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Best Adventure Vacation - Why Choose ACE?

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WHY ACE


Why Choose ACE Adventure Resort?


  1. Location! Location! Location!
  2. ACE Is A World Of Adventure In One Place
  3. ACE Has America’s Best Whitewater
  4. More Amenities Than Anyone In One Location
  5. Exclusive! ACE Lake WaterPark
  6. Endless “Free” Activities On Premise
  7. Best Price Value In The East
  8. Superior Equipment
  9. Professional Staff “Our Goal Is To Exceed Your Expectations!”
  10. Behind The Scenes “Living The Dream"


1) Location! Location! Location!

Ace Adventure Resort Lake ACE Adventure Resort is a private 1,500-acre mountain hideaway that has the most impressive array of on-premises adventures, activities, lodging and amenities of any Adventure Outfitter in the East! We are the only one located in the “Grand Canyon of the East” - the New River Gorge National River - giving you an exclusive “River-To-Rim” experience to one of our National Treasures. Located three miles away from the highway and traffic noise, our spacious facility maximizes your privacy and surrounds you with the great outdoors.

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2) ACE Is A World Of Adventure In One Place!

Rock ClimbingA world of adventure in one place means no driving, no waiting… just endless fun activities and adventures in one all exclusive 1,500-acre “Adventure Play Park”. “Only At ACE” has become our motto and goal – we don’t want to be like everyone else. The other “outfitters” try to claim that they’re the “best” or “premier” outfitter, but when you compare - we believe you’ll see the difference. Featured on the Travel Channel as North America's Largest Adventure Resort - we have more on-premises activities and adventures than any one else.

3) America’s Best Whitewater at ACE

White Water Rafting “Wild and Wonderful” West Virginia mountains are adorned with pristine streams and mighty roaring rivers. ACE Adventure Resort has been the #1 rated Adventure Outfitter in the state for more than a decade, providing premier river adventures through the “Grand Canyon of the East” – the big-water New River and the non-stop, adrenaline pumping action of the “Beast of the East” - the legendary Gauley River for over 30 years. Within a 30-miles radius of our resort, thrill-seekers will find four designated National Rivers and over 100 miles of whitewater to explore - a concentration of whitewater found nowhere else in the U.S. With over 30 different trips from mild to wild and more access points than anyone else – we can ensure the highest quality experience over any other outfitter.

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4) More Amenities In One Location

Ace Lakeside Bar & Grill Special care has been taken to design and refine our amenities and adventures over the years to accommodate most any age and group size. We feature the most diverse lodging options in the area – everything from simple to wow! Don’t worry about the food – our casual Lakeside Dining Lodge is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the freshly prepared meals with your favorite beverage and dessert. Our lakeside Lost Paddle Bar Grill is the perfect setting for nighttime entertainment.

5) Exclusive! ACE Adventure Lake & Park!

Ace Lake Activities There is nothing like it in the state! Just about everything at our base camp centers around our unique, spring feed, 5-acre play lake. Words alone can’t do it justice – watch our short two-minute video and see for yourself why it is one of the most popular features at our base camp. And did we tell you… it’s included (with every adventure package booked at ACE you receive a half-day pass – believe us, a half-day of playing on the lake will help out even the most adventurous have a good night sleep).

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6) Endless “Free” Activities On-Premises

Beach Volleyball We never stop thinking of new ways to maximize your experience with ACE. With 1,500-acres (the next closets outfitter has 156 acres) we have plenty of room to expand our industry leading, on-premises, list of activities. Bring your mountain bike, or go hiking on miles of private trails. You can discover beautiful waterfalls, “ooh” and “ah” at our numerous overlooks of the gorge, relax or fish at our private lakes or explore the ruins of some of the old ghost towns from a bygone era in and around our property. Since our property is located within the New River Gorge you can link up with the National Park trails for endless exploration.

7) Best Price Value In The East

White Water Rafting We have worked hard to earn the distinction as being West Virginia’s #1 rated Adventure Outfitter in the state. Guests realize that their hard-earned recreation dollars are best spent with a respected and experienced outfitter with more quality adventures and activities than anyone else. Instead of contracting out services to the lowest bidder, we’ve assembled a team of over 200 dedicated people so each aspect of your experience can meet our high standard. From office staff, guides, food service, lodging, transportation, kayak, rafting, climbing, biking and horse services, our team does it all. As you will find it pays to go with the highest quality Adventure Outfitter.

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8) Superior Equipment

ATV Tours in West Virginia ACE Adventure Resort has been the industry leader and innovator when it comes to outdoor adventures and it requires top of the line equipment and knowledge. We were the first with self-bailing rafts – we now have a full fleet of specially designed rafts. When you offer Zipline Canopy Tours, Ropes Courses and other technical adventures, you better know your stuff. We have full-time professional inspectors that do nothing else but inspect our equipment.

9) Professional Staff

Zip Line Tours in West Virginia “Our Goal Is To Exceed Your Expectations!” Our professional and friendly staff is why more guests choose ACE as their Adventure Outfitter of choice than any other. Adventure activities are people activities – it takes a special type of person to guide a raft down a river or set up a rope system and man it as you zip through the trees. We can’t afford to just have anyone working for us. We have rigorous certified training programs and review systems that are unparalleled in the industry. They must be the best to work for ACE. We have this commitment of excellence on all levels of staffing – not just our guides.

