First Posted: 9/6/2009
With the realization of their fathers dream a step closer to completion, the Primat family invited Southwest Virginia and the world to the celebration just outside of Meadows of Dan.
Among those on hand were not only local officials, but a world-renowned film maker and Virginia officials.
They all gathered last week to mark the official opening of The Lodge at Primland, a hotel, golf pro shop, observatory and more. The Lodge falls in line with what Primeland officials call the Primat familys environmentally-conscious efforts, as all the wood used in its construction is reclaimed from other buildings, as was the vision of the late Didier Primat, who purchased the land 30 years ago.
The completion of The Lodge marks an important milestone in the development of Primland, said Berengere Primat Serval, president of PrimWest Holdings Inc., and daughter of Didier Primat. We have made every effort to meet the highest environmental standards in the design of our prized diamond lodge. We now have a first-class golf course, accommodations that have been designed to world-class standards.
Primland President Harold Primat said he was proud to be able to realize his fathers dream of The Lodge, and Didier wasn’t far from the family’s thoughts on that special day.
This is a very important day for my family because it is a dream of my father, he said. This was probably his vision 30 years ago when he purchased this land. This is the day the dream has become reality. It is a very exciting time for all of us. Were thinking very strongly of him. What you see today is his vision.
Serval said her fathers appreciation of the natural world was instrumental in his decision to create something in the scale of Primland. She said its a sensibility that her family shares.
My fathers love of nature and the unspoiled beauty here was the inspiration for purchasing Primland, she said. My brothers and sisters and I have very fond memories of visiting this beautiful place and we always look forward to our visits and the peace and escape that it gives.
Many in the gathering shared the Primat familys environmental consciousness, including world-renowned journalist and filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand, who showed his movie, Home, before the opening. The film was shot from helicopters above 54 countries and shows how human expansion and development has changed the worlds natural balance.
Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant said thanks to the Primat family, theres a guarantee that the balance wont be upset in 12,000 mountainous acres in Patrick County and their rustic, natural beauty will remain in tact.
Virginia is changing, Bryant said. We are a fast-growing state. In 1960, we had a population of 4 million people. Today, we have a population of almost 8 million people. In 50 years, we have seen the states population double. That means we are seeing land developed today and population expand in places that half a century ago we would have never envisioned. We can rest assured, that in Patrick County, because of the generosity and vision of the Primat family, this natural beauty of Virginia is forever preserved.
Del. Ward Armstrong, whose 10th District seat in the Virginia General Assembly includes Patrick County, who remarked that he recently lost a parent, said he empathized with the Primat family, as he felt certain they wished Didier could have been present for the opening.
It is a great day of celebration. For the family, its a little bit bittersweet in this regard. Didier passed away a year ago July, Armstrong said. I know you miss him terribly and how so very much you would like him to be here today and how much he would have enjoyed being here today to see this great accomplishment, this great dream he had vision for 30 years ago.
During the opening ceremony the grounds were wet from a summer shower and a rainbow appeared overhead. Virginia State Sen. Roscoe Reynolds said he took that to be a positive omen for The Lodge.
Just a minute ago, there was a rainbow overhead, which I think is a good sign, Reynolds said. Theres so much in Virginia were proud of. Were proud to have our visitors here today, the customers and clients of Primland, we hope you return and enjoy many days and many nights here at this beautiful lodge and golf course. This is a great day for Patrick County, for the Primat family and our community.
Amenities at The Lodge include an indoor pool, fitness center, recreation area, a ballroom, golf shop, locker rooms, a fully outfitted boardroom, meeting facilities, theater, spa with treatment rooms and indoor parking.
Activities on Primlands property include golf, hunting, fishing, tennis, shooting clays, ATV and horseback riding, mountain biking and nature walks.
The Lodge helped double Primlands staff and is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified and promotes eco-friendly travels, according to the company. The property has its own well and wastewater systems, along with other water-preservation measures, such as using runoff water to irrigate the golf course. Primat Serval encouraged those in attendance to think about doing their part for the environment as well.
I would like to ask that we all take time to think about our role in preserving nature, she said. This was once the land of the Saura and the Cherokee. It was the Iroquois that thought in every generation, we should consider the impact of the decision over the next seven generations.