Location: Mount Nebo, West Virginia
Years in Business: < 1 year
Product/Service: Lodging
NCIFund Role: Business loan
Sector: Hospitality, outdoor recreation
Impact: Job creation, support for sustainable tourism 


Carnifex Ferry Cabins is less than 4 miles from Summersville Lake, the largest lake (28,000 acres) in West Virginia, which boasts 60 miles of shoreline and a million visitors annually. The area is a gathering place for environmental tourism, offering boating, water-skiing, white-water rafting, swimming, fishing, biking and rock climbing. In addition, the property borders Carnifex Ferry Battleground State Park, which offers waterfalls, miles of hiking trails, Civil War reenactments, and historical information.

The cabins sit on 36.7 acres and include 11 cabins available for short-term rental. Despite their proximity to major tourist destinations, the cabins were minimally promoted on social media. With increased publicity and minor upgrades, the Grant-Harts were confident they could increase the occupancy and profitability. 

The Opportunity
The Grant-Harts brought equity to the table, but needed financing to cover the purchase price and additional working capital for upgrades to the cabins’ amenities. Summit Community Bank was able to provide a portion of the financing, but to make the purchase happen, more financing was needed. The WV Small Business Development Center referred the entrepreneurs to NCIFund. Our subordinated loan serves as ‘equity-like’ capital; without it, the transaction would not have happened.  

Impact
Carnifex Ferry Cabins is a great example of how NCIFund’s targeted financing supports entrepreneurs who contribute to local economic growth. The Grant-Harts have brought new life to the venture and are determined to increase stays at the Cabins with an aggressive marketing plan to list all the cabins on Airbnb and increase social media promotions.  They’re contributing to local economic growth, bringing two new jobs to the area, and increasing the benefits available to the two employees staying on after the change. 

And, they have also purchased a home in Fayetteville, WV to serve as their main residence. This is good news for West Virginia, a state that continues to lose population. 

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Check out Carnifex Ferry Cabins’ website for more information.