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10) Behind The Scenes “Living The Dream”

Rafting For more than 30 years we have been committed to the “total” guest experience. Outdoor adventures and sharing them with others is our passion. When we aren’t out playing on our own – we are planning for the next one. During the winter months, we love to sit in front of the computer and research and dream of the next great adventure we can add to the long list of ACE Adventure Resort activities. It took a lot of hard work to get to the top, and we know it is going to be even harder to stay there… but it’s fun trying!

BASECAMP

BASE CAMP
ACE
AOTG
RE
N&G
Ult
WVA
Acreage
1,500
226*
145
13
9
6
River-to-Rim Experience
         
Overlooks the New River Gorge
       
National Park Trails
         
Historic Sites
         
Waterfalls
         
Our spacious facility maximizes you privacey. Seprate areas for different groups… quite or festive.
*Acreage may vary due to land acquisitions
 
ON-SITE LODGING
      
Deluxe Cabins (full kitchen)
36
       
Cabins (kitchenette only)
8
         
Camping Cabins
10
 
Bunk Houses (heat/lights/bathroom/fans)
11
       
Cabin Tents (beds & mattresses)
25
       
Groups Tents
3
         
Tent Sites
800
Hot Tubs
44
     
RV Sites (full hook-ups)
5
   
ON-SITE DINING
      
Restaurant (climate controlled)
     
Bar & Grill (screen TV & a-la-carte menu)
 

 

ACTIVITIES

ON-SITE ADVENTURES
ACE
AOTG
RE
N&G
Ult
WVA
White Sandy Beach
         
Water Trampolines & Toys
         
Lake Swimming
         
Wet Willie Water Slide
         
Water Zip-Line
         
Fishing
         
Water Volleyball
         
Water Basketball
         
Tetherball
       
Sand Volleyball
       
Table Tennis
         
Cornhole
Outdoor Movies (22-foot screen!)
       
Climbing Wall
         
Eurobungy Jumper
         
ON-SITE ACTIVITIES       
Zip-Line Canopy Tour
       
Rock Climbing/Rappelling
         
Alpine Tower
         
Ropes Course
         
Mud Obstacle Course
         
Paintball Courses
       
Mountain Bike/Hiking Trails
         
Stand Up Paddleboarding
         

 

RAFTING

 SUMMER GAULEY
ACE
AOTG
RE
N&G
Ult
WVA
Upper Gauley Trips - Daily
       
Lower Gauley Trips - Daily
       
Gauley Overnights
       
The best hot-grilled riverside lunch in the industry.
FALL GAULEY
      
Upper Gauley Hot Lunch
     
Upper Gauley Restrooms
     
Sweet's Falls Lunch Site
 
     
Lower Gauley Hot Lunch
       
Lower Gauley Restrooms
       
ACE's private access on the Lower Gauley eliminates the 3 miles of flat water others must paddle!
NEW RIVER
 
Upper New Hot Lunch
         
Upper New Restrooms*
           
Lower New Hot Lunch
         
Lower New Restrooms*
         

ACE is the only company with private access to the New River.

*Both the Upper and Lower New sections have restrooms, but availability will depends on water levels.

 

Jobs at ACE

ACE Employment Info

Thank you for your interest in employment with the ACE Adventure Resort team. We are the largest and the fastest growing whitewater rafting outfitter in West Virginia, and we offer the coolest jobs, too.

Our season runs from April through the end of the Gauley River season in mid-October. However, the real busy time is between Mid-June and Mid-August. This is seasonal outdoor work that requires a high level of "people skills" plus the technical and leadership skills necessary to lead a crew of novice paddlers down some of the East's most challenging whitewater rivers. If you provide the people skills, we can teach you the leadership and technical skills you need to be a guide, instructor or any other role. If you would like a summer job that's interesting, challenging, rewarding and (above all) fun, fill out our online application. We will get in touch with you by phone or e-mail and get you all the information you will need to decide if the ACE Adventure Resort team is right for you.
 

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PHILOSOPHY

ACE's History and Company Philosophy

RaftingACE Adventure Resort began in 1979 as ACE Whitewater which ran commercial river trips on the New and Gauley rivers. For several years, ACE was among the smallest outfitters in West Virginia and, as late as 1986, had only 2900 paying guests. This past season ACE carried over 40,000 guests on these same rivers.

In 1987, the present ownership took over and began to aggressively grow the company. Within 8 years, ACE had grown to be the largest outfitter in the state. This growth has continued since then, culminating in being featured on the Travel Channel as North America’s Largest Adventure Resort in 2010! The resort has added to its adventure activities, Zip Lining Canopy Tours, ATV Tours, Mountain Bike Tours, Paintball Course, High Ropes Challenge, Mud Obstacle Course, Climbing Trips and most recently the Water Park. ACE Adventure Resort has become an end destination for most of our guests.

There are several obvious reasons for this unparalleled growth and success. First of all, we give our customers the best whitewater experience available in West Virginia. From our pioneering efforts with self-bailing rafts, smaller 12 and 14-foot boats, and private riverside lunch spots (with sanitary facilities and hot-grilled lunches) to our relentless and continuing improvement of offerings, we give our customers a whole lot more for their money than they can get anywhere else. Secondly, our 1,500-acre resort gives our customers a “home base” with great lodging and use of the water park and other activities. Everyone, employees and customers alike, appreciate the miles of hiking and biking trails, the swimming beach and the stocked fishing lakes that are available to them free of charge. Our dinind facility features 3 resturants serving three meals a day. The Lost Paddle Bar & Grille provides a lively nightlife scene for our guests and staff to mix and mingle. There’s simply nothing like the ACE Adventure Resort anywhere else in West Virginia and our customers keep voicing their approval by returning year after year.

