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The West Virginia Housing Development Fund’s Board of Directors is scheduled to take a preliminary vote Tuesday (Jan. 25) on a $2 million loan that would help finance construction of a KOA campground that would link to a nationally recognized trail system.
According to the Charleston Daily Mail, developers want to build a 115-campsite KOA-brand campground on a 15-acre tract in Ashland that would feature a coal heritage theme. At first the campground would be a stand-alone facility with its own trail system, but the developers want to eventually connect to the Hatfield-McCoy trail system.
The Hatfield-McCoy trail system “will be the critical central focus of this experience and resort,” according to the proposal. “Ashland KOA Kampground will be the only KOA Kampground in the Eastern United States offering guests the ‘grand slam’ of trail experiences – all-terrain vehicle riding, hiking, biking and horseback riding.
“Campers will have direct access to miles of trails winding though more than 1,514 acres of wooded terrain and ascending nearly 1,000 feet from the base camp to the mountain summit.”
Kenneth Bazzle, an Atlanta businessman, and Homer Staves, a consultant who formerly worked for KOA, are spearheading the project. The proposed campground would have 45 pull-through recreational vehicle sites, 20 back-in recreational vehicle sites, 20 tent sites, 20 cabins without plumbing and 10 cottages with bathrooms.