Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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August 14, 2013

New ATV resort in works for Mercer County

BRAMWELL — More visitors astride ATVs have arrived in Mercer County ever since the new Pocahontas Trail opened a year ago, but they need a place to stay. Local investors are answering the need for lodging by preparing a new ATV resort.

The Coal Camp ATV Resort LLC’s site is along Bell Street near Bramwell, said Anthony Simpkins of Bramwell. Plans now call for constructing 50 cottages on the 30-acre site.

Simpkins and his associates, Matthew Kesler of Christiansburg, Va. and Brent Harrison of Blacksburg, Va., spoke Tuesday to the Mercer County Commission about their project and what they plan to offer the public. The commission invited the entrepreneurs to Tuesday’s council meeting to describe the project, Simpkins said.

“It will be an ATV resort,” Simpkins said after the meeting. “There will be turn of the century cottages.”

 Long-term plans include a restaurant, and an ATV wash. The resort will be able to house at least 200 people, Simpkins said.

Besides catering to ATV enthusiasts, the Coal Camp resort will also offer lodgings to out of town visitors, Simpkins said.

People attending events such as weddings, reunions and the upcoming Bluefield Coal Show will be able to find lodgings.

Marc Meachum, president of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, brought up the lodging situation when he requested funding from the commission. County Commission President Mike Vinciguerra and Commissioner Gene Buckner voted to grant the coal show $1,000 from the county’s hotel/motel tax revenue. Commissioner Joe Coburn did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.

Meachum said the chamber is anticipating approximately 240 exhibitors representing more than 30 states and four countries, and 8,000 coal industry people are expected to attend when the show opens in September at the Brushfork Armory. Hotel and motels throughout Mercer County and neighboring counties are booked up already.

“If you try to get a motel, the only place you can get a room is a place where you don’t want to stay,” Meachum said, who added that the show is not open to the public.

Buckner said the commission would work with the new Bramwell-area resort’s developers.

“We’ll support you any way we can,” Buckner said.

Plans now call for opening the new resort by March or April 2014, Kesler said.

The new resort will be in a location that is seeing a lot of ATV business already. The town of Bramwell is located near the Pocahontas Trail’s trailhead, and nearby Pocahontas, Va. is also seeing ATV visitors. Another entrepreneur is currently working on ATV lodging near downtown Pocahontas, Va.

Coal Camp ATV Resort LLC is owned by BMK Properties LLC in Christiansburg, Va., Simpkins said.

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