Mission Statement

Our philosophy is simple: give our guests the highest quality outdoor adventure and have a great time doing it!

With a choice of over 60 different trips and activities, we can provide a quality outdoor adventure for just about anybodyfrom easy family fun trips to world-class whitewater thrills. We charge a fair price and provide top-shelf quality in all of our offerings. We treat our employees as family…and we treat our customers as guests. That’s why we have very low staff turnover and very high repeat business…and that’s why ACE is in a class by itself as West Virginia’s #1 adventure resort.

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GUIDE OPPORTUNITIES

What You'll Learn at ACE

Mountain BikingWe understand that our guides are on the front linesand it's their goal to provide the best outdoor adventure experience anywhere. In order to attract the highest quality employees, we have to provide something more than just a summer job. Virtually all our outstanding managers started as guides, so there’s a career opportunity here if you want it. But even if you only stay for a few seasons, you’ll leave with a lot of invaluable skills…not to mention all the irreplaceable memories. Very few entry-level jobs allow you to develop leadership skills.

As an ACE guide, you woll be responsible for guests. It will be your knowledge and skills that provide these folks a safe and enjoyable experience…be it passage down the river or zipping through the tree canopy. It will be your decisiveness that demonstrates that skill and gives your guest the confidence to follow your lead. It will be you that leads them on their adventure. Many of your crews will be professionals: doctors, lawyers, highly paid executives…they’ll put their trust in you. Think how few people ever find themselves in such a position. There’s no doubt that every ACE guide quickly develops the kind of leadership skills that most people will never achieve in their entire lives! Whether you make your career in outdoor adventure or go on to other pursuits, those leadership skills will prove invaluable throughout your life.

You’ll be amazed to discover that most of your guests simply can’t believe that you actually live and work in what has to be one of the most beautiful natural locations on earth. It’s a regrettable fact of modern life that most people live in cities and never get to spend much time in the undiscovered outdoors. Just spending a single summer here will give you an appreciation for the finer…and simpler…things of life.  Sharing this gift with "new friends" is priceless.

Finally, at ACE we can provide you with something that you don’t often find…while learning these skills, you get paid. With over 40,000 guests to care for, we need lots of help. ACE guides, even the new ones, get more work than do guides for many other companies. During the height of the season, it’s not unusual for our staff to work six or seven days a week if they work in more than one department. We provide a variety of living styles for you at no charge. And there’s so much to learn while you’re here. Any of our activities: kayaking, ATV riding, mountain biking, climbing, zip-lining, high ropes challenge and of course, rafting…they’re all available to you at no charge when space is available.

Full-Time or Part-Time

The majority of our guides are available for full-time work throughout our season,, but some have "real" jobs during the week and help out on busy weekends. If you are able to devoted the needed time to train with us and can commit to working on our busiest days, we can tailor your schedule around your other commitments. It is not unusual for our guests to request certain guides for their adventure. ACE tries to do whatever is best for their guests. Our guide primary training classes usually begin around Apriol 1st. All first year guides will also be trained to work as reservationists and will alternate weeks between river training and reservation work throughout the training period. After training is complete, new guides will work 2-3 days per week in the reservation office plus whatever river or other work for which they are qualified. This means new staff will be earning income even before they're checked out as guides. A limited secondary training will be held starting mid-May for highly qualified prospects unable to start in April.

To be considered a full-time employee, you’ve got to be available for work at any time throughout the season. We post the schedule a week in advance so you’ll know your days off at that time. Because we need to count on our full-time employees, we can’t allow extended time off during our primary season.

Aside from the reservation office, other areas of work might be the welcome center, water park, grounds maintenance, equipment repair, food services, bartending, climbing/rappelling, zip-line, mountain bikes, kayak instruction, high ropes challenge, and ATV trips.

You will need to interview with the appropriate manager to secure your off-river position. Any guide who doesn’t want to perform some type of off-river work is considered a part-time guide.

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RESORT STAFF

Resort Staff Opportunities

Ace Adventure Resort StaffIt takes a lot of staff to run "North America's Largest Adventure Resort". From kitchen workers, bus drivers to ATV guides, there are plenty of opportunities for employment. We are always looking for the best workers. Here are few areas you may be able to find a job:
  • Bus Drivers (must have a CDL with experience)
  • Kitchen & Bar staff
  • Grounds keepers
  • Lake attendants
  • Climbing & Zip guides
  • ATV guides
  • Reservation office
  • Welcome center
  • Video boaters
  • And so much more...

Our "peak season" of mid-June to Mid-August is perfecrt for college interns - a great way to get real life skills in a fun environment!

So if you think you have what it takes and want a great job, just click the button below and fill out the form.

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BENEFITS

Benefits Include:

  • Ace Adventure Resort BusUnlimited river trips for staff based on availability
  • Each employee is entitled to six steeply discounted trips for family and friends per season (some restrictions apply)
  • $25.00 lodging rates for family when available (prior owner approval)
  • Use of water park facilities by immediate family members when accompanied by employee
  • Free camping (refundable deposit required)
  • Free training plus opportunity for income during training period
  • Meal discouints available at all dining facilities
  • Opportunity for PRO-purchases at AMS and AAG retail stores
  • Flexibility in scheduling
  • Training and skill development in the recreation industry
  • Leadership development opportunities

Drug/Alcohol Free Workplace

ACE Adventure Resort is committed to a safe environment for its team members and guests. Pre-employment and random drug/alcohol testing is required for CDL drivers and guides. Post-accident drug/alcohol testing is required of all employees filing a worker’s compensation claim. Any employee allowing drugs or alcohol to affect their work will be terminated. Remember, West Virginia’s drinking age is 21.

