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Elkhorn Inn & Theatre

Submitted by: Elisse Clark
Business Website:
State: West Virginia
City: Eckman

Business Description

The Elkhorn Inn is a 14-guest room historic “Coal Heritage Trail” inn providing bed-and-breakfast accommodation and fine dining by reservation; we are on the Bon Appetit Appalachia “foodie” map!

What one unique aspect of your business will make you succeed over the next year?

The Elkhorn Inn is the only surviving historic “Coal Heritage Trail” building in our area, and the only one in West Virginia providing lodging and fine dining- and the only restaurant in “really southern” West Virginia on the 6-state Bon Appetit Appalachia “foodie” map! We also have a copy of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on our property that is the only one in the state! Thus the Elkhorn Inn truly is unique, and as McDowell County has a number of world-class things to offer tourists, including some of the best railfanning, wild trout stream, and ATV trails in the nation, we believe that with the right marketing and promotions targeted at specific tourism segments (and more “sweat equity” on our part!) we should be even more successful in the coming year. “Cultural Heritage Tourists” are the majority of our guests; people who are interested in the history and culture of a place, as well as wanting fun things to do, and fine food to enjoy. The Elkhorn Inn was built in 1922 as the Empire Coal & Coke Company’s “Miner’s Clubhouse”, and survived the Mine Wars, and epic floods that devastated the country periodically. Now now that we have restored the building, our guests are able to stay and dine in an historic place that is truly part of the fabric of our county.

How does your business make a positive impact on the community?

When we saved and restored the last, surviving historic “Coal Heritage Trail” building in Landgraff, WV, and opened our home as the Elkhorn Inn, our aim was to help kick-start the post-flood tourism economy of McDowell Co., by providing needed lodging & tourism services, as McDowell Co. offers excellent railfanning, ATVing, wild trout fishing, and other fun! We believed that we could not only save this historic building, but truly make it “live” again, welcoming guests from around the USA and overseas- and we did! We have a “museum room” at the Inn documenting local history, a gift shop featuring local products, & we offer fine dining at the Inn by reservation, putting McDowell Co. on the Bon Appetit Appalachia 6-state “foodie” map.

What would you do with a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, training, and help from a SCORE mentor to grow your business?

With a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card we would purchase a new refrigerator for the Inn’s kitchen, and we would love help and training from a SCORE mentor to market and promote the Inn (and McDowell County tourism) more effectively, reaching out to additional tourism markets to help grow our business. While we do market to railfans, trout fishing folks, and ATV riders, we would love to be able to attract more artists, photographers, filmmakers, educators, musicians, and creative people, more “foodies”, more guests from overseas, and more corporate clients...
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