An Intro to Capon Springs

Step 1 of 4:

Imagine you're here!

Picture yourself enjoying life as it was meant to be… relaxing at an all-inclusive secluded resort nestled in the majestic West Virginia mountains. Capon Springs’ rich history, healing water, delicious food, and long-standing traditions create that nostalgic feeling that many generations of guests have described as … coming home.


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An Intro to Capon Springs

Step 2 of 4:

Figure a budget

Planning for your Capon getaway is simple!  Our all-inclusive per-person rates cover lodging, three all-you-can-eat meals per day (and snacks too!), and a wide variety of programs and activities for guests of all ages. In, 2023, prices for adults ranged from $114/night to $207/night. There is no charge for children under the age of 5, and prices for older children range from $46/night to $101/night.


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An Intro to Capon Springs

Step 3 of 4:

Understand the Magic

What truly makes Capon Springs different from other resorts are all the “extras” that you just won’t find anywhere else. Operated by multiple generations of the same family, you are welcomed into a warm and caring atmosphere where everything is based on the honor system.   The set-menu and meal times mean all you have to do is show up when the bell rings!

When was the last time you and your family had an opportunity to completely “unplug” and spend quality time together?  Now imagine how great it would be that as your Capon experience draws to a close, you actually feel completely relaxed, restored, and reenergized- and already dreaming about your return!


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An Intro to Capon Springs

Step 4 of 4:

Book Your Reservation

We make your reservation experience personal.  Since there are no “cookie-cutter” rooms, we take the time to find out what location would work best for your perfect vacation.  We look forward to having you with us anytime during the Capon Springs’ resort season, which begins in early May and runs through the beginning of November.

To get the digital conversation started, click the Request Your Room button below and fill out a reservation request form. Or call us directly to get more information at 304-874-3695.

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NOTE: 2024 Opening Day is Thursday May 2nd! Current May/June Openings

In this section of our blog, Tom Austin, a third generation Austin family member and our Reservations Manager for many years (now retired), shares stories from his youth growing up at Capon.  These stories coincide with our Capon Through the Decades series, as we look back on our history in celebration of our 90th anniversary season!  Tom is a fantastic storyteller so you are in for a treat!  Check back each week for more stories…

April 28:

Growing up, I was constantly attracted to objects made from glass. I was equally fascinated with ROCKS. Big or small, boulders on the trail to White Cliff, or flat ones you could skim across the pond. I would tag along with Dad on his trips to the farm, just to collect rocks out of the river. Those were as smooth as glass from thousands of years under water.

Yet my real passion was fossils! Growing up here in the 1960’s, there were a half a dozen really good spots to fossil hunt. My grandfather had sent samples off to the Smithsonian to get an estimate on just how old they were. The response was OVER 300 million years, based on the creatures that were petrified in the shale!

When I was eight years old, I received permission to sell fossils to the guests. The two stipulations were that I kept the table “tidy” and that I did not sell any for more than one dollar. I can’t count the times I took larger fossils and carefully chiseled them down to smaller sizes. I was always good at math and quickly realized that one large fossil equaled one dollar, where four smaller versions equaled four dollars!

The advertising sign was a piece of typing paper. Colored markers were used for print. Every time it rained, I needed to make a new sign. One time I was in a hurry to make a new one and wrote, ”Hurry! Get them WHY they last!” Instead of WHILE they last. The guests were really tickled by that, so I left it that way on the signs for the next few years!

The summer after I turned 16 was the last year I sold fossils. I converted all of my earnings to quarters and collected them in a jar. At the end of the summer, I had 50 rolls of quarters to put in the bank for future college expenses.

It was a great run behind the fossil table, but the time had come to pass the business along to my younger cousins. I still poke around in some of the old spots and get lucky once in a WHILE. Or should that be once in a WHY?

April 21:

About six months into the pandemic, I was feeling the loss of not being around family, so I emailed my brother-in-law Pete and suggested a mind game. The first thing each morning, we would send the other the name of a Capon guest, past or present, notorious or obscure. No explanations necessary.

We did this for about a month, with most of our submissions being guests from earlier times, using a lot of forethought to try and stump the other. Then we really got creative. We began submitting three names per day, sometimes more. And we adopted themes.

