PIPESTEM - Governor Jim Justice announced about $11 million in renovations Thursday that are underway at Pipestem Resort State Park. Justice said the work is aimed at fueling the state’s growing tourism industry.
Justice visited Pipestem Resort State Park to talk about the park’s expansion projects. Justice said this investment, funded by state bonds approved last year by the Legislature, will add to economic growth. He looked at the view outside the McKeever Lodge.
“It’s easy to see how beautiful it is out there,” Justice said. “When you dig into the numbers, for every dollar we spend on tourism, it brings back eight to 14 times in dollars. It’s a no brainer. You’ve got to promote your state. Any frog that isn’t proud of it’s own pond isn’t much of a frog.”
The renovations will create construction jobs, and then other employment when they are completed, Justice stated. Work on these renovations is now underway.
The planned improvements for Pipestem include a zip line course over the Bluestone Gorge, more than $3 million in lodge upgrades, a splash park, tram renovations, a $1.3 million replacement for the park’s water and wastewater treatment plant, cabin upgrades and campground utility upgrades.
Executive Director Jamie Null of the Mercer County Convention & Visitors Bureau said that the improvements will benefit both Mercer County and Summers County. It will provide more recreational opportunities for both counties.
“It’s not only a tourism event, but an economic development event that will have payoff for years to come,” John O’Neal, executive director of the Mercer County Economic Development Authority said after the governor’s announcement.