Guests not likely to notice Canaan management transfer

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View from ski lift at Canaan Valley State Park, Tucker County, Allegheny Highlands Region
Canaan ski lift in summer. Photo by Rick Burgess (Enlarge)

The July 1 transfer of management of Canaan Valley Resort State Park to a second hospitality-management company won’t likely result in obvious changes, according to officials at the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The new management company, which operates lodges and resorts in Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, and South Dakota, is not anticipated to significantly change operations at the four-seasons resort that’s best known for its ski area.

“Visitors shouldn’t notice any difference,” division spokesman Hoy Murphy said of the approaching transfer of management. A focus of outdoor recreation in the Canaan Valley of eastern West Virginia, the state park is perhaps best known for its lodge and 43-trail ski area, both of which have recently been remodeled, Murphy said.

According to Paul Redford, district administrator with the West Virginia State Park System, the current management contractor, Guest Services Inc., will continue to fulfill contract obligations through June 30.

“This is a five-year management contract that was awarded following a bidding process conducted under the guidelines of the West Virginia Purchasing Division,” Redford wrote in a press release issued April 29. “Both U.S. Hotel and Resort Management Inc. and GSI are professional hospitality and property-management companies, and they are working together to ensure that visitors to the park continue to receive excellent hospitality during this transition period.”

A wholly-owned subsidiary of The Ramkota Companies Inc., the management company is the general partner of limited partnerships that own hotels or have concession and management agreements involving lodging, food and beverage, and related resort activities. Among its properties, the company operates state park facilities at the Burr Oak Lodge & Conference Center, the Hueston Woods Lodge & Conference Center, and the Shawnee Lodge & Conference Center, in Ohio, and four lodges at Custer State Park in South Dakota.

The contract also includes operation of the restaurant and food services at near Canaan Valley at Blackwater Falls State Park.

Murphy said the state continues to work to emphasize the value of Canaan as a four-seasons resort, not only a destination for winter recreation. The park features 23 cabins, a 34-site campground, an 18-hole championship golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, and a 160-room lodge with multiple dining facilities and 25,000 square feet of conference space.

For information about facilities and events, call 304-866-4111, email CanaanValleySP@wv.gov, or visit www.canaanresort.com.