September 6, 2022 - The countdown to the 24th biennial Bluefield Coal and Mining Show is underway. The high-profile gathering of coal professionals is scheduled for September 14-16 at the Brushfork Armory.
The coal show is still a huge economic driver for our region. The Chamber of Commerce of the Two Virginias estimates that as many as 6,000 people related to the mining industry are expected to attend this year’s show, including those with companies exhibiting to all of the industry representatives who attend to see, and often purchase, new equipment.
Robert W. “Bob” Ramsey, president of Peters Equipment and general chairman of the event, said 165 exhibitors have signed up for this year’s coal show, representing mining-related companies from around the country as well as from other countries, including Poland, Germany, Canada and Singapore. This makes the 2022 gathering an international show as well.
Of those exhibitors already on board, 35 are new companies — a testament to the growing domestic and international demand for coal.
Exhibitors are located inside and outside the armory with a shuttle bus service bringing industry visitors back and forth from Stadium Drive to the armory.
The two-day event will have a significant economic impact upon our region. These are 6,000 plus visitors to the Bluefield area who will be staying at local hotels and motels, eating at local restaurants and supporting local stores.
Because of the limited hotel accommodations locally, some of the coal show participants stay as far away as Beckley, Wytheville and Glade Springs, according to Debbie Maynard with the chamber.
“They also buy gas, shop and eat out while they are here,” she said.
Ramsey said a study conducted several years ago estimated the economic impact of the coal show on the region to be around $7 million, but that number is now likely much higher, particularly when adjusted for inflation.
The show kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 14, with a media and exhibitors appreciation breakfast featuring David J. Stetson, CEO of Alpha Metallurgical Resources, as the guest speaker. That will be followed at 10 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting to officially open the show.
“It is a great time to promote Bluefield,” Ramsey said. “It is our time to shine.”
We agree. The coal show is still a win-win for Bluefield. It’s a chance to showcase our area to a national and international audience while providing businesses across the region with a large boost.
It’s good to see that the coal show is back — and as strong as ever — in the year 2022.