Personal Appearance

A professional and well-groomed appearance is an essential ingredient in ACE’s success. We request that you have a maximum of 3 ear studs, no lip, eye, nose rings and no tongue studs. We rely on your good judgment and commitment to ACE to accept this basic condition of employment. Your conduct on the job, after hours and in the community is a reflection of you and ACE adventure Resort. Please plan to respect yourself, your peers and ACE. Good personal body hygiene is essential to working with our guests.

Pet Policy

In consideration of and safety for our guests, employees and your pets: PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED on ACE property. If you must bring your pet with you, please make other housing arrangement. ACE’s property has no housing facilities for your pets.

Housing

All employees using ACE Adventure Resort housing are required to participate in a maintenance and cleaning program for living areas.

Documents Needed

Upon arrival for employment at ACE be prepared to produce a valid passport or driver’s license and one of the following documents to complete the employment process: social security card or birth certificate. Non-US citizens must have a valid passport from country of origin and US work permit. For other valid alternatives see listings on an I-9 form which can be found on the internet.

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Latest News from Ace Adventure Resort

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NEWS

News

We're happy to help you tell stories about ACE Adventure Resort. And there are a lot of stories! The ACE marketing department can provide you with information, interviews with expert staff, and access to ACE activities and facilities. We can help you tell stories about family vacation, adventure sports, the travel industry, West Virginia and Appalachian history, rehabilitated coal mining land, food service, camping and outdoor gear, and more.

We can provide you with photos to help make your story more captivating. Web-ready photos are freely available on the ACE Adventure Resort Flickr Photostream. To obtain digital negative or RAW files of high-resolution photography for print, contact the ACE marketing department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

FACTS

ACE Fact Sheet

 

Ace Lake ActivitiesOur designation as the largest adventure resort in North America wasn't earned arbitrarily. Since the early 1980s, we have been pioneering new ways to immerse guests in the outdoor experience, and since then we've crafted more than twenty adventure activities for widely varied audiences.

Whitewater Rafting

For more than three decades, ACE has been guiding whitewater rafting trips on the New and Gauley rivers, two of the most popular whitewater rafting rivers in the eastern U.S. We were established as a rafting destination and remain one of the principal outfitters licensed to guide trips in West Virginia. Through the years we've managed to craft trips fine-tuned to the needs of rafters -- from seekers of high adventure to members of safety-conscious young families.

Zip Line Tours

ACE’s network of suspended lines and bridges follows the rim of the New River Gorge for more than a mile, providing guests unrivaled views of the river 800 feet below. The network consists of nine lines, two bridges, and a 55-foot viewing tower with multiple decks. It is the only zip line network located in the New River Gorge, which accounts for part of its popularity. The entire network also features side-by-side lines, so friends can race or ride at the same time. A Guinness World Record for zip-lining was set on the course in 2012.

Rock Climbing

The New River Gorge is one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the eastern U.S. Thousands of climbers annually scale the miles of cliff that follow the rim of the gorge and outcrops elsewhere along Summersville Lake and here at ACE Adventure Resort. Our climbing school guides take pleasure in teaching newcomers the sport and in helping others hone their skills.

Mountain Biking

More than 15 miles of private mountain biking trails wander the woodlands within the resort boundary and connect to the New River Gorge and national park trails. Our guides provide instruction and lead guests on a variety of trips through the national parklands of the New and Gauley river regions, including spectacular waterfalls and the ruins of mining-era ghost towns. Bike rentals and equipment for private excursions are available through ACE’s on-property bike shop.

Hiking

Year round, hiking is one of the more popular activities at the resort. More than 15 miles of trails wind through the ACE Resort and descend into the New River Gorge. ACE welcomes guests and registered visitors to take full advantage of its trails which feature unique birding environments, steep creeks and waterfalls, breathtaking overlooks, and the ruins of mining-era ghost towns. Guided hikes, such as our Heritage Hike, may easily be arranged through our educational programming.

Kayaking & Paddling

Our kayaking clinics provide guests more than expert instruction for whitewater paddling enthusiasts; we’ve expanded to include all types of watercraft from touring kayaks to standup paddleboards. Our training grounds are the New and Gauley rivers as well as the still waters of Summersville Lake, the largest body of water in West Virginia.

 

ACE Lake & Adventure Park

At the heart of our resort, a five-acre lake and adventure park serves as a focal point for on-site adventures. Our visitor center, three restaurants and many events are centered around the lake. Game courts, movies and live music, a climbing tower, swimming beach and water-playground with slides, a zip line, and inflatable toys keep visitors entertained. Many vacationers will find all they need for a fun-filled week here at the adventure park.

Lodging & Camping

Our resort provides guest accommodation in more than 55 cabins and lodges throughout the resort property and in the region's largest private campground, designed for both tent and RV camping. All deluxe units provide guests an outdoor hot tub, kitchen facilities, cable television, climate control and picnic areas with fire rings. The resort is currently developing a 60-unit guest lodge to host the increasing number of visitors touring the New River Gorge region.

