Morgantown Summer 2021 Edition

The gates to Almost Heaven are now open. BRAD SMITH Huntington, West Virginia, native, former Intuit CEO, and a driving force behind WVU’s Brad & Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative

With a little work on the trail side, our paddling, climbing, and biking taken togeth- er will rival any town that’s considered an outdoors haven. ALL THAT , PLUS COLLEGE - TOWN DYNAMISM Even without billing itself as a premier out- door recreation destination, Morgantown’s culturally rich lifestyle has made it one of the fastest-growing towns in central Appalachia. Great dining? Check. As home to a flag- ship state university, we’ve long had the vari- ety of ethnic restaurants you’d expect to find in a much bigger city, plus everything from food trucks to steakhouses to farm-to-table fare. Craft beer scene? Check and double check: two breweries in town, plus a brewpub for a third. West Virginia–brewed beer is on tap everywhere, and local kombucha and hard cider can be found, too. The arts: The popularity of the visual arts is seen in the monthly Arts Walks downtown, an

annual Mo’town Studio Tour, Handcrafted Co- operative artisan markets, and frequent rotations at galleries. Public art is supported through the city’s active mural program, and fine arts are rep- resented through exhibits and programs at the Art Museum of WVU. Performing arts are alive and well here, too. Iconic venues ranging from a historical nightclub and a riverside amphitheater to a restored vaudeville stage and the university’s concert theater host local and touring music, dance, and theater performances in all genres. What about shopping? Morgantown has long supported a healthy mix of independent shops. But since it was named a Metropolitan Statisti- cal Area after the 2000 census, national chains have increasingly located here as well, includ- ing Barnes & Noble, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, and T.J. Maxx. That trend is continuing with the development at WestRidge Commons on the northwest side of town: Menard’s set up shop there over the winter, and Bass Pro Shops will follow later this year. Burlington, Home- Goods, PetSmart, Ross Dress for Less, and

26 MORGANTOWN SUMMER 2021

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