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Resort gets funds for tubing

December 10, 1997

Resort gets funds for tubing

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Gov. Cecil Underwood Monday announced more than $1 million in low-interest loans for state businesses, including $150,000 for a snow tubing facility at Coolfont Resort.

President and CEO Martha Ashelman said the Berkeley Springs resort plans to show off the snow tubing runs for the press on Dec. 20 if the weather cooperates. She said it has 10 runs of 850 feet each and a lift to take the tubers back up.

"We borrowed $400,000 from Citizens National Bank and the state is willing to guarantee 45 percent of that," Ashelman said. The state loan will allow the resort to pay off part of its indebtedness at a lower interest rate.

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"We're actually putting in more than half a million dollars for the project," Ashelman said.

Much of the money went into snow-making equipment, though a few days of sub-freezing temperatures are required to get the tube runs ready.

Snow tubing will also allow Coolfont to become more of a four-season resort, she said. While many people still visit the resort in the winter on weekends, she predicts this will bring in more during the week.

It also means more jobs. Ashelman said 15 new employees have been hired to operate the runs and will be starting training next week.

According to a news release from the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, the project could produce 30 new jobs over the next three years.

Ashelman said the resort employs about 80 people now.

The resort opened in 1965 with three cabins, 15 campsites and a snack bar. It has grown into a mountain lakeside resort with a conference center, health spa, 400-seat restaurant, 100 cabins and chalets and a campsite on 1,350 acres, according to the development authority.

"The strength of West Virginia's existing businesses is vital to the economic development of our state," Underwood said in the development authority release.

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