Restaurants & Food Services

Three restaurants on the resort serve our guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Woody's Lakeside Smoke House, the Patio Grill, and Lost Paddle Bar all provide guests delicious food in a casual atmosphere suited to relaxation after a day in the outdoors. We also offer catering services for groups staying on-site and catered picnic lunches for adventurers on the river or in the field.

Educational Programs and Other Venues

ACE has long been a leader in the development of educational and team-building programs in the New River Gorge region. The Alpine Tower, paintball complex, and disc golf and mud obstacle courses are as useful as part of our team challenge programs as they are for improvised and intramural games. Our Kids’ Camp and a calendar of races and other events keep families and groups coming back to the resort year after year.

HISTORY

History of ACE Adventure Resort

Ace Adventure Resort Property ACE Adventure Resort was established in 1980 as American-Canadian Expeditions. One of the first companies licensed to guide commercial whitewater trips on the New River, ACE, as it has come to be known, grew naturally from its inception as a weekend hobby pursued by its founder, Ernie Kincaid, a New River native and pioneer rafter and kayaker.

In 1988, the corporation purchased a 1,500-acre tract of land that extends into the New River Gorge and across the highlands to its west. Part of the land, coined “Wonderland,” includes a series of ponds, a mining-era ghost town and spectacular cliffs, waterfalls and overlooks.

President Harry S. Truman visited one of the cabins located at Wonderland -- a hunting lodge that has since become one of the most popular of the 50-plus guest cabins and vacation rentals located on the property.

Through the 1990s and 2000s, the resort expanded, outpacing the growth of the U.S. whitewater rafting industry with every paddle-stroke. Twenty-five miles of recreational trails were built. Around the resort's five-acre lake, a recreation area was established that now includes game courts, beach, climbing wall, zip line and waterslide, and inflatable water toys.

A mud obstacle course was developed, and team-building course, disc golf and paintball areas soon followed. Private climbing sites were established along the rim of the gorge. A lakeside dining lodge, outfitters’ store, and lounge and conference center were added as traffic to the facility increased.

In 2008, ACE entered into its most significant period of growth. It established the first zip line canopy tour in West Virginia, expanding it to extend a mile along the rim of the gorge. It acquired the region’s first rafting company, Wildwater Expeditions. And two years later, North American River Runners was purchased.

In 2010, representatives of The Travel Channel evaluated the resort and ranked it No. 1 in North America among the world's most extreme outdoor-adventure resorts. ACE officials, however, are quick to point out that at its core it is a family resort and provides dozens of travel packages, most include whitewater rafting and other recreational pursuits designed for families.

ACE again achieved global prominence in 2012 when it set a Guinness World Record on one of its zip lines. More than 183 participants zipped along the 203-foot cable in under an hour, outnumbering the 2010 record set by 122 participants in Germany.

In 2013, the resort helped to welcome the Boy Scouts of America, its new neighbors, to the New River Gorge. The scout organization has acquired more than 10,000 acres adjacent to the ACE Resort on which it has established a permanent home for its Jamboree. The event will be hosted every four years, and attendance is expected to reach more than 40,000 on each occasion.

Officials expect to enjoy unprecedented growth at the resort through the next decade. Plans for a 60-unit guest lodge have already been announced, and arrangements for the expansion of further outdoor-adventure facilities, including a festival site are underway. In many senses, the resort is only embarking on its first age of maturity.

WV RAFTING

History of Whitewater Rafting in West Virginia

White Water Rafting Adventurers have been rafting West Virginia whitewater for the past 40-plus years, and have watched as the industry exploded into a multi-million dollar industry and then began to wane in the 2000s.

Whitewater rafting in West Virginia started with a few paddlers on the New River in canoes. Paul Davidson and Bob Burrell started to canoe mountain rivers in 1965, and were soon introduced to closed boats and the Cheat, Yough, New and Gauley Rivers by eastern paddlers such as John Sweet (for whom the Gauley rapid Sweet's Falls is named).

The early pioneers of the now professionalized rafting industry in West Virginia were college-age kids looking for fun and thrills, and were the first to put a raft on the river.

The family most associated with early whitewater rafting in West Virginia and the eastern United States were the Dragans, led by entrepreneur Jon Dragan, along with brothers Tom and Chris, and Jon's then-girlfriend and later wife Melanie (who still works for ACE Adventure Resort). They left the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania for the New, which at the industry's peak would have about 20 companies working the river. Chris Dragan was 15 when they started taking friends down the river in 1968; the oldest among them was 24 at the time.

The family launched Wildwater Expeditions Unlimited, hiring guides and housing them at Thurmond. Each guide was asked to write a research paper on history local to the New River Gorge, meant to provide them stories to entertain guests on trips down the river.

The Dragans' company in 1968 was only the third of its kind in the United States. They started with a few pickup trucks and four Army surplus rafts that they used to maneuver friends down the river. At the time, the banks wouldn't give them the $4,000 needed for the equipment, so they borrowed the money from family.

In those early days, guides often had to pull over to scout the best possible route down the river. There were no landmarks charted or named rapids, and so the Dragans named the rapids according to their character, after geographical location or some memorable event. The next two decades would see an industry boom, and in 1994 upwards of 200,000 people paddled whitewater in West Virginia, pumping millions of dollars into local economies.

