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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $6.6 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds for Renovations to the Wilson Lodge in Wheeling, West Virginia

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $6.6 million grant to the Wheeling Park Commission, Wheeling, West Virginia, for renovations to Oglebay Park’s Wilson Lodge. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will support local tourism, a financial anchor for the regional economy as it recovers from the pandemic and a decline in the use of coal. This EDA grant will be matched with $1.6 million in local funds and is expected to create 45 jobs, retain 192 jobs, and generate $20 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds a better America in the process,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will increase local tourism, an economic driver for pandemic recovery efforts.”

“The travel and tourism industry plays a critical role in many local economies across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will support a series of renovations, including new sidewalks, landscaping, flooring, parking and other enhancements, providing travelers with dining and lodging accommodations and promoting the local tourist economy.”

“Grants like these are a major help toward West Virginia continuing the rocket ship ride that we’re on right now. As we invest more into our parks, lodges, and outdoor recreation, we will see the multiplier effect right back into our economy,” said Governor Jim Justice. “Not only will these funds help renovate the lodge and attract more visitors at Oglebay, but it will provide a major boost to the local workforce and surrounding businesses. I can’t thank the EDA enough for this grant and their continued investment in West Virginia and our communities.”

“The EDA continues to be a strong partner for West Virginia through their support for economic development projects across the state. Today’s announcement is great news for the Wheeling Park Commission and their continued efforts to develop sustainable tourism growth in the region,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “Investing in local tourism creates good-paying jobs and spurs economic opportunity, and this investment is a step in the right direction to boosting the growing tourism in Ohio County. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this funding for the Wheeling community and the entire Mountain State.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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