleston. Simply because they don't have anything else. But I will agree that someone from Hillsboro isn't coming to Charleston to shop or eat, unless they have business to do or some kind of family gathering.

But then again, Charleston is a business center for our state, and that is what I'm talking about. Yes Charleston is a banking capital of the state. Wheeling may have one bank, but Wesbanco isn't that large of a bank. WV's largest bank has its state HQ here which is BB&T. Suntrust, Chase, Fifth Third, Huntington, ect... have major offices here that run state operations. City and United are actually headquartered here in Charleston and are a huge part of banking in WV. Other financial institutions like Wells Fargo and Northwestern have major operations here in downtown. And this is just banking operations. Unions which seem to play a large role in our state are all located here. Healthcare is a large industry here that affects the whole state.

Back to urban talk, because I like this subject. Let me just point out again that you are looking at it all wrong. We aren't talking about one city with 50,000 poeple, but one greater city with 200,000 people. That might not hold gound in Florida, but here in WV that is a pretty large machine. The unit is all one, and works together as one city. We've been trying for years to switch to metro government and we should. NCWV is scattered and not one city. It may have almost as much in people as Charleston, but its not one city. It's three that are not connected at all. Charleston is also more urban in culture and character. Everything actually in Charleston city proper is actually much like a large city. Downtown is very dence, and has alot going for it right now. Business is booming, and new restaurants, stores, and offices open here all the time. Unlike what you may have seen 15 years ago, there is a large evening crowd now in downtown. I went to our newest sports bar the other night (Adelphia) and along with live jazz music, that place was packed. i'd say over 200 people and this was around 11PM. Right next door to Adelphia is Pies and Pints and they are always packed. Several other places including the Town Center are crowded now all year long and in the late evening. Sure we don't have clubs and lots of packed bars, but is that a bad thing??? Lord No its not a bad thing, it's a great thing! Along with the booming restaurant business here, Art galleries, unique local stores, and other types of urban culture are forming all through the city. There is alot of construction, and alot of new jobs and business. Times have changes for Charleston, and ddon't be suprized to see a population change here in the next few years.
Chris, BB&T isn't a Charleston bank, or even a West Virginia bank. It is a tobacco road bank headquartered in North Carolina. United Bank is the largest West Virginia bank and it is headquartered in Charleston but it is not controlled by Charlestonians. Wesbanco is the second largest West Virginia bank and it is headquartered in Wheeling. Wheeling as a town has fallen on hard times during the past 3 decades, but there is more old money there than in the rest of the state combined. That money has been there for centuries. There are a number of banks that have large offices in Charleston, but nobody is going to confuse Charleston with Charlotte in that regard.

I have a hard time understanding your point that our since our three major cities aren't contiguous they are somehow less urban in character. There is greater interaction between regional municipalities here than you have in Kanawha. Go to bustling Dupont or Cross Lanes on a Wednesday evening and report back to us about what you see. I've done that, and what I saw were some folks pulling into and out of gas stations and convenience stores. A real urban center has continuous activities, vibrant nightlife, a good sports environment and a large educational presence. It is more than a collection of office buildings for state government and some staid old banks. We offer all those things in Morgantown along with a well developed mass transit system that operates with minimal assistance from state government. You can come to our town just about any night and find a number of activities and crowds of people taking part. If you're retired, you can take classes for next to nothing in cost. You have some of that in Charleston, but not to the degree we have it here. If you've spent any time in our town, you know all of our restaurants are generally busy. It's been a year since I was in the Charleston Town Center one evening, and it wasn't very busy then but it might have picked up in the mean time. I'll take your word for it.

I agree with you that things seem to be picking up in Charleston, and I'm glad to see that. I think it is Marcellus money bringing that about. We're getting the effects of that here too as is Wheeling.

Last edited by CTMountaineer; 12-20-2011 at 08:48 AM..
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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I mean I basically said that in my third paragraph.
I call BS. One of the most apparent things I've noticed about people from this area is that, aside from UPitt (for obvious reasons), everyone around here loves Pittsburgh and can't get enough of Pittsburgh and can't stop talking about Pittsburgh... blah blah blah. Everybody goes crazy for the Steelers and the Pens and the Pirates and just loves how we're so conveniently an hour away. Frankly, it gets on my nerves. Pittsburgh's not that great and isn't really all that big. Don't get me wrong, it has lots of nice things but I don't particularly care for it. Just my opinion and an observation I've made coming from Maryland (I've talked to a lot of people who seem to have made the same observation as well). But I'll save this discussion for another time and place.
I was kidding about not liking Pittsburgh, for obvious reasons. Go Mountaineers!