By 1991, a Whitewater Advisory Board composed of whitewater rafting company officials, private paddlers, private citizens and consumers, fishery officials and the National Park Service was created to deal with whitewater issues including setting the number of commercial passengers that could be allowed on West Virginia rivers to prevent overcrowding.

In 2009, ACE Adventure Resort purchased Wildwater Expeditions Unlimited and in 2010 ACE bought another legendary company that was founded in 1975 - North American River Runners. The three outfitters now operate as one family.

Media Contacts

Media Contacts

The following list of primary ACE contacts maintains an up-to-the-minute knowledge of resort affairs or is otherwise a proven source of accurate information in his or her respective field. Please feel free to contact them.


 

Dave Bassage

Chief of Staff

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 304-469-2651

Mobile: 304-767-1833

The Chief of Staff at ACE Adventure Resort, Dave Bassage, has more than 30 years invested in the whitewater industry and environmental stewardship. He has championed the Office of Innovation at the W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection and is a past or present member of the W.Va. Rivers Coalition and the W.Va. Environmental Institute and founder and president of the Friends of the Cheat. Dave is a frequent speaker and has appeared on Good Morning America, NPR's Living on Earth and the HBO climate-change feature "Too Hot Not to Handle." He is a recipient of the Sierra Club's Cranberry Award.


Beth Gill

Director of Communication

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 304-574-7881

Mobile: 304-640-4061

Beth Gill has been marketing tourism and outdoor recreation since her days at Old Dominion University, at which time she became a buyer for Blue Ridge Mountain Sports. Though a daughter of Tidewater Virginia, she swiftly yielded to the allure of the mountains and became a kayaker and climbing guide, employed through the University of Virginia. In 1996 she moved to West Virginia, where she became a raft guide and video boater. She was named special-events director at ACE in 2002 and director of marketing in 2006. Beth is the principal media contact for the resort.


Josh Sapio

Director of Climbing School

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 304-469-2651

Mobile: 304-640-4851

A climber for more than a quarter-century, Josh Sapio began scaling the cliffs of the New River Gorge and the Summersville Lake climbing areas as a teen. In 1993 he joined ACE and in 2000 became director of its climbing program. Josh has traveled much of the western hemisphere in pursuit of outdoor adventure. He has trekked across Nepal and through-hiked the Appalachian Trail. He has summited Mount Whitney, Mount Rainier and Cotopaxi, ascending to more than 19,000 feet above sea level. He is an AMJ certified single-pitch instructor and a PCGI certified top-rope guide.


Brandon Shaw

Paintall and IT Manager

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 304-469-2651

Mobile: 505-358-0378

Brandon Shaw manages the paintball program at ACE, as well as its network and telecommunications systems. Originally trained as an ACE rafting guide, his proficiency and vision were quickly recognized, and within a year he was charged with the management of ACE’s information technology. Shaw grew up in New Mexico, where his love for the outdoors was established. He has also been employed as an Alaskan sled-dog guide and is a world traveler. His wanderlust has taken him through China, Tibet, India, Pakistan, Cambodia and much of Europe and North America.


Tommy Canaday

Fishing Programs Manager

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 304-469-2651

Mobile: 304-640-3721

Tommy Canaday grew up angling the New River near Hinton, West Virginia, where his family maintained a fishing cabin. He launched his career with ACE as a whitewater rafting guide in 1990, but his aptitude for angling soon became apparent and he was entrusted with the management of the fishing program. Tommy is widely regarded for his knowledge of fishing on many eastern U.S. rivers and for his expertise in the most sought-after species in the New River, including smallmouth bass. He is also an avid fly and trout fisherman, familiar with cold water streams in West Virginia and the techniques best used to take trophies on their waters.

ARCHIVE

ACE News Archive

6/6/14
Music and Adventure in the Mountains

6/6/14
ACE Adventure Unveils New Facility

6/1/14
Festival SPACE

May 15, 2014
WVVA Backyard Vacations Series

4/27/14
Resort Hosts Trail Clean Up Effort

4/23/14
ACE Adventure Resort prepping new 12,500-capacity ampitheater for fest

4/22/14
ACE Adventure Resort hosting trail maintenance April 26-27

3-17-14
ACE Adventure to Offer Envirornmental Course

3-12-14
ACE Adventure Resort Offers Breathtaking Ride Along Treetops

July 29,2013
Teaming Up with App Trophy TV

June 6, 2013
Fifth Grade Field trip made to ACE Adventure Resort

May 28, 2013
Whitewater Trips Designed for Families

May 5, 2013
Bachelor parties battle in paintball game

May 3, 2013
Cincy band to attempt unofficial record performing La Bamba on a zip-line

May 3, 2013
New paintball complex emphasizes local use, local history

May 3, 2013
Trail clean-up weekend to help resort prepare for Jamboree

May 3, 2013
W.Va. fishing outfitter predicts record walleye take on New River

March 4, 2013
First whitewater trip of 2013 launches Monday

January 7, 2013
Tennis Anyone? New River Gorge Bridge celebrated

July 27, 2012
Top 10 West Virginia Getaways

June 28, 2012
Fayette resort to add snow-tubing, disc golf

June 27, 2012
10 excellent outdoor adventures for families

June 25, 2012
Guinness World Records Confirms ACE Adventure Resorts World Record for Zip Lining

June 25, 2012
Better than a tent June 25, 2012

June 4, 2012
Zipliners set new Guiness world record in Fayette June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012
Gorge zip-liners set new world record June 4, 2012

