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Thread: State of Tourism in WV

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  1. #1
    Club President gsjay's Avatar
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    State of Tourism in WV

    Over the past 20 years we've spent many days riding and staying at various locations in West Virginia.

    Many of you are familiar with the region. Canaan Valley, Snowshoe, Cass, Marlinton and points North, South, East & West.

    We just came home from there this weekend and I've got to tell you that it's depressing, from a tourism/services standpoint.

    Many of our favorite places are gone or simply falling into disrepair!

    The Hermitage Motel in Durbin, Closed. Boyer Station Motel & Campground, restaurant closed, motel rooms way past WV tacky. Ryders Gas station & restaurant down the road closed. The Inn at Snowshoe, at the bottom of the mtn. on Rt. 66. Many years past needing an update, limited services at the bar, no full service restaurant on site......
    Marlinton Motor Inn, same..........past due on a renovation leaning towards "I'm not staying there Honey"!
    We stayed at the Brazenhead Inn this past weekend and they've got problems too.................

    Ok, this is the campfire section of the forum. Any of you experiencing the same when you're in West Virginia.
    jason
    Jason Kaplitz
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  2. #2
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Sadly the Hermitage has been closed for years, unfortunate as it was a great place over the years to base out of for exploring a couple days of back roads. The Highland Inn in Monterey is just a bit east over the ridge on Rt. 250 - it is quite a bit pricier than the Hermitage was but it does have a (much) more reasonably priced partner in the Montvallee Motel, which is just a minute's walk down the road. The Montvallee is threadbare and in dire need of a complete renovation, but the Wifi works, the water is hot, and there is an outstanding diner just a block away.

    West Virginia is an amazing place, I am constantly amazed how in many parts it looks like time just stopped. For instance, this is at the intersection of Routes 92 and 84 (both on my favorite roads in WV list, heck of a long list though):
    http://tinyurl.com/lo753ee
    Next time you go by stop and take a look - there is a kitchen table with plates and cutlery on it under a very thick layer of dust, untouched for God knows how many years. In some ways it is a blessing, for the most part you'll not suddenly find a Best Buy in the middle of some amazing road you haven't ridden in years. In others, it is sad to see the vestiges of a time when roads like Rt. 50 and Rt. 250, Rt. 32 and Rt. 52 were significant and heavily traveled thoroughfares, slowly fade away.

    Ride it while you can!

    (For what it is worth - the Glen Ferris Inn in Gauley Bridge is another favorite of mine - historic, inexpensive, and a great place to break for the evening.)
    EDIT - Ironically, it appears the Inn is closed and up for sale
    Ted
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  3. #3
    na1g
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    Sign of the poor economy? I'm not familiar with the area mentioned but other places I've been lately have shown some of the same problem. Chain motels kill off the mom-and-pops, and gas station/convenience stores kill the simple gas stations. I see lots of former gas stations that are now repair shops or just closed. Sad.

    pete

  4. #4
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post
    Sign of the poor economy? I'm not familiar with the area mentioned but other places I've been lately have shown some of the same problem. Chain motels kill off the mom-and-pops, and gas station/convenience stores kill the simple gas stations. I see lots of former gas stations that are now repair shops or just closed. Sad.

    pete
    If you want to see really sad in WV, ride through the western end of the state where coal drives the economy. Mines have closed down when they ran out of affordable coal and/or EPA regulations put them out of business. Once thriving towns have fallen into disrepair with few or no people living there and some of the towns have totally disappeared. I rode through some of the area today, going through War, Bradshaw, Cucumber, etc and near Welch. Chain motels and convenience stores didn't drive out the mom-and-pops, they closed due to lack of business. Trying to find a gas station or restaurant is difficult at the best and forget about finding a nice motel.

    That being said, riding in the area is a great adventure. You see both operating and abandoned coal mines, mansions next to shacks, expensive cars along with junkers, nice sweet country folks and others that make you uneasy. Riding in the area near where VA, WV and KY come together is something you will always remember.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  5. #5
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Down 'round Beckley there is the Hatfield & McCoy trail system From what I can see, they are creating an off road riding Mecca with some great features. Once you get there (if you trailer your bike or ATV in) you can drive it anywhere you need to go.
    I hope to get there some day.
    OM
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    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Ghost towns are interesting, until they're a place you used to live..........

    Worse, is when they are your town.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  7. #7
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    Riding in the area near where VA, WV and KY come together is something you will always remember.
    Man, I'll say. I didn't think there were places like this in America any more.

  8. #8
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    I think the west has the most ghost towns. Come on out here, and you will find towns abandoned 50, 100 or 150 years ago.
    But also operating mines, and a fair tourist industry.
    Nothing lasts forever. These hotels, motels, etc., come and go. They always have, and probably always will.
    dc

  9. #9
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    Man, I'll say. I didn't think there were places like this in America any more.
    And, the locals think they live in paradise.........
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  10. #10
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    I understand the intent behind initiating this thread. Recent economic realities and technological advancement have re-defined the landscape for many of the areas in Canada where I spent my youth and earlier working years. I don't have to look very far right now to find close family members who are out of work. In some cases it's because they haven't kept pace with the evolving workforce, in others it's because they couldn't for one reason or another.

    The only reason that I became interested in visiting WV at all was from reading comments in the AdvRider Forum. I lived in Washington DC for five years at one point (was not motorcycle touring then) and there were no "tourist brochures" attracting me to WV at that time - so, I never went. Other Forum threads contain comments relative to Deals Gap and WV like, "... there's no need to drive any further south than WV...." and other similar comments. These comments, along with the fact that I had previously ridden many of the fantastic roads further south (so I had a benchmark for comparisons) peaked my interest and I just had to experience WV for myself.

    I was not disappointed and I am very grateful to those on the Forum who have posted their riding experiences in that great State. I only spent 2.5 days in WV and it was not enough. When I left, I continued on into PA where once again the Forum had prepared me for some great roads, attractions that I would not otherwise thought of and experiences. I've told my friends who haven't been to WV that they don't know what they're missing.

    I guess that's my long-winded way of saying that this Forum has been a considerable influence in selecting my adventure interests. Everyone's viewpoints have been invaluable in my trip planning, gear purchases and other interests. I have several other adventures in the planning stage but I will definitely be getting back to WV at some point.

  11. #11
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badwolf1 View Post
    I

    I guess that's my long-winded way of saying that this Forum has been a considerable influence in selecting my adventure interests. Everyone's viewpoints have been invaluable in my trip planning, gear purchases and other interests. I have several other adventures in the planning stage but I will definitely be getting back to WV at some point.
    Great Welcome to the forum.
    Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
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