By Wendy Holdren
Cozy, upscale, but affordable. That’s the game plan for a newly opened resort in southern West Virginia.
Located in Ghent, just off I-77 on U.S. 19, Skyline Resort recently opened its restaurant, 4 Season, and Rich & Ernie’s Bar.
The resort is far from finished though — by mid-May, co-owner Rich O’Donnell said 48 rooms will be ready to rent, an outdoor dining deck will be open and an old gym will be refurbished for wedding receptions, class reunions and more.
Although the owners are waiting for the “wow factor” for their grand opening celebration, they want to invite everyone out to try some great food, handcrafted by chef Bill Wolfe, who has over 30 years experience in the industry.
4 Season offers a variety of foods, including steaks, seafood, specialty dishes and lighter menu items.
Dinner is served seven days a week, from 5 to 10 p.m., and a special Sunday brunch is served each week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On Wednesdays, teachers are treated to a 10 percent discount, and on Fridays through Easter, a seafood buffet will be offered.
The homemade food, created by a former Black Knight Country Club chef, is only part of the experience; guests can enjoy a beautiful view of the lake and the West Virginia mountains from the dining area, which currently seats up to 50 people.
The entrance lounge is quite cozy as well, furnished with plush seating areas in front of a rustic fireplace.
Keeping in tune with the rustic atmosphere, Rich & Ernie’s features a beautiful wood carved bar and woodwork walls.
Five 50-inch flatscreen televisions line the walls, and
O’Donnell says they make for great sports viewing.
A wide variety of top-shelf liquor, draft beer and fine wines are available. The bar is open every night of the week starting at 5 p.m.
The properties were formerly owned by Appalachian Bible College, which shut down operations in 2012.
O’Donnell and his business partner Ernie Blair saw the perfect opportunity to transform the area into something residents and travelers alike would truly enjoy.
After they acquired the property, they spent a great deal of time in December 2013 doing plumbing repairs.
They installed a new stove, a new grill, built in the wall between what is now the restaurant and pub, installed new carpet and completed a whole list of other upgrades.
“We’re excited about it,” O’Donnell said. Even though the restaurant and bar have only had a soft opening, they are already seeing crowds on weekends.
For Easter, Skyline Resort is preparing a special brunch, along with egg-hunting for the kids.
In the future, they are hoping to secure local golf course deals for their guests, as well as Winterplace packages. Winterplace has already agreed to offer a shuttle bus down to the location to pick up guests for skiing and snowboarding.
O’Donnell said guests will be able enjoy the outdoors in the summertime at Skyline also, as he plans to equip the lake with paddle boards, boats and fishing poles.
“We want this to be a four season resort.”
Whether it’s a father/son bonding trip, or a weekend couples getaway, Skyline Resort hopes to offer something for everyone.
“We’re trying to make this a destination for people to come and enjoy a weekend — stay and play.”
With each year, O’Donnell said he hopes to develop the property more.
The gym could serve as a recreational area for guests, or serve as a venue for entertainment, like live music.
Another building called The Bunk House, has eight bedrooms with eight bunks in each room, totaling 64 beds, which O’Donnell said would be excellent for large groups.
Camping and other outdoor activities are also future possibilities. “The development potential here is huge.”
He also hopes to eventually host wine, beer and barbecue festivals at the resort.
Skyline Resort is located at 127 Lakeview Drive in Ghent.
For more information, call 304-787-6210, visit www.skylineresortllc.com or visit Skyline Resort LLC on Facebook.
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