WILLIAMSON — The Mountaineer Hotel hosted a pair of free hospitality training sessions Wednesday, Nov. 6, in the 2nd Floor Ballroom of the historic hotel.

According to Mountaineer Hotel General Manager Carrie Digman, the event was designed for anyone in the area who interacts with guests, patients and tourists on a daily basis.

“As the tourism industry continues to grow in Mingo County, we have seen the need to network with other individuals in the other cities and all come together, but also learn from the same source so that there is one cohesive voice,” Digman said. “So that when people come here they experience the same thing from Matewan, to Gilbert, to Delbarton, to Williamson, anywhere in the area, and they will receive the same type of service and the same level of hospitality.”

Digman invited two hospitality industry professionals to lead the event in West Virginia natives Mike Hager and Judy Curran.

“Mike was born in White Sulphur Springs and has worked for many institutions, including the Greenbrier and Stonewall Resort, while Judy was born in Wheeling and also worked at Stonewall. Judy and Mike actually met while working at Stonewall for Benchmark Hospitality,” Digman said.

Hager is currently the superintendent at Hawks Nest State Park in Fayette County while Curran is semi-retired but worked as an HR professional for most of her life.

“Both of them have spent most of their professional careers here in the state, and have made a career out of the hospitality industry in the state of West Virginia, which is huge,” Digman said. “We see so many, especially millennials, moving out of the state to find work and those two are a living testament to say that you can find a good career and a professional career here in the state of West Virginia.”

The pair covered many different topics in the two sessions, including practices for delivering first-rate guest services which in turn will bring repeat customers and drive revenue, how to welcome guests to our area in a professional way, the importance of making our guests feel welcome and little tips to remind you of the steps to take in guest recovery.

The first session was underway at 9:30 a.m. and lasted until noon while the afternoon session started at 1 p.m. and wrapped up at 4:30 p.m.

Digman said they were extremely pleased with the turnout for the event, as they had more than 80 guests attend the two training sessions with people coming from businesses all over the area.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com