Canaan Valley Resort State Park has a fresh look. After over a year of construction, the park has completed the renovation of its nearly forty year-old lodge complex. Many new features have been added including two new lodge wings, totaling 160 rooms, additional parking, and additions and upgrades to existing structures. A ribbon cutting was held on Tuesday, October 29, to commemorate the rejuvenation of the lodge and surrounding facilities. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, who was attending a conference at the park, was invited to cut the ceremonial ribbon.
Tuesday proved to be a beautiful day for the opening of the new lodge sections, and many prominent figures of the State Park system were in attendance. Ken Caplinger, Chief of West Virgina State Parks, spoke to the gathered members of the media and public, explaining the need to make such renovations in order to maintain a healthy park system. Many of the facilities in the park were approaching the end of their design lifespan, and projects such as this will revitalize the resort park for years to come. In addition to his speech, Mr. Caplinger was honored during the ceremony with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the State Park system, which he has been dedicated to throughout his career.
Following Mr. Caplinger, Department of Natural Resources Director Frank Jezioro spoke of the work that had gone into this project and the impact that it will have in the future on tourism for the area.
Jezioro went on to introduce West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, who praised the renovation project as necessary to keep these facilities open and inviting. Tourism is a major industry in the state, and the Governor stated the value of continuing to invest in our state park system. Governor Tomblin served to cut the blue ribbon at the completion of the dedication ceremony, officially opening the new sections of Canaan Valley Resort State Park to the public.
Canaan Valley’s original lodge structures have been in use for nearly forty years, and have stood the test of time even beyond the original expectations of their designers. The lodge renovation project was began in May of 2012, and completed in August of 2013, at a cost of approximately $24 million. Two primary groups were contracted for the construction of the new lodge complex, Harbel, Inc. of Cumberland, Md., and Paradigm Architecture out of Morgantown.
Two new wings were constructed in the lodge complex, with a total of four new levels. The new sections add 94,637 square feet to the existing lodge facilities, with 160 sleeping rooms and eight two-room suites total contained within. With the newly added sections, the lodge complex now totals 158,824 square feet between all its structures. Each of the newly constructed rooms have been furnished with flat screen televisions, wireless internet access, and individual climate control. Some of the rooms also contain balconies and fireplaces; there are also VIP suites and rooms with ADA access available.
In addition to the new wings, various improvements have been made to existing facilities in the complex. Among these improvements are four new elevators, a loading dock, updated meeting rooms, landscaping around the lodge, and repairs to parking areas. Updates were also made to the lodge’s plumbing, electrical, and fire protection systems. All improvements were made while the resort was open for business, and the contractors involved were praised for their aggressive schedule and ability to undertake such construction while maintaining a relatively low profile to guests.
This project is part of a series of improvements to the resort, with the aim of providing modern updated facilities to park goers. Among the other recently completed features of the resort are a renovated ski area, with a new snowmaking system, ski school, a snow tubing area, and a sporting clays shooting range. The park’s Bear Paw Lodge was also renovated, at a cost of $1.5 million.
With it’s newly updated ski areas, new lodge facilities, and all the improvements that have been made, Canaan Valley Resort State Park is more than ready to offer a wide range of recreational opportunities to guests through the upcoming winter season, and for years to come.