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Joe Manchin III, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release : April 9, 2009

 Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-2003 ext. 365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov

Carol Stewart, WV State Parks, (304) 558-2764 carolstewart@wvdnr.gov

“All Aboard” WV State Park Promotion Stretches Vacation Budget
Buy a $100 WV State Park Gift Card in April;
get a ticket to Whittaker Station at Cass Scenic Railroad

            West Virginia State Park gift cards have been popular for Mother’s and Father’s Day gifts, birthdays and anniversaries, holidays, and for corporate incentive or employee reward programs.  However, state park gift cards purchased online at www.wvstateparks.com or by telephone at (304) 558-2764 during the month of April will include an even greater value.

            “The ‘All Aboard’ promotion helps state park patrons stretch getaway or vacation budget dollars even further,” says Carol Stewart, Gift Card Clerk for West Virginia State Parks. Gift card orders received from April 1 through April 30 will receive a ticket to ride to Whittaker Station at one of the greatest scenic railroads in the eastern United States, Cass Scenic Railroad.

            State park gift cards may be used to pay for a special event or a golf package, to enjoy a fine meal at a restaurant on Mother’s Day, or even to plan a fall or winter getaway at any WV state park.

            “The Whittaker Ticket can be given to the recipient of the gift card, kept by the purchaser, or given to someone else,” says Stewart. “You don’t have to use the gift card to enjoy a great experience riding the rails at Cass Scenic Railroad, but you will need a ticket, so take advantage of the ‘All Aboard’ promotion,” says Stewart. Gift cards can be used at Watoga, Seneca, Hawks Nest, Blackwater Falls, or any state park or forest.

            Each Whittaker Station ticket is valid from May 26 through September 20, 2009, for any day you visit Cass. The adult value is $17 to $20, depending on whether it is redeemed mid-week or on a weekend day. The ticket may be used for an adult or a child’s trip. Tickets may be upgraded for the longer trip to Bald Knob or to the Town of Spruce by paying the difference between the Whittaker Station fee and the preferred trip fee on the day of your visit. Tickets may also be upgraded to reserved seating status with an additional fee. The “All Aboard” ticket cannot be used for special evening dinner trains.

            “The ‘All Aboard’ ticket does require use by certain dates; however, there is no expiration on West Virginia State Parks gift cards,” says Stewart.  State park gift cards are accepted at all state parks and forests for lodge room and cabin rentals, restaurant meals, golf play, the wobble clay range at Cacapon, spa treatments at Berkeley Springs, gift shops, camping and for additional tickets at Cass Scenic Railroad if you need more for your group.

            Parks and forests are reasonably priced vacation options and remain family oriented with events, activities and public access to hiking, fishing and more. “If you’ve been meaning to get to a state park and need an excuse, this added value is ‘the ticket’ to plan a visit to West Virginia state parks and forests,” Stewart said.         

            The “All Aboard” gift card promotion only applies to WV State Park gift cards purchased online at www.wvstateparks.com or by phoning (304) 558-2764 from April 1 through April 30, 2009. Gift cards that are purchased at individual parks and forests will not include the Cass ticket. The promotion does not apply to previous card purchases or redemptions.
Information about Cass Scenic Railroad, train schedules and information is available at www.cassrailroad.com, or call (304) 456-4300 and ask for a 2009 Train Schedule.

            For more information about the April “All Aboard” offer or to purchase WV State Park gift cards, go online to www.wvstateparks.com and click “A Gift of Memories” or call (304) 558 2764.