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Staff photo by Eric DiNovo An ATV enthusiast participates in a mud bogging contest at the Crumpler Mountain ATV Resort on the weekend of Independence Day.

BRAMWELL — Developers planning to open a new resort which will bring more lodging, a restaurant and a store to ATV tourists visiting Mercer County recently started advertising for contractors interested in working on the project.

B&O Development, LLC, has announced that the ATV TrailCamp at Coaldale is projected to start receiving guests this fall at the Pocahontas Trail in Mercer County, according to Todd Boggess, president of E.T. Boggess Architect, LLC. This new lodge will be directly adjacent to the new Hatfield-McCoy Pocahontas Trail Head in Coaldale.

The project is being sponsored by the Mercer County Development Office, John O’Neal Executive Director, as part of the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Economic Development Pilot Program (AML Pilot Program), according to the B&O Development, LLC announcement. This funding is made available by the Office of Surface Mining and Enforcement (OSMRE), U.S. Department of the Interior.

An approximately $1.8 million AML grant is going into the project. About $300,000 was spent to prepare the site for bidding, and now it’s moving into the construction phase which will include the remaining $1.5 million, Boggess said.

Entrepreneurs have been working to provide more lodging for ATV tourists ever since the Pocahontas Trail, the Hatfield-McCoy Trail’s branch in Mercer County, opened for riders.

“It was definitely a response to a need in southern West Virginia to respond to a growing industry,” Boggess said. “The project is really about economic development. We’re going to be one of many quality lodging facilities, and I think we’re in a unique position. The Pocahontas Trail is one of the best. We have been working in the ATV industry from a design and planning standpoint with E.T. Boggess Architect since the trails have been here, and the opportunity came up. The idea was the Abandoned Mine Lands grant. We identified some abandoned mine lands and wrote our first grant.”

E.T. Boggess Architect, Inc. has been working with the Princeton–based B&O Development, LLC to plan and design the ATV TrailCamp, Boggess said. Plans include the construction of cabins called CampHouses which will include large screen televisions and wireless Bluetooth speakers, and quality mattresses, he added.

“An existing house on the property will be totally renovated into the SupersHouse to accommodate larger groups, while an existing metal structure will be repurposed to serve as the Company Store, restaurant/pub, main office and overall resort hub, featuring a large covered outdoor area,” Boggess said.

Planning and programming efforts have been ongoing for the past few years. Boggess said the resort will generate “multiple jobs,” and will ultimately have 21 cabins along with the main house.

“We have some very positive things happening with the lodging and I just want to be one of the quality places out there as we welcome visitors to the state,” he said. “My goal in the first phase is to realize some quality lodging and a unique restaurant. We’re really excited about that.”

A mandatory pre-bid conference will be held at the site at 11138 Coal Heritage Road in Bramwell on Feb. 19, according to the legal advertisement in the Feb. 12 edition of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. The meeting begins at 1 p.m.

“We’re hopeful that we have good representation from our local contractors,” Boggess stated.

Many of the area’s residents are familiar with the site, he added.

“The Coaldale Mountain property is often referred to as the Blizzard Property in recognition of its previous owner, Mr. F. Kermit Blizzard,” Boggess said. “There have been multiple businesses and owners of the property over the years, including a large, recycled car storage lot that many locals may remember.”

In addition to the ATV TrailCamp lodging, the adventure resort will include plans for secure ATV storage, pay-at-the-pump fueling stations, and the CompanyStore, planned for year-round operation, Boggess stated.

“The store will be stocked with convenience supplies, gifts and “select merchandise and products that complement the mountain state’s unique brand,” he added.

A new restaurant will be part of the resort, Boggess stated.

“While the resort is designed to cater to the diverse needs of the ATV enthusiast, it will also feature a destination-type restaurant right in the backyard of the local Mercer and McDowell Countians,” he said.

“The restaurant, ‘West by God CoalFired Pizza’, will provide everything from bar-b-que, burgers and steaks, chicken wings, authentic pepperoni rolls, and weekend specials chosen by the executive chef,” Boggess said. “Inspired by New Haven, Connecticut’s legendary coal-fired apizza, (pronounced ‘ah-beetz’), the ATV TrailCamp at Coaldale will deliver this critically acclaimed pizza to coal country. The region’s first coal-fired pizza pub will serve ‘Black Diamond Pies’, the way pizza was meant to be.”

The project will also include an innovative and efficient, onsite wastewater treatment system originally developed for U.S. Military bases and special ops, Boggess said.

“This revolutionary system by Global Water Group is self-contained, requires less piping, produces virtually no sludge, and is easier to operate than traditional treatment processes,” he said. “This will be the first such system to gain approval in the state of West Virginia.”

Funding for the project is provided through a variety of sources, including the Pilot AML Grant, WVEDA loan, Natural Capital Investment Fund, and private investment. The AML Economic and Community Development Pilot Program is administered by the WV Department of Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation (AML), Boggess said. In order to be eligible for the program, the economic development projects must be located on or adjacent to mine sites that ceased operations prior to the signing of the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act on Aug. 3, 1977.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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