PIPESTEM, W.Va. — The state is investing more than $11 million into Pipestem Resort State Park in Mercer and Summers counties, Gov. Jim Justice and other members of his administration announced Thursday.
The work will include a new $1 million zipline along with renovations to all of Pipestem’s cabins. lodge rooms and work on the resort’s waste water treatment facility. Additionally, 50 full-service hook-up camp sites will be added taking the overall number from 37 to 87 sites.
State Division of Natural Resources Director Steve McDaniel said part of the money comes from the $55.2 million in excess lottery revenue bonds the state sold last October to finance work in 35 state parks and on two rail trails.
“There’s a lot of things that we need to do, we’ve just never had the funds to do that—Pipestem is one of those jewels,” McDaniel said. “I don’t think there’s anything quite like it anywhere in the eastern United States. It’ just a big beautiful resort on the top of a mountain and we’re so excited to return it to its grandeur.”
The zipline will travel the Bluestone River Gorge and end near Mountain Creek Lodge, McDaniel said.
“It’s nine total zips. The entire tour will take you about two hours and 45 minutes and it’s one of those recreational opportunities that we’re trying to provide at our resorts to get people here and keep them more than the two days they normally come and stay,” McDaniel said.
Research shows 8 out of 10 people who visit West Virginia state parks for the first time return.
“We’re hoping to get 10 out of 10 once we get all of our lodges renovated where we can compete,” McDaniel said.
When announcing the $55.2 million bond sale in October Gov. Jim Justice said the updates were long overdue.
“These bonds will fund improvements that will modernize and make our state parks so much more attractive as we continue to grow and expand our tourism industry. This is a big day for West Virginia and our state parks,” Justice said.
The governor attended Thursday’s announcement at Pipestem. McDaniel said there would be more announcements in the months to come.
“We’ve got a lot of exciting things happening in West Virginia and we can’t wait to tell everybody about them,” McDaniel said.
The specific updates at Pipestem include:
Recreation Development – $3,938760
Lodge Upgrades – $3,152,000
Water and Wastewater Plant Replacement – $1,320,000
Zip Line Construction – $1,000,000
Tram Renovations – $666,500
Cabin Upgrades – $650,000
Campground Utility Upgrades – $320,000