Interview: Tommy McCarty

How long have you been living in Charleston, and why did you decide to settle in this city?

We moved to the Charleston area in 1996, shortly after opening a branch of our business here.

How do you find the general vibe of Charleston?

Charleston has a relaxed, comfortable feel.

Which season is Charleston at its best?

Summer is a close second to fall for best season. Summer has all the outdoor activities, people boating on the river, parks and golf courses are active. While fall doesn’t allow for all the river activity, the foliage is beautiful when it turns colors and the climate is perfect that time of year.

What do you think is Charleston’s biggest attraction?

I don’t know if there is just one. The Clay Center, Power Park, the river, University of Charleston is growing all the time, and there is always something going on at the Civic Center.

How would you describe Charleston to someone who hasn’t been here before?

Charleston has some big city amenities but with a small town feel. It is a friendly place where people are easy to talk to.

What are your top 5 dining places in Charleston?

Mayberry’s ( home style meals and hand dipped ice cream ), Fifth Quarter ( the best salad bar around ), Tidewater, Chilli’s, and Rio Grande.

What are Charleston’s attractions that every tourists must visit?

A visit to the Clay Center and the Capitol Complex would be 2 must visits.

What are the absolute must-try’s for every visitor in Charleston?

As a visitor I would try to catch a game at Power Park, take a trip to Tri State Racetrack and Gaming Center, and make a short drive to do some White Water Rafting.

What are the cheap thrills that you can enjoy in Charleston?

There is plenty of inexpensive things to do with all of the parks around town, Kanawha State Forrest, Haddad Riverfront Park, and several public golf courses.

Tommy McCartyTommy McCarty is the vice president of Architectural Interior Products, a family business that was started in 1980 by his father in Parkersburg, WV. AIP distributes commercial interior building products including doors, walls, ceilings, gymnasium equipment, and other specialty goods throughout West Virginia and it’s surrounding states. Tommy is married to his high school sweetheart, has 4 active children and spends nearly every free moment – often times as a coach – at one of their events.