DAVIS, W.Va. – Governor Jim Justice joined West Virginia Tourism Office Commissioner Chelsea Ruby and Division of Natural Resources Director Steve McDaniel to announce $12 million in bond improvement projects at Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley Resort state parks on Thursday.
“Today is a great day for West Virginia,” Gov. Justice explained. “I’ve said many times that our state parks are the jewels of this state and I’ve always believed that, as we make our parks better and show the world how proud we are in what we have, people would come in droves and bring all kinds of opportunities to us, and that’s exactly what’s happening.”
According to a release from the governor’s office, the event was held outside of the Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge, which Gov. Justice announced is set to receive nearly $4.7 million worth of improvements; one of the most extensive renovations projects as part of the package.
“What we’ve got planned for this lodge and this park is really special and we’re doing the same kinds of projects in all of of our parks across the state,” Gov. Justice said.
“Lo and behold, as we’ve added greatness into our parks over the last four years, we’ve started exploding with business,” Gov. Justice explained. DNR Director McDaniel also announced that, under the Justice Administration, major improvement projects have now been completed or started at every state park in West Virginia.
Officials explained that the $12 million investment covers a variety of projects at both parks, ranging from lodge and cabin renovations, campground expansions, and improvements to popular activities such as bike trails, tennis courts, and the Blackwater Falls’ world-class sled run.
“Since Governor Justice took office, we’ve been able to invest $100 million into improving our state parks in just the last four years and I think that’s just incredible and we’re seeing the results of that investment,” Director McDaniel emphasized. “In the month of August alone, we had 529,000 vehicles visit our state parks at an average of 3.2 people per car. That’s almost the equivalent of the entire population of West Virginia visiting our state parks in just one month, and that momentum all started with the Governor. Under his direction, we’ve been able to do a lot of great work.”