Tapping into growing market

MORRISTOWN-The region is buzzing about the potential influx of people working in the oil and gas industry. Where will these new residents live in a predominantly rural area? The owners of a new business in Morristown have an answer: the Utica Shale R.V. Park.

Scheduled to open in June, the 15-acre park is located behind Doan Ford on Ohio 149. Currently there are 152 sites in the first phases with the possible addition of more. Phase one will set up 84 sites of which 50 are already leased to an energy company. All sites will have full hook-ups (electric, water, sewer,) and 50, 30 or 20 amp service will be available. The park will also offer wireless Internet service and laundry facilities. Each site will be 50 by 30 feet.

The Eastern Ohio Management Group LLC has been exploring the idea for about a year, according to partner Jim Grear. “We visited places in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to see how they’re set up and how they operate,” he said. “Sometimes the perception of an RV park centers on the ‘weekend’ atmosphere. This type of facility is not like that. The people are working people, and this is where they live while they’re in the area.”

EOMG had prospective plans drawn up for two other locations when a conversation with Rick Doan prompted them to look at the present site, owned by the Doan family. Immediately off of Interstate 70’s exit 208, the location is within walking distance or a few miles of restaurants, a golf course, a medical clinic and pharmacy, an auto repair shop, car dealerships, Barkcamp State Park, a hospital, fitness centers and grocery stores. It will be a year-round facility.

“We were looking for a way to put this land to use,” Jane Doan explains about leasing the acreage. “This is a great way to help out the community and participate in all the activity. We’re thrilled about it.”

Grear says that they will be as accommodating as possible in providing services to the guests, and, though the park is being marketed to the oil and gas industry, it is open to the public. For more information, visit the website at www.uticashalervpark.com or contact Grear at (740) 238-0957.

Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland added that the commissioners are excited about this new venture and others that promote economic development.

“This project will be good for everyone,” said Coffland. “We want to let people know that Belmont County is ready for incoming business and welcomes the opportunities.”

Valenti can be reached at gvalenti@timesleaderonline.com.