June 3, 2012
World record for zip-lining set Sunday at ACE Adventure Resort June 3, 2012

April 17, 2012
ACE Adventure Resort to challenge world record on June 3 April 17, 2012

April 4, 2012
Trails weekend at ACE resort designed to encourage public use April 4, 2012

March 27, 2012
Guide Cabins Bolster Rafting Experience March 27, 2012

March 2, 2012
Season's first whitewater rafting trip to launch March 10, 2012

March 5, 2012
W.Va. whitewater outfitter to add snow-tubing park

December 14, 2011
New River resort expands to accommodate Boy Scout project

March/ April, 2011:
River Wild: "West Virginia's New River Gorge is chock-full of adventure..." Download River Wild PDF

July 19, 2010:
Zip Line Canopy Tour Sees 10,000th Guest At ACE Adventure Resort http://www.prweb.com/releases/zip_line_canopy_tour/new_river_gorge/prweb4277824.htm

April 26, 2010:
ACE Raft Guide Numbers and Training Increase http://www.prweb.com/releases/west-virginia/whitewater-rafting/prweb3821124.htm

April 19, 2010:
ACE To See 10,000th Zip Line Canopy Tour Visitor This Summer http://www.prweb.com/releases/westvirginia/ziplinecanopytour/prweb3820164.htm

April 5, 2010:
ACE Adventure Resort To Hold 2nd Annual July 4 Blob Big Air Contest http://www.prweb.com/releases/FourthOfJuly/vacationcontest/prweb3813804.htm

March 31, 2010:
ACE Adventure Resort Vacation Bookings See Massive Surge Following Heavy Winter http://www.prweb.com/releases/westvirginia/vacationresort/prweb3813454.htm

January 18, 2010:
2009 Numbers Keep ACE Adventure Resort On Top Of Industry http://www.prweb.com/releases/ACE_Adventure_Resort/white_water_rafting/prweb3459384.htm

October 6, 2009:
U.S. Soldiers To Test Determination In West Virginia Adventure Race http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/10/prweb2997624.htm

April 1, 2009:
Outfitter To Give Away 30 Years Of Free Rafting http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/04/prweb2286584.htm

March 12, 2009:
Rafting Outfitter Blogs To Bring Fans Outdoors http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/03/prweb2226104.htm

August 19, 2008:
Winners Take All As Surfin' Sunday Returns http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/08/prweb1224584.htm

July 22, 2008:
ATV Tours Join ACE Adventure Resort Line-Up http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/07/prweb1131544.htm

April 4, 2008:
West Virginia Adventure Resort Announces 2008 Calendar Of Races http://www.prweb.com/releases/West_Virginia/Adventure_Resort/prweb834264.htm
 

Guest Blogs:

 
Rafting 101
 

WEB

 


ACE On The Web

Rafting Tutorial Read the reviews at TripAdvisor.com:
www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g59381-d543128-Reviews-ACE_Adventure_Center-Oak_Hill_West_Virginia.html

ACE Adventure Resort's Wikipedia page:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACE_Adventure_Resort

ACE Adventure Resort's Official YouTube Channel:
www.youtube.com/user/aceadventurevideo

ACE Adventure Resort's Official Facebook Fan Page:
www.facebook.com/ACE.AdventureResort.WestVirginiaVacations

Follow ACE on Twitter:
www.Twitter.com/AceAdventures
 
ACE Adventure Resort on Google+:
 
ACE Adventure on Pinterest:
 
 

You might Have read about ACE in:
The Washington Post (Sept. 24, 2010) — Escapes: Ace Adventure Resort in W.Va. offers camping, rafting and more

Attractions in the Area West Virginia | ACE Adventure Resort

New River Gorge Area Attractions

Lost World Caverns

Cave Exploration in West VirginiaIf you're looking for a more bold adventure, join us for a guided wild cave expedition into the deepest, darkest depths where few have gone before.

See over a mile of passageways and spectacular formations not accessible to the general public. Knowledgeable guides will assist those with no prior caving experience or average fitness level to have the adventure of a lifetime.

866.228.3778
LostWorldCaverns.com

New River Jetboats

New River Jet Boat All aboard! This activity is great for all age groups.

Meet Captain Rick and ride "Miss M. Rocks," a covered 21-foot jet boat, from the Hawks Nest State Park marina to see the New River Gorge Bridge, towering 876 feet above the river. It's the perfect boat ride for the entire family and the best view of the bridge.

Snowshoe

Snowshoe Mountain

Snowshoe
Snowshoe is a four-season mountain playground with 11,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness that offers countless opportunities for outdoor recreation, while our beautiful mountaintop Village offers the convenience and amenities you crave. In the winter months, Snowshoe is home to the best skiing and snowboarding in the Mid-Atlantic and southeast with an elevation of 4848’, 1500’ vertical drop and 255 skiable acres. The summer transforms the mountain to a world-class mountain biking destination, home to amazing summer events such as the Blues, Brews and BBQ festival and fun outdoor activities for the whole family. You Belong Up Here.

877-441-4386
www.SnowshoeMTN.com

Tamarack

Shopping In Tamarack Shop in Tamarack's tranquil, breathtaking showcase of West Virginia handcrafts, where local artisans create works of art, and The Greenbrier managed food court serves memorable meals and mouthwatering desserts.

Demonstrations, book signings, musical performances, gallery exhibits and special events make every day a holiday. Experience TAMARACK: The Best of West Virginia.
OPEN DAILY

888.262.7225
www.TamarackWV.com

Whipple Company Store

Whipple Company Store We invite you for a fun-filled, educational tour through one of the last remaining coal camp company stores left in our country.

