Valley Gem Riverboat Visits Huntington, WV
The State Journal
15 October 2015
By James E. Casto
The Valley Gem, a Marietta, Ohio-based riverboat, will visit
Huntington from Oct. 29 through Nov. 8.
Docked at Huntington’s Harris Riverfront Park, the sternwheeler
will offer a schedule of public sightseeing tours, dinner cruises
and a Halloween murder mystery dinner theater.
Tyson Compton, president of the Huntington Convention and Visitors
Bureau, said he hopes a successful Huntington stay will convince
the boat’s owners to look at Huntington as a permanent business
“In addition to our indelible rail history, there is nothing that
speaks more to development of the Jewel City than its relationship
with the Ohio River,” Compton said in a news release. “I can’t
think of a more exciting opportunity to experience our region than
viewing it from the deck of the Valley Gem.”
An authentic sternwheeler that can accommodate 200 passengers, the
Valley Gem was launched in 1989 by Capt. James Sands Sr. and his
wife Peggy. Sands died in 1998. His wife retired in 2003, turning
the family river business over to their son, Jason, who has been a
licensed river pilot since 1992 and the Gem’s captain for more
than 15 years.
“Huntington has a clear vision and direction for the future, and
we are excited to be a part of exploring that future and share our
love of the river and the Valley Gem,” he said.
iHeartMedia is sponsoring the 10-day event and the CVB is
partnering with the City of Huntington and the Greater Huntington
Park & Recreation District to make the visit of the
“Our riverfront has been extremely busy during the past year with
numerous activities, and it’s exciting to see the Valley Gem
sternwheeler added to an already impressive list,” Mayor Steve
Williams said. “With the redevelopment of our riverfront on the
horizon, this trend will undoubtedly continue.”
Visit wvvisit.org or call the CVB at 304-525-7333 or 800-635-6329
for ticket information.