We did Birds: Crowe, Robin, Dove, Pelikan and Hawke

We did Guests with Famous Names:

Tom Watson, Elizabeth Taylor, Greg Norman, Joey Bishop, Johnny Miller

Colors: Gray, Pink, White, Green, Blue,

Black, Brown, Orange and Allred

Running Terms: Gallop, Canter, Walker

Politicians: Nunn, Byrd, Mondale,

Rockefeller, Pierce

Even Body Parts: Butt, Legge, Foote, Cheek

Occupations: Mason, Cook, Baker, Carpenter, Farmer

Nature: Lake, Hill, Beach, Rivers, Moss

Then we hit upon Bills and Williams. It took us nearly a month, but we came up with 147 of them!! Then more than 100 Johns, 100 Bobs, 100 Mikes, 100 Davids and 100 Dons! We have even done Pete and Tom, but fell short of 100 on both of those….

Recently we did a combination of Ed, Fred, Ned and Ted. Now we are working on Gary, Harry and Larry. All in all, we have come up with about 3000 names in the last eighteen months, with still miles to go. My notebook has dozens of pages completely full. This experience has allowed us to reflect on so many good times that we’ve spent and all the wonderful memories we’ve created!

April 14:

Long before Night Golf became a fad, we were playing our own version here at Capon. One night each summer, Bill Offutt, Ray Meeker, Pete and I would play a round of golf on the prep course after dark.

Each of us was armed with a pitching wedge. a putter, two white golf balls and a flashlight. We would have a lantern placed on the tee and someone would run ahead and place a second lantern on the green. We would then tee off in total silence, so we would have an idea in which direction our shots had gone. We seldom lost a ball and quite often, one of us would shoot even par—-in the DARK!

When glow balls and glow sticks came along, we “graduated” to the regular course. I remember hitting a good tee shot shortly after we began. When I got to the ball, it turned out to be just the glow stick! It had been separated from the ball, which was no where to be found. I thought my round was over, when lo and behold, I stepped on the ball, in the dark, about 15 yards further up the fairway. I was back in the game!

Because it took so long to play that round, it was after curfew by the time we had reached the 8th tee. So we decided to hit from there directly to the 9th green. Once we had teed off, Bill took off straight toward the green, neglecting to realize the steep drop off on that side of the tee. We suddenly heard all this commotion as Bill tumbled down the side of the hill, his clubs rattling with each twist and turn.

We didn’t know what we would find when the three of us reached Bill. How badly was he hurt? Was he unconscious? Who would run to call 911? What we discovered was Bill standing there waiting for us as if nothing had just happened! To this day, we don’t know whether he somersaulted a dozen times and landed on his feet or if he just ran down the hill and kept his balance the entire way! Bill has never revealed his secret.

The most astonishing thing that ever occurred during night golf is when Pete and I were playing with other Capon guests. On hole #6, one of the guys was out by the Lonesome Tree, about 100 yards from the green. Far enough out, that no one had even placed a glow stick in the hole to get some sense of direction to hit the ball. Our friend took a big backswing and crushed the ball. It was a line drive and was heading way over the green. We suddenly heard a loud noise and realized that the ball had hit the flagstick about three quarters of the way up! In the dark! Not only that, the ball came straight down and went in the hole!! I can tell you that it was a million to one shot in the daylight, let alone in the dark! What fun! What memories!

April 7:

Last week, we lost a pillar of the Capon Springs Community when Lloyd Brill passed away. Lloyd was born and raised locally and worked at Capon for more than 50 years!

He began working just about the time I was old enough to have my first memories of the resort. He was a perfect combination of a gentle giant and big brother to me. When I began collecting eggs at 12 years old, I reached inside one of the nests one day to grab some eggs, only to discover a big black snake eating them instead! Lloyd came to the rescue and took care of the situation in quick order.

Lloyd was the local fire chief forever, and Pete Budnyk and I joined the department right after I finished at WVU. We held administrative roles, with Pete being secretary and with me being treasurer. At one point, Lloyd approached us about going to fire school. In order to receive some monetary grants from the state, a certain number of firemen from each department needed to complete the course.

