Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 22, 2013

Resort at old Bramwell school has soft opening

BRAMWELL — ATV riders and visitors to Bramwell will be able to head back to school with the opening of a new ATV resort at the town’s former high school.

Lou Stoker said the new ATV resort at the former Bramwell High School site has had a soft opening but the owners are waiting to expand the property a bit more before they are ready to have a full-scale grand opening for the facility.

“They are ready to open this week,” she said. “They are having a soft opening now and have 10 rooms available. Most of these rooms will sleep more than one person. They will have a big open house and ribbon cutting when they get more rooms open. Eventually, they hope to have about 20 rooms available as well as a lobby and common room for their guests.”

Stoker said many former Bramwell High grads are excited to see their alma mater taking on a new form.

“It is interesting and so exciting for Bramwell,” Stoker said. “The alumni of the school are so excited to see that their school is getting a new life.”

The school was purchased in March by couples Julie and Eric Dunham and Bruce and Cristal Hutton in the hopes of restoring the school into an ATV lodge. Eric Dunham previously told the Daily Telegraph the group got the idea to open the lodge from when came down themselves to ride the trails.

Finding places to lodge ATV riders has been one of the biggest challenges for the trail in Bramwell, according to Hatfield-McCoy Trails Executive Director Jeff Lusk.

The school property is approximately 85,000 square feet and includes the school building as well as its former gym and office complex. The school in Bramwell was first established in 1894 but much of the original building burned down in 1933. The building as it currently stands dates back to 1935 and was renovated in 1962. Bramwell High School graduated its last class of seniors in 1991 and then was operated as a K-5 elementary school before it closed in 2004.

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com

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