"It's going to be a nice facelift for these buildings," said Deborah Demyan, project engineer for the state parks system.
Another Magic Carpet lift is being installed to serve a new ski school area adjacent to the ski area lodges. The new bunny slope was needed to separate novice skiers from skiers and snowboarders completing their runs, often at high speed, on the park's more challenging runs.
The $10 million project also includes some slope work at Blackwater Falls State Park, where a third Magic Carpet lift is being installed at the park's 800-foot sledding run to replace the old rope tow system -- now powered by the wheels of a retired state park truck.
"Hopefully, in the spring, we'll be able to start installing some snowmaking over there, too," Leslie said.
The $10 million in slope-side improvements is part of a $36 construction project for Canaan Valley Resort State Park funded through a bond issue. Most of the money is being used to pay for construction of the park's main lodge building, located across W.Va. 32 from the ski area.
The new four-story lodge wings taking shape adjacent to the existing lobby-restaurant building are now under roof, allowing work to continue through the winter. Work on the new 162-room lodge, which will provide guests with sweeping views of Canaan Valley, is on schedule and is expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of next August.
The new rooms will come in a variety of sizes and configurations, including suites with fireplaces and balconies.
A large central lodge building was initially envisioned for Canaan Valley in the early '70s, but when funding for the structure did not fall into place, a decision was made to erect the current facility -- a cluster of five 50-room modular units.
"The current lodge wasn't designed to be used for as long as it has been," said Beafore. "The new lodge is long overdue."
While the resort's total number of lodge rooms will drop from 250 to 162, marketing studies have indicated that the lower number of rooms is the most economical to maintain, according to Beafore.
Lelsie said it's possible one of the 50-room modular sections of the old lodge could be retained for use by scout, church or other groups.
When Appalachian Corridor H reaches nearby Davis -- now projected for the fall of 2014 -- "this place will explode with visitors," Beafore said. "This work will help us be ready for them."
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.