RIPLEY, WV (WOWK) Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Jackson County, West Virginia has hosted countless camps and events over the years, but, earlier this year, leaders feared the facility may have to close. During 2020 the property that that is normally bustling with activity was empty. There were no camps, no meetings and no big events.
That meant a substantial loss in revenue.
Now the state has appropriated $1.7 million from the governor’s civil contingency fund to make up for the loss.
“We recovered the money that the facility experienced an 80 percent revenue loss,” said West Virginia Department of Agriculture Spokesman Crescent Gallagher.
Up until now the future of the facility was in jeopardy.
“To keep Cedar Lakes open is very important to the Jackson County community and tourism operations in the state,” Gallagher said. “It hosts lots of special events especially for the FFA where it hosts it’s annual convention every year. So it is important to those folks and Jackson county,” Gallagher said.
Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader said many people in the area have fond memories of summers spent at Cedar Lakes. She’s hoping the funding will open up new opportunities.
“The best part is they are looking ahead not just what it has been but what it can be. I would love to see it be a destination point for lots and lots of activity,” Rader said.
And even though it is about 4 miles outside of town she said it helps strengthen the local economy.
“I’ve said before that gives me an opportunity to tell these people Ripley is a great place to live,” Rader said.
The facility is open to the public now and taking bookings. This summer they’ll once again host the Mountain State Arts and Crafts Fair.