Elkins Main Street gives project updates


ELKINS — An Elkins Main Street official gave an update on the group’s ongoing projects this week during a city of Elkins Municipal Property Committee special meeting.

Dave Cutlip, Elkins Main Street Design Committee chair, said following last week’s Scarecrow Festival material distribution that nearly 100 scarecrows should be lining the streets of downtown this fall.

“We have about 80 frames out there and another 15 groups said they are going to bring back a new and improved version of last year’s scarecrow, so we should have 100 around town,” he said.

He added there are several events planned for Sept. 22, the day the scarecrows will be set up.

“We are planning some events for that evening and a number of the businesses agreed to participate,” Cutlip said. “There is a discussion of talent shows, high school band performances and events for children and families. … We are going to move from just setting up the scarecrows to making it more of a festival and kick-off day.”

He also discussed the possibility of turning the former Tygart Hotel — now known as the 206 Apartments — into a boutique hotel.

“Representing Main Street, I attended a Tygart Hotel Development Committee meeting. Mark Doak has put together a group of people that includes Envision Elkins, the chamber, Rotary, the banks, the city, Main Street and other stakeholders,” Cutlip said. “Our goal is to nudge this thing forward. The potential developer is interested in moving forward.”

If the project comes to fruition, amenities of the boutique hotel would include a restaurant, rooftop bar and 64 hotel rooms.

“Ultimately, if the plan would go together as they view it now, it’s very conceptual, they would like to have a rooftop restaurant to take advantage of the views from the top of the hotel,” Cutlip said. “I think they are talking roughly 60 rooms, a major renovation. It is a historic building and, despite what some of the rumors are, it hasn’t been defiled significantly in the sense that applying for some historic tax credits could probably be achieved but, again, this is all speculative right now. The goal is to be a boutique hotel. … Essentially, when it’s said and done, a new hotel in the shell of the old hotel.”

Cutlip said Main Street officials also plan for the completion of the bike trail connector between Elkins Depot Welcome Center and the Darden Mill — home of the West Virginia Railroad Museum and Appalachian Forest Heritage Area.

“There are three lights that go in along that trail that are similar to the rest of the lights in the development area. Those lights have been received and (Randolph County Development Authority Executive Director Robbie Morris) has been working with Mon Power to arrange what circuit to tie into so those should be erected here soon,” he said. “We will be doing a dedication of that during the First Friday event in September.”