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Fayette County outfitter unveils festival venue

Register-Herald photo by F. Brian Ferguson ACE Adventure Resort’s new outdoor concert stage was unveiled Thursday during the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Business after Hours.
Register-Herald photo by F. Brian Ferguson
ACE Adventure Resort’s new outdoor concert stage was unveiled Thursday during the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Business after Hours.

OAK HILL, W.Va. — The ribbon was cut and the stage was christened Thursday evening as ACE Adventure Resort officially unveiled its new 12,500-capacity festival ground on the resort’s Mountaintop West Campground near Oak Hill at an event that also served as the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Business after Hours.

What was formerly a World War II-era settling pond has been transformed over the past nine months into a festival ground that ACE hopes will draw more visitors to southern West Virginia in the coming years. This weekend marks the first of many music festivals to come, said Jerry Cook, president and managing partner of ACE.

“Music has a really unique way of connecting people, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Cook.

This weekend’s inaugural Mountain Music Festival is a vision nearly 15 years in the making, said Cook, and was made possible only in October when the Fayette County Commission modified its mass gathering ordinance, which formerly hindered the project’s development.

While ACE and whitewater are nearly synonymous, ACE’s marketing director Beth Gill said that the festival ground construction is something intended to help the company capture a larger audience.

“As the numbers in whitewater rafting decline … we’ve been looking for other ways to draw new people to this area,” said Gill. “The festival (audience) age range is right for us, their interest level in the outdoors is right for us, so it’s actually a really awesome fit to introduce them to what else ACE has to offer…

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