CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Natalie Young is having a hard time keeping track of the emails delivered to her inbox this week.
"Everybody's trying to figure out if they're related," said the director of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce and Williamson Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Related to the Hatfields or McCoys, that is.
The History Channel's three-part miniseries that began Monday hadn't even finished airing before the level of interest in the region exploded.
Young said the Chamber's office at the Coal House in Williamson has experienced a large increase in calls and information requests since last week's debut of an episode of the History Channel's "American Pickers" series that featured Mingo County. That episode was designed to be part of the channel's promotion for the Hatfield-McCoy miniseries.
Young said she strongly suspects the area will see an increase in tourists.
She has talked to people planning trips later in the year and has picked up on interest in guided bus tours to the area.
A huge audience watched the series on Monday and Tuesday. According to The Associated Press, 13.9 million people watched on Monday. When viewers who watched the immediate re-run were added, the number rose to 17 million. On Tuesday, 13.1 million people watched the second episode.
That is the largest audience ever for a non-sports show on an ad-supported cable network.
At the Hatfield McCoy Convention and Visitors' Bureau in Logan, Managing Director Debrina Williams said the office has seen Internet hits soar. That bureau also has experienced an increase in calls and requests for information.
"We've seen a large spike," Williams said. "It's a good thing."
Williams said the bureau's website typically gets about 50 hits a day. On Monday it logged more than 1,000.
Most of those contacting the bureau are seeking information related to visiting the area. She, too, said that the "American Pickers" episode contributed to the growth in potential visitors.
Erica O'Brient, associate director of the bureau, said all the calls she received Wednesday were from people who watched the miniseries, and most callers this week have been interested in driving tours of historic sites.
Across the Tug Fork River in Kentucky, the Pike County Tourism, Convention and Visitors' Bureau has seen a similar leap in interest.
Tony Tackett, executive director of that bureau, said it has received a huge number of requests for information via mail, as well as a jump in visitors to its website and social media sites.
"Our increase is probably about 60 percent," he said.
Tackett said his bureau offers an audio tour on CD, which many people have requested in addition to traditional tourism materials.
Some viewers are planning trips. Tackett said in the past few days, hotel bookings have jumped 40 percent in Pikeville and Pike County, particularly among senior citizens and companies that offer bus tours.
"The History Channel had great marketing in the weeks prior," Tackett said. "It's led (viewers of the show) to book weekend stays.
"People like anything to do with family blood, because it's real," Tackett said.
Tackett said people are discovering other attractions in Pike County, including lakes and parks, the city of Pikeville and the Pikeville Cut-Through. That's a rock cut created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a four-lane divided highway, a railroad line and the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River. It is one of the largest civil engineering projects in the Western Hemisphere.
Traffic to the West Virginia Humanities Council's online encyclopedia jumped considerably once the show began to air.
The encyclopedia has more than 2,000 articles on an array of subjects. About 20 pertain to subjects surrounding the Hatfield-McCoy feud, Publisher Ken Sullivan said.
"It was pretty noticeable," Sullivan said. "We're pretty well tied to the school year, so when traffic started picking up this weekend, it was noticeable."
Sullivan said the site usually sees moderate traffic. On Monday, it had about 4,000 hits. On Tuesday, after the first episode aired, the number of unique visitors jumped to 11,000, and about 90 percent sought articles related to the Hatfields and McCoys. Most of the visitors were from outside West Virginia.
West Virginia and Kentucky have very different marketing strategies related to the miniseries.