Pittsburgh is a nice town (aside from being home to the sPitt sPanters). It isn't as large by a long shot as NYC, or as big as Washington, but it is large enough to have all the big city amenities that can't be found anywhere in our state. It's biggest problem... like Morgantown it needs help with the highway system.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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You mean like taking millions off the tax rolls by buying up buildings all over Charleston for use by the State Government, thereby guaranteeing forever that the city will get zero tax dollars for those properties. Examples: The Diamond, One Davis Square, Coyle & Richardson Building, City Center West.

Where is that infusion of money? Is that why Charleston instituted a User Fee?
That's the downside of having a large public or non profit presence. It provides thousands of jobs, but the property aspect detracts from the tax base. You just can't have everything. I think the question you have to ask yourself is where would Charleston be without those thousands of state jobs providing money for people to pay mortgates, rents, and buy items in local establishments? How many property taxes for homes would go unpaid if not for state government?

And, wasn't it Charleston that pushed for some kind of law that guarantees that the head offices of all state agencies will be located there? Push to repeal that law, and some of those buildings could be put back on the commercial market. In this digital age, there is no logical reason that all the offices have to be there anyway. They could spread some of that tax money back around by putting some of them in Huntington, some in Wheeling, and some in Fairmont.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Clendenin, WV
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Originally Posted by CTMountaineer View Post
Chris, BB&T isn't a Charleston bank, or even a West Virginia bank. It is a tobacco road bank headquartered in North Carolina. United Bank is the largest West Virginia bank and it is headquartered in Charleston but it is not controlled by Charlestonians. Wesbanco is the second largest West Virginia bank and it is headquartered in Wheeling. Wheeling as a town has fallen on hard times during the past 3 decades, but there is more old money there than in the rest of the state combined. That money has been there for centuries. There are a number of banks that have large offices in Charleston, but nobody is going to confuse Charleston with Charlotte in that regard.

I have a hard time understanding your point that our since our three major cities aren't contiguous they are somehow less urban in character. There is greater interaction between regional municipalities here than you have in Kanawha. Go to bustling Dupont or Cross Lanes on a Wednesday evening and report back to us about what you see. I've done that, and what I saw were some folks pulling into and out of gas stations and convenience stores. A real urban center has continuous activities, vibrant nightlife, a good sports environment and a large educational presence. It is more than a collection of office buildings for state government and some staid old banks. We offer all those things in Morgantown along with a well developed mass transit system that operates with minimal assistance from state government. You can come to our town just about any night and find a number of activities and crowds of people taking part. If you're retired, you can take classes for next to nothing in cost. You have some of that in Charleston, but not to the degree we have it here. If you've spent any time in our town, you know all of our restaurants are generally busy. It's been a year since I was in the Charleston Town Center one evening, and it wasn't very busy then but it might have picked up in the mean time. I'll take your word for it.

I agree with you that things seem to be picking up in Charleston, and I'm glad to see that. I think it is Marcellus money bringing that about. We're getting the effects of that here too as is Wheeling.
We have all the stuff you mentioned in your middle comment if not more here. You act like this place is just good for basic needs. Every night there is either a sporting event, concert, convention, or play taking place at any one of our downtown venues. Our streets are packed with people shopping, dinning, or just enjoying an evening stroll. In Morgantown you have drunk students yelling at older folks, and throwing beer cans at things. Trust me I know, those USED to be my friends! Here you can actually enjoy am evening at anyone of our top restaurants and not have to look out for stupid college students. The Clay Center has a good attendance, and features different international artists all the time. The dozen or so art galleries in downtown and Bridge Road have a steady stream of visitation. And you also forget that we have 2 Universities in this town. Morgantown has some stuff, but its not alot, and its not as much as Charleston. Why don't you come down and visit awhile. take in some of the sights, attractions, shopping, dining, and then you might see what I'm talking about. Charleston is on a role right now, and its future looks really good.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Clendenin, WV
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Originally Posted by CTMountaineer View Post
Chris, BB&T isn't a Charleston bank, or even a West Virginia bank. It is a tobacco road bank headquartered in North Carolina. United Bank is the largest West Virginia bank and it is headquartered in Charleston but it is not controlled by Charlestonians. Wesbanco is the second largest West Virginia bank and it is headquartered in Wheeling. Wheeling as a town has fallen on hard times during the past 3 decades, but there is more old money there than in the rest of the state combined. That money has been there for centuries. There are a number of banks that have large offices in Charleston, but nobody is going to confuse Charleston with Charlotte in that regard.

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I said that BB&T's WV HQ was here, and it is the largest bank in WV. United is the largest WV owned bank and it is completely ran here. City National is ran here. Suntrust, Chase, and Fifth Third have their WV offices here, and there is many more banks that play a key role here. I'm not saying it's Charlotte, but it is the center of all financial dealings here in West Virginia. Of course banking is one thing, don't forget about insurance, stock brokers, accounting firms, and the millions of law firms that are here. I guess you can say that Charleston is also the state's insurance and law capital aswell.
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