The Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce is moving its annual home and garden show to The Highlands Sports Complex.
The event has always taken place in late January at WesBanco Arena, but the chamber knew a change was necessary, said Chamber President Kurt Zende.
This year’s show is set for April 13-15 at The Highlands Sports Complex. Doors will be open from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
There are a number of reasons for the move, and the first was available timing at WesBanco Arena, Zende explained.
“The only timing they have available is late January, and that time is not conducive to attracting a lot of vendors,” he said. “We felt if we had a home and garden show closer to the building season, there would be more opportunity for vendors to have sales.”
The Highlands Sports Complex offers 80,000 square feet of vendor space with the opportunity for 240 booths, Zende explained.
He doesn’t expect the chamber to have that many vendors in its first year at The Highlands, but response has been successful. There are 100 crafters expected to participate, as well as 70 home and garden vendors.
There is enough room within the sports complex that three specific vendor zones will be organized to attract visitors with an interest in specific services.
The Workforce Zone will be for companies and institutions that provide career training, or have an abundance of job openings.
The Wellness Zone will focus on health, and will feature representatives from medical groups, hospitals, wellness centers, and exercise facilities. Vendors in this area are welcome to do health screenings.
The Outdoor Zone will be all about leisure, outdoor activity and getaway trips. Vendors that offer camping, fishing, hiking and hunting gear will be stationed here, as well as those featuring tourism destinations, hotels, parks and recreation.
Foot traffic at the sports complex and the surrounding development at The Highlands also should be considerable at the sports complex, Zende continued.
The weekend of the home show there will be a state-wide volleyball tournament happening at The Highlands Sports Complex just across the hallway from the Home and Garden Show. The volleyball tournament, itself, is expected to bring in 2,000 people, he said.
“It just made sense that we have the show at the sports complex this year,” he said. “I think it will be a home run.”
Those interested in participating as a vendor in the Home and Garden Show should contact the chamber at 304-233-2575.