‘Baghdad’ on Afton, 3 down; 5 to go
Nearly three years after an arson destroyed the main building of the Skyline Parkway Motor Court, the structure has been demolished. It came down on Wednesday, April 18, according to owner Phil Dulaney.
"I've gone from 11 buildings to eight, and I hope to get down to three soon," says Dulaney. "It's just a lengthy, expensive process."
Dulaney explains that pre-demolition asbestos abatement on that one structure cost $44,000, which burned in July 2004. He had two other buildings, two of what have been dubbed "the cabins," razed in December, and he hopes to demolish five more in the next five months.
Next on the hit list: more cabins and the abandoned whitewashed brick gift shop. What will survive are the gas station, the long-shuttered HoJo's restaurant, and the stone-foundationed building that houses the Rockfish Gap Tourist Information Center.
Center volunteer John Wright welcomes the bulldozers. Although the collection of buildings recalls the pre-Interstate 64 era, the dilapidated conditions have shocked more than a few hikers coming off the nearby Appalachian Trail. "They call it Baghdad," says Wright. "That's how bad it looks."
Dulaney, who eventually plans to invest millions redeveloping the site, says he hopes to break ground on something new in about three years.