(10/20/2005)
Flatwoods entrepreneur John Skidmore is expected to add a 2,000-seat amphitheater to the area.

John Skidmore II, said construction began last spring on the $900,000 amphitheater.

Skidmores says they hope to attract regional talent to perform at the amphitheater.

"We'll have a lot of country probably, some bluegrass, gospel, contemporary Christian, maybe some oldies groups and some theme weekends," he said.

"Once a month we're going to be looking at bringing in an up-and-coming name."

The West Virginia Economic Development Authority is being asked for a $300,000 loan to help finance the project.

The amphitheater is being built behind Days Inn, next to a 50-site recreational vehicle park the Skidmores built last summer.

The amphitheater will have 28 concrete-poured rows with plastic stadium seats. Each seat will be 22 inches wide and will have a back, arm rests and a cup holder. Each row will have 4-foot-wide aisles.

The amphitheater will have 1,438 seats plus grass seating for a total capacity of about 2,000 people.

The first show will be in mid-May, 2006.

The Skidmore family's development company owns several of the businesses at the Flatwoods exit.

In addition to the 200-room Days Inn and conference center and the recreational vehicle park, the family owns the Flatwood Factory Outlet Stores on the other side of the interstate.

In 2003 Skidmore proposed building a racetrack and asked the West Virginia Economic Development Grant Committee for a $13 million grant to help fund it. But another entrepreneur proposed building a track at Quincy and, in the end, the state did not fund either project.


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