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Thread: State of Tourism in WV

  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.
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  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.

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    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
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David13 View Post
    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
    Come to the Midwest and East to see the great hulking shells of the factories that built the products which defined the modern world. It's impressive and depressing.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  11. #11
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    I have seen extensive photography of the Packard plant, and the rest of Detroit. I think I'll skip getting any closer.
    dc

  12. #12
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David13 View Post
    I have seen extensive photography of the Packard plant, and the rest of Detroit. I think I'll skip getting any closer.
    dc
    The former BMW shop in McKeesport, PA (So. of Pittsburgh) offered a similar image. If you travel down to LA, you'll see the first stages of the Packard-plant type decay at the Rocketdyne facility, the place that built the engines for the Saturn V rockets.......
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  13. #13
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    And, the locals think they live in paradise.........
    No they don't. Many are afraid to leave because they see the crime, corruption and poverty in cities on TV. They also don't want to leave the support of family and friends to go to where there is none. The young people who leave home to get a good education seldom return because of the lack of jobs and opportunity. It is very difficult to attract business and industry when there is little land level enough to build on and the isolation from adequate transportation to move raw materials and finished goods. I see part of WV returning to the wilderness it was long ago.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  14. #14
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    No they don't. Many are afraid to leave because they see the crime, corruption and poverty in cities on TV. They also don't want to leave the support of family and friends to go to where there is none. The young people who leave home to get a good education seldom return because of the lack of jobs and opportunity. It is very difficult to attract business and industry when there is little land level enough to build on and the isolation from adequate transportation to move raw materials and finished goods. I see part of WV returning to the wilderness it was long ago.
    How is that different from northcentral or western PA? Same thing, different area.

    "Many are afraid to leave because they see the crime, corruption and poverty in cities on TV. They also don't want to leave the support of family and friends to go to where there is none."
    In other words, they think it's paradise and they'll fight anything that forces a change..........
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  15. #15
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    How is that different from northcentral or western PA? Same thing, different area.

    "Many are afraid to leave because they see the crime, corruption and poverty in cities on TV. They also don't want to leave the support of family and friends to go to where there is none."
    In other words, they think it's paradise and they'll fight anything that forces a change..........
    How do you know this? I worked with people who lived in the coal fields for 25+ years. I didn't find anyone who thought it was paradise. Most of the folks who live there would love change if it improved their lives but it has not been forthcoming because businesses won't move to where it is far more expensive to build as well as transport goods and raw materials to and from isolated locations. People are reluctant to leave the support of family and friends to move to places they don't know regardless of where they live.

    I'm done.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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