By Stephen Smoot
Although Pendleton and Grant counties earlier this year combined efforts into a regional economic development authority, each county kept its own separate office in operation. The PCEDA remains in place, although with a reduced purview.
One of the organization’s remaining jobs includes the yearly awarding of mini grants to county businesses to encourage development and growth. PCEDA partners with Pendleton Community Bank to provide the grants.
They handed out four awards last week.
The first went to a recently opened tourism business known as The Trout Camp. Founded by local fishing enthusiast Dustin Wichterman, it “offers 30 acres to explore, with 15 tent sites and annual RV sites open for reservation. Nestled between Big Run and the North Fork River, The Trout Camp offers ample angling attractions.” The Trout Camp received $3,000.
Sweetwater Farm Trail Center, a collaborative project of Experience Learning and Trail Labs, has spent almost a year developing miles of trails to accommodate bicycles and hikers. The organization also uses the space for a number of educational opportunities for young and old alike. PCEDA and PCB gave their program $1,200.
Mountain Springs Motel LLC, formerly Thompson’s Hotel, has spent the past year retooling under new ownership to provide both lodging for visitors and small efficiency apartments for locals. They were granted $500.
Cool Hollow Maple Farm, a family farm that produces genuine maple and other products, received $250. According to their website, “we pride ourselves on offering organic maple syrup, nature’s greatest sweetener.”
The grant program exists to provide incentives and support for local businesses and development of tourism.