When it comes to economic development and tourism-related growth, three recent announcements are of particular importance to the future of Mercer County.
First was the confirmation last week from Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority Executive Director Jeff Lusk that more than $400,000 in funding has been secured for a long-planned visitors center for Mercer County.
Construction is expected to begin later this year on the new Hatfield-McCoy Trails Visitors Center. Lusk said it will be located somewhere in the Bramwell, Bluewell or Montcalm areas.
The new visitors center is being strategically located off of U.S. Route 52 in Mercer County in order to reach those out-of-town ATV riders who are traveling to the region from the Interstate 77 and Interstate 81 corridors. The visitors center is another welcomed addition to the already robust Pocahontas Trail system near Bramwell, and will also benefit the Indian Ridge Trail system in neighboring McDowell County.
Lusk said once a site is identified, construction should begin in four to six months.The Hatfield-McCoy Trail, already a proven economic development and tourism engine for southern West Virginia, continues to grow. Lusk says the authority sold 36,000 permits last year with 81 percent of those riders being non West Virginia residents. This is now the 14th consecutive year that the number of visitors to the trail system has grown.
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