History from the 1890's to present day will be spotlighted as you learn of the life and times of the coal miner and his family. Experience the hand-operated elevator, the secret second floor, the ballroom, and view a silent 1938 coal camp film. Check our schedule of special events.
Open May thru Oct, 11 AM - 6 PM, closed Tuesday.

304.465.0331
WhippleCompanyStore.com

Wild Blue Adventure Co.Airplane

Wild Blue Adventure Company
West Virginia's premier aerial adventure center. Experience the thrill of flight in an open-cockpit WWII biplane and see the New River Gorge as you never imagined it. Whether you want a smooth as silk, straight and level flight or an action packed air combat mission, we can tailor the flight to meet your needs. All major credit cards accepted.304.574.1150
www.WildBlueAdventureCompany.com

 


Elk River Snowboard and Ski

Elk River Snowboard and Ski Elk River is a family owned and operated business that offers Snowboard and Ski Rentals, Demos, and Sales, conveniently located right on the Snowshoe Resort.

Elk River has been serving snowboarders longer than anyone else in West Virginia. Their convenient locations help you spend more time on Snow, not waiting in lines, and they have all of the amenities ready to get you out on the slopes and having some fun. Stop in and get to know Snowshoe's friendliest and most knowledgeable winter sports staff.

304-572-4173 or
304-572-2550
www.ridesnowshoe.com

Pipestem Resort State Park

Pipestem Resort State Park Escape to the mountains at Pipestem Resort Park.

From beautiful scenic overlooks of the Bluestone Gorge to the two lodges, vacation rental cottages, campgrounds, golf courses, restaurants, modern conference facilities, and much more, Pipestem Resort State Park has something for everyone.

304-466-1800
1-800-CALL WVA
www.pipestemresort.com

Summersville Lake Retreat & LighthouseSummersville Lighthouse

Climb West Virginia’s Only Lighthouse overlooking Summersville Lake & Gauley River National Recreation Area. Visitors can climb a heart pounding 122 steps (the equivalent of a ten story building!) to see unparalleled views of West Virginia’s Largest Lake. Summersville Lake Retreat has deluxe cabins, camping and boat rentals where incredible scenery and warm hospitality meet.
 
888.872.5580
summersvillelakeretreat.com
866-716-0448


NEW RIVER HUMMINGBIRD FESTIVAL

Hummingbirds, Butterflies & Native Plants

Hummingbird Feeding

August 23-25, 2014 at Hawks Nest State Park: Discover the Ruby-throated Hummingbird’s feeding, nesting, migration, and behavior; design a hummingbird habitat in your backyard, schoolyard or nature center! Hummingbird Banding, Native Plants, Butterflies, Birds of the Gorge, Songbird Banding, presentations and demonstrations - hands-on birding and gardening fun!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Reservations required: 304-658-5212

New River Area Info West Virginia | ACE Adventure Resort

New River Gorge Area Info

Greenbrier County CVB (Greenbrier Valley WV)

Greenbrier Shopping

The Greenbrier Valley is home to award-winning dining, breathtaking scenery, a vibrant arts scene and unique shopping. You’ll find that the quaint downtowns have long been recognized for providing visitors with an eclectic shopping environment. Filled with specialty and antique shops along with art galleries and bookstores, each town offers its own distinct atmosphere. Come see for yourself! Call today for a FREE Visitors Guide.

GreenbrierWV.com
800-833-2068

greenbrierwv.com


New River Gorge CVB

New River Gorge

Our whitewater is legendary. Our traditions are celebrated in song. Our events make international news. Our resources built a nation. From world-class whitewater and legendary rock climbing to the heart pounding excitement of Bridge Day and the rich traditions of our many fairs and festivals - it doesn't take long to realize that this is the perfect place for your next reunion.

NewRiverGorgeCVB.com
800-927-0263

www.NewRiverGorgeCVB.com

Summersville CVB

Summersville CVB

If variety is the spice of life, then make Summersville your top destination. You will find affordable accommodations, a variety of dining options, unique shopping and endless activities. Be sure to visit Summersville Lake, the largest clear water lake in West Virginia and enjoy activities such as swimming, boating, water skiing, fishing and scuba diving. Save time for hiking, biking and walking on trails surrounded by rich history. No matter what the time of year, Summersville is always in season! Call today for a free Visitors Guide.

SummersvilleCVB.com
866-716-0448

SummersvilleCVB.com



Fayetteville CVB

New River Gorge Rafting

Gateway to the New River Gorge
Located right in heart of the New River Gorge. This is West Virginia’s epicenter for adventure vacations and mountain getaways. Our town is a beautiful blend of old and new, excitement and relaxation, mountain and valley. Voted as one of America's "Coolest Small Towns", Fayetteville offers unique shopping and dinning opportunities.


1.304-574-1500
VistFayettevilleWV.com
Find us on Facebook at VisitFayettevilleWV

West Virginia Explorer

West Virginia

Follow roads less traveled into West Virginia and some of the world’s most inspiring landscapes. Thousands of pages of detailed information are included in this online, mobile-ready guide that's designed to allow explorers to blaze their own trails through forgotten and little-known territory while not forsaking the must-see attractions. Join the site, and share your experiences online. Mountain trails, historic towns, and whitewater rivers await.


WVExplorer.com

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