“Almost heaven, West Virginia… Blue Ridge Mountains… Shenandoah River…Life is old there… Older than the trees…Younger than the mountains…Growing like a breeze..”– John Denver
Have you ever wanted to move to West Virginia? The state’s tourism board and Governor’s Office has created an extremely enticing offer to solve their issue of a dwindling population. In April, they announced their first worker program that gave new residents $12,000 to help incentivize a move to the state. In the first year, $10,000 is divided into monthly payments. The $2000 is given after the second full year of living in the state. The overall package gives movers $20,000 in incentives, which includes covering outdoor passes for various activities. The first applications ran through the end of May for the city of Morgantown, and fifty-three prospects were accepted. Applications are currently open for Lewisburg. Future applications will be available for the town of Shepherdstown.
Here’s an official description of the program from Ascend West Virginias website of the program and the town of Lewisburg :
“As if life in West Virginia isn’t prize enough, we’ll actually pay you $12,000 to move here. No strings attached. Over the course of the first year in your new mountain town, you’ll receive $10,000. That’s right. You’ll get $10-grand just for moving here. When you fall in love with Almost Heaven (and we’re sure you will) you’ll receive an additional $2,000 for your second year in West Virginia. Whether you put this $12,000 towards a new car for scenic drives down our country roads or a new mountain bike, it’s totally up to you. It’s true what they say: Money goes further in the mountains…
With a community focus, the small town of Lewisburg offers a dreamy mountain lifestyle. As one of the state’s most walkable cities, you don’t have to travel far to experience it all. The main street boasts flavorful dishes at diverse restaurants and an assortment of specialty shops and galleries. Indulge in a massage or facial at the healing Salt Cave and Spa. Interested in craft beer? Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company is just up the road and offers West Virginia favorites like the Devil Anse IPA and Zona’s Revenge Witbier. Of course, you’ll also find endless outdoor recreation opportunities. Explore ancient caverns at Lost World Caverns. Bike, hike, or horseback ride along a 78-mile-long former railroad, the Greenbrier River Trail.”
And then comes the insane outdoor perks with the move. You get a year of free outdoor activities, including a season pass with their partners(either Snowshoe Mountain, Winterplace Resort, and Canaan Valley Resort). Here’s the description of the outdoor perks:
“Stretch your legs and give your lunch break a refresh in the great outdoors. Here, nothing is off-limits. Go for a hike in your backyard or try your hand at high-speed adventure with rafting, off-roading, and climbing. Trust us, these activities will give you just the energy you need for your next video conferencing call. With a year of FREE activities like whitewater rafting and downhill skiing, your explorer’s heart will be right at home. To sweeten the deal, we’ll also give you access to free outdoor gear rentals for you, your family, and your friends. Adventure awaits.”
West Virginia’s decline has been no secret. After the coal, steel, and other various industries got offshored, the state has become one of the poorest in the nation. But it has one of some of the best scenery in the country, and a timeless John Denver anthem, so the hope for a better future is not lost. It is also home to the countries newest national park. Some states like Vermont have tried moves like this as well, but no state is offering this much money to help facilitate a move. You can submit an application here.