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Cedar Lakes looks to expand its facilities

RIPLEY — Cedar Lakes in Ripley is working to improve its facilities by expanding to house larger groups.

According to Karen Facemyer, director, the conference center hasn’t been able to accommodate groups that grow in numbers.

“(We have) lost many groups because they’re too big for what we can do,” Facemyer said.

The largest meeting space available holds about 300 people and the property can sleep about 700, she said.

Through the Legislature, Cedar Lakes was awarded $550,000 for a new assembly hall which will increase housing from 300 to about 600 people, Facemyer said.

Three architecture companies were selected to pitch their ideas for the new assembly hall on Dec. 9. Once that decision is made, the project will go out to bid for construction companies, Facemyer said.

“(We’re) hoping that $500,000 will do it,” she said.

For the meeting and event building, Cedar Lakes is starting to look into funding which is hoped to be lined up by spring of 2020, Facemyer said.

“(We) have no place in the county to hold large groups except for the armory and it’s hard to get into since the Army and National Guards are using it a lot,” Facemyer said.

She said with the larger meeting and event building, it could benefit the community by promoting hotel sales if adults come into town for a meeting who don’t want to stay in Cedar Lakes’ dorm-type setting.

Facemyer feels confident in the future of the conference center.

“If I had the building here, I know I’d have it full,” she said. “It’s going to take us getting back out there. There’s nothing like this outside of probably Charleston. (We) see a lot of groups across West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio that will use this.”

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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