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New trail spurs property sales in Mercer County

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BRAMWELL, WV (AP) — Property sales have increased in some parts of Mercer County since a branch of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system opened in 2012.

Bramwell Mayor Louise Stoker said buyers have been acquiring properties in her town that have been vacant for years.

"Several have sold, whether or not it's for ATV housing or people moving into town, I don't know. There are several properties that have moved (been sold) since the first of the year. These places have been on the market for quite some time, and they're going fast," Stoker told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

The Pocahontas Trail opened on May 25, 2012. Since then, entrepreneurs have been buying properties, including the former Bramwell High School, with plans to create lodging for ATV riders. Stoker said Town Hall has continued to receive inquiries from potential buyers.

"Just this last week, we had another house open inside the town," Stoker said. "There are 10 people staying there at that one house this weekend. And we just celebrated on the 25th the first anniversary of the Pocahontas Trail. We've seen a big change in the economy, yes."

Other communities also are seeing an interest in properties and more ATV traffic because of the trail.

"I think Mercer County is right now in the speculator stage," local volunteer Skip Crane said. "People from out of state are starting to buy property, and when locals catch on, it's going to be too late. Property is being sold in Montcalm, and that's been unheard of for years."

"I'm noticing that it's a lot of people from North Carolina who used to be West Virginians," Crane said. "They buy places so they can come here for the weekend."

Crane said some structures are dilapidated, but they're still better than a tent.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press