Welcome to the Pipestem Plan
What is the Pipestem plan?
The Pipestem plan is a proposed plan for Southern West Virginia to revitalize the region. West Virginia is a wonderful state full of natural resources, its most famous resource is coal. However, because of this fact, one of the most valuable resources in the state has been overlooked and its potential has not fully been exploited. Known as "Mountain State", its nickname only begins to describe the natural beauty that state possesses.
The goal of the Pipestem plan is to create a tourism corridor from Princeton, WV to Sandstone, WV along Rt. 20 which connects two major interstates, I-77 near Princeton, WV, and I-64 near Sandstone, WV. Ideally the "tourist hub" would be centered around the Mercer/Summers county line near the Pipestem State Park. The model proposed is similar to the Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, TN region, with Princeton, WV serving as an entry point of I-77, much like Sevierville does at I-40. Pipestem transforming into a town similar to Pigeon Forge, TN. And, Hinton becoming a destination much like Gatlinburg, TN.
The corridor will be entered from either interstate I-77 or I-64. The beginning of this corridor is less than 40 miles (30 min drive) from another major interstate, I-81 running through Southwest Virginia. In addition, there are multiple entry "back roads" that allow access to this proposed corridor, Rt. 12 connecting to Rt. 3 from the west side of Hinton, WV. Rt. 19 connecting to Rt. 20 near Athens, WV. US Rt. 460 connecting to Rt. 20 near Princeton, WV. All of these additional routes can serve as entry/exit routes during times of heavy traffic.