Buffalo Trail opens Mercer County’s newest visitor center in Bluewell
BLUEWELL — The Bluewell community got buffaloed in a good way on Friday when a
huge inflatable buffalo took its place atop the new Buffalo Trail visitors center on U.S. Route 52 at the Lorton Lick Road intersection.
The buffalo is about 10-feet tall and 15-feet long.
The custom-made inflatable buffalo represents the latest brain storm of entrepreneurial genius, Seth Peters, owner of the Buffalo Trail ATV Resort on Lorton Lick Road less than a quarter-mile from Route 52 toward Montcalm.
“We were hoping to get the parking lot paved,” Peters said. He added that the lot will be paved in the future. “We inflated the buffalo yesterday, and it seems to be generating a lot of interest in the community.” He is also using a large grain bin to advertise the visitors center as well as the resort.
“I just think it’s terrific!” Skip Crane, president of the Bluewell Community Improvement Association said. “I think the whole town is excited by the efforts of this young, energetic visionary. We’re proud of our town and we’re proud of the new business. We’re proud West Virginians.”
Crane said that the success that Buffalo Trail has enjoyed has stimulated other Bluewell residents and business owners. He added that the excitement extends beyond Bluewell to Montcalm, Bramwell, Bluefield and all of Mercer County.
“Seth is a young man who grabbed the buffalo by the horns and has excited all of us,” Crane said. “I challenge anyone to set out here in Bluewell from 9 a.m., until 4 p.m., on any Friday and see all of the trailers loaded with ATVs passing through here. That’s money.
“For years, we have had an: ‘Oh, woe is me,’ attitude here with coal and the area economy being down,” Crane said. “We see opportunity now. It gives us all a little bit of hope.”
The awning roof of the former service station is decorated with fox grape vines. Visitors can fill their ice chests with free ice and fill their water bottles with free water or purchase soft drinks and snacks from the vending machines.
Carpenters were busy Friday erecting a toy museum in the service bays of the old service station, but the office is open and ready for visitors.
“We already have a vending machine for soft drinks, but we will have snack vending machines in there soon,” he said.
Peters said that members of the Mercer County Convention & Visitors Bureau tended the visitors center for the opening on Friday.
“It will be open 24 hours, but it won’t be staffed,” he said. “Visitors will be able to pick up brochures or use the men’s or women’s rest rooms at any time.”
Peters said that ATV riders have been streaming into the resort on Friday. “We’re totally booked up for the weekend,” Peters said.
Buffalo Trail opened about 18 months ago.