2017-08-23 / Front Page

Bonds being sold to pay for Cacapon park upgrades

by Kate Shunney

The West Virginia Economic Development Authority signed an agreement on August 17 that will allow up to $25 million in excess lottery revenue bonds to be issued for improvements at Cacapon State Park. The state agency had to authorize the bond sale before it could go ahead.

The EDA will also be involved in closing the bond sale and releasing the funds to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources for the park work.

Charleston investment company, Piper Jaffray & Co., will market the bonds, said EDA Executive Director David Warner in April, when the board initially authorized the bond move.

Plans for work at the park include the addition of 78 lodge rooms, renovation of the existing restaurant, the addition of spa facilities and an indoor pool, upgrades to the golf course and a number of other facility improvements. The 6,000-acre park south of Berkeley Springs draws visitors from several surrounding states.

A construction contract for the expansion had already been bid out in 2013, but the project stopped when questions about the bond legislation surfaced that summer. At that time, the lowest bidder was a Frederick, Md. firm that estimated the cost of the project at $21.25 million.

West Virginia State Parks Chief Sam England said in a state press release that engineering plans for the park addition and improvements are being “refreshed” and ground will be broken sometime this winter. He estimated the project should be completed within two years.

“We’re planning to do a major modernization of the park’s facilities to bring them in line with the expectations of today’s tourists and travelers,” England said.

The park’s current lodge was built in the mid-1950s.

Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen Mc- Danial said improvements at Cacapon will make the park even more popular with tourists to the eastern panhandle and visitors from the Washington, D.C. area.

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