MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –– State and local leaders broke ground for a $11 million KOA campground and officially opened the new turf fields and pickleball courts on Wednesday.

Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Tourism Chelsea Ruby celebrated the day as a win for local residents and a win for the growing state tourism industry. Tourism in West Virginia generates $7 billion and supports at least 50 jobs.

“Today is an incredible accomplishment for this community, which has worked really hard not only to develop a community asset but also one that people from across the country are traveling to,” Ruby said.

General Manager of the Mylan Park KOA Campground, Frank Witt, said the campground will be on 35 acres of reclaimed mine land on the south side of the park. The park will consist of a lodge, 148 spaces for recreational vehicles, four cabins, and four tent spaces. Campers will have access to water, electricity, WiFi, and all activities offered at the park while they are in operation.

“The lodge is where people come to register, do group activities, and congregate,” Witt said. “We’ll have a cornhole, bocce ball, and a kids play area, so it’s a center of attention.”

The Mylan Park facility will join the KOA statewide network that includes the Flatwoods KOA Journey, Harppers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA Holiday, and the Huntington/Fox Fire Holiday.

“If you look at the accommodation sector of the tourism economy, RV camping is one of the fastest-growing things,” Ruby said. “This is something where we don’t have enough capacity in West Virginia; we have more campers than we have spots.”

As the ground-breaking was being held, participants and spectators were arriving for the Black Diamond Cluster Dog Show. The parking lot in the center of the facility was filling up with RVs that would have likely been going to the Mylan Park KOA Campground rather than the middle of a parking lot.

The turf fields were funded through local efforts and a $3.5 million grant from the West Virginia Development Authority. This includes a returf of the multi-purpose field located at the lower portion of the baseball and softball complex and the addition of a grass soccer field, making seven field upgrades in total. Also, six outdoor pickleball courts were officially opened.

“People right now are in the parking lot, and they’re here for different events in December, January, and February, and now with the turf fields that will get more year-round play, you’ll see more of that focus,” Witt said.

Mylan Park started with 30 acres donated by Milan Puskar in 1999. 25 years later, the park is more than 1,000 acres, with a variety of facilities added over the years based on community needs.

“What it does for our county, our region, and our area for people of all ages and all sectors of life, as well as our economic growth in our community, is just fantastic,” Mark Nessleroad, one of the park’s founders and board members, said.