LYBURN — It was a banner year for the Hatfield-McCoy Trails in 2012 with continued increases in rider permits and nationwide interest thanks to the opening of a new trail system at HMT the same week a television min-series became a nationwide blockbuster.
On Friday, Dec. 21employees of HMT found out just how good it was when Executive Director Jeff Lusk gave them the good news and Christmas bonuses at the company Christmas Party.
Everyone from the rangers, to the field maintenance team, to the executives and the customer sales representatives were gathered at HMT’s new headquarters at Lyburn for a delicious dinner, a day off with pay, and a chance to relax with friends and enjoy the holiday season.
Many of them have worked together for years and are close friends, which creates a feeling of camaraderie and a motivated team.
Executive Director, Jeff Lusk had plenty of good news at Christmas time for HMT’s staff.
“We have had a fantastic year sales wise,” he said. “Our permit sales are up 12 percent this year and our merchandise sales are also up.”
Lusk noted that over the past three years while the rest of the country was in an extreme economic downturn, Hatfield-McCoy continued to grow and expand and see more business.
“Our sales have gone up steadily in the seven years I have been with the company,” he noted. “And right now we have some of the best employees in the world. These are the best people we have ever had in our work force right now that we have ever had. And we are growing and have several new people with us this year as well.”
“This was a banner year for us and we were able to do pay raises for our employees across the board, which speaks very well to the financial health of our company. We truly appreciate you and we hope the holidays are good for you this year,” he added.
New employees were introduced to the long term HMT team, and everyone enjoyed a delicious catered meal. Following the meal, one Ranger got a promotion to Sergeant and the news that he will be joined by some new ones in his territory. HMT Rangers not only enforce the laws on the trails and handle emergency situations or needed investigations; they also handle some of the regular, routine maintenance on trail systems.
One field crew member said this year’s two major projects are Ivy Branch, a new system that will be coming online to be added to the existing trail systems and the trail system for Lincoln County. Even though there are other things that may come into play, these two will be the top priority jobs for 2013.