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Pine Mountain State Resort Park receives funds

From Middlesboro Daily News/Anthony Cloud -

Pine Mountain State Resort Park Lodge

Pine Mountain State Resort Park is in line to receive some utility improvements following an announcement by state tourism officials on Friday February 2nd..

The improvements are part of a statewide effort known as “Refreshing the Finest,” which is geared toward keeping Kentucky state parks up-to-date.

For Pine Mountain State Park manager Rita Edmondson, the improvements are a chance to keep visitors coming to the park and increasing tourism dollars for the community.

“I’ve worked at the park for a while now, and I also sit on the tourism board. I understand the economic impact the visitors to Pine Mountain have to our community and the dollars they spend once they get here,” said Edmondson. “Last year, Pine Mountain won an award for the top revenue. We’re a smaller park, so that was a good thing. We exceeded our revenue goal by over $100,000.”

Edmondson said the improvements make people want to stay once they see that the park is upgrading facilities and taking care of their amenities. “I don’t know if people really do understand the economic impact that this park and Cumberland Gap National Park and…Wilderness Road Park have in this area,” said Edmondson.

The money announced in Friday’s statement will be used to upgrade utility infrastructure for either water, electric or sewer. Pine Mountain will also receive hospitality upgrades that could include replacing furniture, fixtures, flooring and paint in the lodges and cottages.

“We’re still investigating all the needs at Pine Mountain, so I don’t know if it will be all those utilities,” said Kentucky State Park Information Officer Gil Lawson about the utility upgrades. “It will be at least one of them.”

Lawson could not provide a dollar amount on how much the upgrades at Pine Mountain would cost because the work has to be bid out.

This is not the first time Pine Mountain has received funding for upgrades to their facilities. During the first round of funding, the park received enough money to complete several upgrades. Those upgrades included: a new roof, several areas being painted, new windows and siding, new flooring in some areas, flat screen TVs for rooms, new mattresses and box springs and several other upgrades.

“There have been several things that we have done on the park in the past couple of years with this administration,” said Edmondson.

Pine Mountain State Park is just one of 17 resort parks in Kentucky that is benefiting from phase II of the “Refreshing the Finest” initiative.

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