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Public gets first look at new aerial tram for Pipestem Resort State Park

By Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PIPESTEM, W.Va. — State officials joined local people Monday to see the progress being made at a new aerial tram system scheduled to open this fall at Pipestem Resort State Park.

Gov. Jim Justice and officials with the state parks and state tourism offices visited Pipestem Resort State Park Monday to discuss the new aerial tram project. The aerial tram has been a fixture in southern West Virginia since 1970.

“It’s really, really great to be a part of and work for West Virginia state parks,” said Chief of State Parks Brad Reed. “So what you see here today is just one more example of progress that we have made under Gov. Justice’s administration. This tram is an amazing project. Those of you who have been around Pipestem all your lives know that the old tram, that it was ready. It was time for us to move on and bring a new tram here like in Hawks Nest. Honestly, there are projects like this all over the parks system that were undone that are now done.”

“This tram that you see before you today is a product of West Virginia engineering,” Reed said.

West Virginia Secretary of Tourism Chelsea Ruby said when she told the governor that the aerial trams at both Pipestem and Hawks Nest State Park in Ansted had to be replaced and only one could be done, he insisted that both be replaced.

“It’s been absolutely incredible to watch as our parks system has seen a complete transformation over the past seven years. We can never thank Gov. Justice enough for his commitment to making our state park system the very best in the country,” Ruby said.

Justice said that Pipestem Resort State Park was “a jewel beyond belief for West Virginia” and repeated that both state park aerial trams needed to be replaced.

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