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2021 Host CVB: Athens County CVB

Athens County - Peace, Love, Athens

Welcome Association Professionals, CVB Leaders and Industry Partners to the 2021 OSAE Annual Conference!

2021 OSAE Annual Conference July 21-23, 2021

Discover one of Ohio's best-kept secrets: Athens County - tucked away in southeast Ohio, along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and home to the first university west of the Appalachian Mountains - Ohio University, founded in 1804. In addition to the amazing university, Athens has a host of other rich offerings, including a robust history as one of the oldest settled regions in Ohio, beautiful vistas and never-ending outdoor excursions, including hiking, kayaking, fishing and much more. We are so excited to hold our first annual conference in Athens in the 83 years that OSAE has been in existence. 

What Do You Know About Athens County?

Athens County Ohio MapTucked into the corner of southeast Ohio, Athens County offers a break from the regular hustle of life. Those who call it home have learned to take in the peaceful moments, escaping to the surrounding countryside to breathe in the fresh air. Follow trails less traveled and find an adventure. You should visit with friends and family and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture. Find your own peace and love in Athens County, Ohio.

Did you know that the county was formed in 1805 from Washington County? Because the original state university (Ohio University) was founded there in 1804, the town and the county were named for the ancient center of learning: Athens, Greece.

Historically, the first large-scale industry was salt production. Coal mining and timber harvesting played major roles in Athens County's economy, as did the treatment and care of the mentally ill.

While the coal industry has declined dramatically from its peak years, gravel and limestone continue to mined at several quarries in the county. Active oil and natural gas wells are found in low numbers throughout Athens County. Forestry still contributes to the Athens County economy, both in the private sector and in the public sector. The headquarters for Wayne National Forest is located between Athens and Nelsonville. Farming and market gardening continue to thrive in the area. The largest farms specialize in beef and dairy production. The Athens Farmers Market, an outdoor market, continues to grow in popularity. Local and organically grown produce is found in abundance during the summer months.

Tourism is a large and growing component of the county's economy. The county is a regional music center and home to many arts and crafts businesses. Many visitors are drawn to its natural resources and abundant wildlife. Hunting and fishing are popular activities in season. The county has over 19 miles of paved bike path in and between Athens and Nelsonville. Hiking and mountain biking are popular throughout the county, especially in the state parks and national forest.

Higher education remains the cornerstone of the county's economy. Over one-quarter of the county's residents either attend or work at Hocking College or Ohio University.

The Athens County Convention & Visitors Bureau promotes the region as a destination for tourists, strengthens the Visit Athens Ohio brand locally and nationally, and creates economic development through the leisure, group (both nonprofit and for-profit) and business markets.

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