WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVNS) — Both U.S Senator Shelley Moore Capito and West Virginia Delegate Moore Capito paid a visit to Greenbrier County to take a look at the area’s revitalization.
Senator Capito and company walked down main street in White Sulphur Springs, stopping at each business along the way and getting to know business owners. Just a few days after the fifth anniversary of the Thousand Year Flood, Senator Capito was in awe of how far the area has come since.
“Businesses in White Sulphur, the renaissance of Main Street… is just phenomenal,” said Sen. Capito.
She wanted to focus on and highlight the economic development as well as the recovery and revitalization of the area.
“A great example to a lot of our small towns in West Virginia on how you pick yourself up and start to attract businesses,” said Sen. Capito.
As an added bonus, she got an inside look at a new hotel setting up shop in the former White Sulphur Springs High School. The hotel, appropriately named the School House Hotel, has a different focus than just giving tourists a place to stay.
The project is lead by Disability Opportunity fund, a non-profit based out of New York. The non-profit focuses on financial development, geared toward those with disabilities.
President and CEO, Charlie Hammerman, said while they work around the country, he felt a special connection to the area after hearing about the damage the floods caused.
He said he wanted to do something incredibly special for a community that deserves it, which brought him to the former high school.
“We did a lot of investigation and there has never been one hotel where 100 percent of the rooms and every aspect of the building would be fully handicap accessible,” said Hammerman.
The hotel will include 30 rooms, a restaurant and rooftop bar, in which are all accessible for those with mental and physical disabilities.
“They have even thought about: if you pull up to the bar and you are in a wheelchair, we are going to have a place for you to be comfortable so you don’t have to reach up,” said Sen. Capito.
As he has a daughter who is disabled, Hammerman said he wants to do whatever he can to give to the greater good.
“The story is not about us. The story is about this community,” said Hammerman.
Plans are in place to have the main ballroom open by New Year’s Eve for a special community event, with a soft opening set for 2022.