2017-05-01 / Spotlight

Grand Tour

Betsey Howell | Executive Director Central PA Convention & Visitors Bureau

After more than 30 years, Betsey Howell is retiring from her job at the Central PA Convention & Visitors Bureau — but her legacy will remain for many more years to come. Howell was instrumental in getting the local hotel tax passed, a source of income for the bureau that has allowed it to grow from two employees to nearly 20, and from the train station in Bellefonte to the Penn State-adjacent visitor center. “The visitors bureau is a great place,” she says, “and it’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve learned a lot, and I hope that I’ve truly contributed back to the community and the area. I think I have just by what we have accomplished. Somebody new coming in will have different ideas and I think that’s great, as long it helps the area continue to grow.” In retirement, Howell is looking forward to traveling more, including to see her family and friends who don’t live nearby, but also spending time in the places that she loves close to home. Here are her top five.

1. Downtown State College
“How could you not love it? There’s so much going on. Lots of dining options, local retail, The State Theatre… it’s very vibrant. It’s a fun place to be.”

2. Downtown Bellefonte
“Downtown Bellefonte I love because it’s sort of the opposite of downtown State College. It’s more relaxing. There’s a lot of history. And they have a lot of new retail and restaurants going in.”

3. Bellefonte Waterfront
“The new waterfront in Bellefonte is so relaxing and quiet and pretty. I take my dog in there to walk.”

4. Bald Eagle Creek
“I love that because that’s where we kayak all the time. We put in down in Milesburg at the bridge. You can float down to Bald Eagle State Park. We’ve been doing it 41 years and have seen the eagles flying over several times.”

5. Bald Eagle State Park
“I’ve always enjoyed it down there because you can hike, even just walking around the roads, and it’s also somewhere I can take the dog. We just chill out and see what nature’s doing. I think that’s the answer to the daily grind. Just go out and do some daily nature.”

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