Thursday, May 3, 2012
Get ready for Hatfield-Palooza???
Hey folks, your old buddy Big Jim here.... The other day I was talking with a friend about the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend, which will FINALLY!!!! See the long awaited opening of the Pocahontas Trail System. I had noted that unbeknownst to us, when the date was set, the History Channel was going to have a weeks worth of programs tying in with the grand unveiling of the newest section of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. My old pard, who is sort of the crotchety old timer type, laughed out loud and joked that it looked like it was turning into Hatfield-Palooza weekend! And you know what? He may be right! There is so much stuff "Hatfield-McCoy" related that weekend both locally and nationally that it really shows you what the phrase "Synchronicity" is about as my good buddy Prof. Dean Lucas over at the nearby community college used to say. That is right. In addition to being able to ride around on the new Pocahontas trail that weekend all day long, at night you will be able to get glimpses of Hatfield-McCoy Country History due to a special documentary which was assisted by local authors and publishers such as Keith Davis over at Woodland Press, as well as the premier of the History Channel’s new dramatic mini-series epic “The Hatfield and the McCoys” starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton. But wait, as they say, there is more, LOL…. You see some of the History Channels other programs will also have some tie ins with what is being called “Hatfield-McCoy Week.” Local businesses are getting ready for a tremendous surge in visitors and tourists, especially around the Bramwell area, where Pocahontas is located nearby. As has become a tradition over the past decade there will be a gala ribbon cutting ceremony on May 25 with plenty of state figures, in order to celebrate and welcome new visitors to the new local attraction, said Bramwell Mayor Louise Stoker is pretty stoked to use a bad pun, about the good things that Pocahontas Trail will be bringing her way in terms of tourism. Stoker recently told reporters that the ribbon cutting for the trailhead will be at the old Bluestone School facility on Route 120 near the exit off Route 52. HMT Executive Director Jeff Lusk explained that the building was recently chosen as a trailhead center and that the facility has a parking lot in place and ready. Lusk noted it was not the first time Hatfield-McCoy has “gone green” in reusing an existing facility. For many years HMTs main headquarters at Lyburn was located in an existing structure and when it moved to the nearby Ritta Mall, it was located in another facility that was revamped to suit the growing organization. “We think that reusing an old building like that is the greenest thing we can do,” Lusk said. “It’s a very good use for that structure. Todd Boggess of E.T. Boggess Architects is doing an internal design for us.” Lusk said one of the biggest demands which nearby Bramwell will face is getting lodging space available for HMTs visitors. For the past three years, Lusk has noted that many hotels, motels and lodges in Hatfield-McCoy Country are booked up heavily during peak seasons and that the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority’s big challenge outside its doors is that sometimes there just is not enough rental space available for tourists who want to come and ride the world famous Hatfield-McCoy Trails. “We are going to be in desperate need for beds May 25 and then on out,” he said. “The demand is going to outstrip supply.” The most successful investments along other branches of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail have been cabins and campgrounds, Lusk explained noting the popularity and success many vendors have found with those sorts of accomodations. Mayor Stoker said local entrepreneurs and business people have been gearing up to meet the demand for food and lodging that HMT riders will bring her town and the rest of Mercer County.Stoker noted that a new resort will also be opening that weekend right outside of Bramwell and close to the trailhead. The facility will be known as the Pocahontas ATV Resort. More accomodations are getting ready and or being developed in Bluewell, Bramwell and nearby Lorton Lick Road. Another closeby facility is remodeling by adding on another building close by, she added of the the Bramwell ATV Resort near Route 52 is adding another building, Stoker said. Its ribbon cutting is scheduled to take place during the Memorial Day weekend. Other accommodations have been opened or are being developed in Bluewell, in downtown Bramwell and off Lorton Lick Road.