Greene County Tourism hosts first ‘VIP Mystery Tour’

Greene County Tourism partnered with Thistlethwaite Vineyards last weekend for a first-time event that can leave inquisitive people puzzled. On Sunday, September 8 from 1-7:30 p.m. those questions were answered. This event was for anyone in the community who desired to explore some of Greene County’s finest, yet overlooked sites, said Joanne Marshall, communications/tourism director at County of Greene.

A coach bus departed from Thistlethwaite Vineyard in Jefferson, Pennsylvania, to begin their journey to three secret destinations and later returned to the vineyards to enjoy a catered dinner. The tour was $75, including transportation, the tour itself and a delicious meal. This event is only for those who are the age of 21 or older.

Although the locations were concealed but from a few privileged ears, Marshall confirmed before the tour that comfortable, outdoor attire was suggested. Marshall also confirmed the tour included various behind-the-scenes opportunities that visitors typically would not have access to and may overlook. 

“You may see it every day and just never stop. They would provide an impact on you as a resident or you as a visitor,” Marshall said.

Deneen Rhodes, Thistlethwaite employee and committed member of the Greene County Tourism Board, was thrilled about being a part of this idea. As the board member to suggest the mystery tour, the idea came to her as she was attending a tourism conference during the winter at Washington and Jefferson College, where Laurel Highlands shared their success story with their tourism events. This inspired Rhodes; for she couldn’t stop thinking about implementing something similar. 

“I feel that everybody needs to see these little hidden gems in Greene County,” Rhodes said. 

There is hope for various other tours in the future that range in price and theme. Marshall, who also served as the tour guide, admitted that it was difficult trying to keep the sense of mystery. “The element of the mystery will help aid in people having open perspectives to the locations and hopefully intrigue them,” Marshall said.