Attorney General Morrisey: Tourism Law Important for Economic Development

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Tuesday in light of having received notice of an impending lawsuit, his office will support and defend the constitutionality of a new tourism law that will help facilitate completion of the Hill Top Hotel project in Harpers Ferry.

   The law in question permits the creation of tourism development districts in any of the state’s municipalities with a population of 2,000 or less, and it delegates authority to the West Virginia Tourism Office to create those districts.

    “We have said before that this tourism law is important, and we’re proud to support it,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “I believed before and I believe now that the mayor is wasting time and money on this lawsuit. The statute clearly passes constitutional muster, and we look forward to a quick resolution of the issues. The delegation of state authority found in this law is limited in scope and features specific criteria for the creation of similar districts statewide.

    “The $138 million project will lead to the rehabilitation of a once world famous but now blighted property and significantly boost economic development for the Eastern Panhandle.”

    Senate Bill 657 was bipartisan legislation that passed both chambers and received the Governor’s signature. It takes effect May 25.