National news coverage showcases West Virginia in positive light as times change with pandemic lifestyle

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BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. (WDVM) — West Virginia has again been center stage in the national spotlight. This time in Tuesday’s New York Times, a full-page profile of the Mountain State’s desirability for a lifestyle during these pandemic times.

The pandemic has reshaped lifestyle trends everywhere, but according to the widely-read Times, West Virginia may be the perfect retreat from COVID craziness.

“Our area has seen a boom in housing lately,” said Stephanie Rebant, a real estate specialist. “It’s a very reasonable cost of living to stay here. It’s also a great community. We’re very safe.”

Rebant referred to West Virginia’s affordable housing, one of the reasons the Times said the Mountain State is so desirable. Alex Sipes has lived in Berkeley Springs most of his life. He loves the outdoor recreation, another criteria the times says is attracting newcomers to West Virginia.

“It’s just an amazing place for me,” Sipes said. “If you go up here on the ridge, on Sleepy Creek, there are a lot of beautiful places. Just remote. There’s a lake up there.”

The Times said the boom in telehealth lent itself to West Virginia living – as well as the potential for building out the state’s broadband network; but Rebant says the newspaper may not have mentioned that West Virginia is “the new hot spot for relocating. The people are fantastic.”

Sipes will be the first to tell you, “West Virginia’s not for everyone,” he says. “If you’re not big into small towns I wouldn’t advise comin’.”

According to the Times, West Virginia may be capitalizing on the nationwide trend that workers have more flexibility to live where they choose, regardless of where their employer is based.

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