So Lloyd set up a “smoke room” in the old apple Butter House. He used buckets of lighted charcoal to fill the entire room with thick smoke. We then donned breathing apparatus and moved around the room for 15 or 20 minutes. I must admit that I was much better with numbers than doing something like that! But we passed the course and were granted the funds.

I marvel how similar Lloyd’s upbringing resembled mine. We were both born and raised with a clear understanding of Capon’s long standing traditions. We both started working here in our early to mid-teens and never left. We were each mentored by our fathers and uncles until it was our time to carry on the legacy. And Lloyd did that superbly!

Lloyd was laid to rest on Saturday with his family and friends in attendance. Members of the local fire department paid a moving tribute to Lloyd that pulled at your heartstrings. Thank you Lloyd for the meaningful impact you had on my life and the so many others that you touched. As my grandfather would say, “Peace be with you!”

Photo shows Lloyd shortly after he began working at Capon.
Also shown are my dad, my sister Carolyn and Daisy, a long-time cook.

March 31:

I consider growing up with all this wildlife around me a true blessing. There is seldom a day that goes by that I don’t reflect upon this aspect of nature.
In the early 1980’s, we began a tradition of holding “critter hunts” on both the opening weekend and closing weekend of each Capon season. Once it would get dark, Pete, Glenn and I would start out in search of critters large and small. Quite often a friend or two would join us.
We would drive up around the golf course to begin our quest. Naturally, deer would be spotted most often. We would go up the Mountain Road and even drive down the airstrip at Hilltop Farm. We would consider the hunt a success if we came across a skunk, an opossum, a raccoon, a gray fox or a red fox.
We never came across a bear on a critter hunt, but several years ago about six bears were regulars at the Capon compost pile, just up the road from Hog Heaven. (The main reason for relocating the compost the following year! 😍)
There were several years that I would regularly encounter a red fox when I came home from Capon after dark. He would meet me right near the driveway into Hog Heaven and would race along side my vehicle for about a quarter of a mile. He would always stay just to the side of my right front headlight and then finally veer off into the woods.
I’m so grateful for where I live and for all of God’s creatures that make it so special!

March 24:

“Through most of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Teenage Corner (present day Upper Ping Pong House, pictured below) was the hangout spot for Capon’s young people. Located in the rear room of the Upper Ping Ping House, friendships were established there that still endure to this day. The popularity of this spot really took off in the early to mid-60’s when Capon leased a jukebox and pinball machine, and placed both of them there!

The jukebox was a sight to behold. It was so well constructed that it could endure any rough handling by the teenagers who used it constantly. I remember one summer when I must have listened to The Vogues sing “Turn Around, Look at Me” at least 500 times!

It cost 10 cents per play or 3 plays for a quarter. We discovered very early on that there was a volume control switch on the back of the jukebox, but you needed a screwdriver to operate it. So we kept one hidden there for whenever we wanted to “crank it up!” Every two weeks, the least played records were replaced with new releases. If we timed it just right, we could purchase the old records for 25 cents each.

The Bank-a-Ball Pinball machine had the flippers and the steel balls. It was fun to play and you could win free games a dozen different ways. 5 cents per game or 5 games for a quarter. My cousin Steve mastered the game quickly. He knew just how to shake the machine just right to help maximize his score, but oftentimes it would “tilt” and your game would end immediately.

Then Steve figured out a way to win almost every time. He would lift up the machine before starting the game and place the two front legs back down on the tops of his shoes. In effect, that slowed the balls down enough where he could not miss when the ball got to the flippers. Steve would win a lot of free games and then let all the others play until we almost ran out of free games. And then he would perform his magic again. I never did understand why nobody ever questioned Steve about the imprints on the tops of his shoes that were the size of 50 cent pieces!”

March 17:

“In the early 1960’s, my dad and two uncles took turns going to the bank in Wardensville. So every three weeks, I would ride there with Dad. We would stop at the bank to drop off the deposit and head up the street to Joe Fridley’s Barber Shop. The shop had just enough room for 3 customer seats, the barber chair, and Joe! There was a sign displayed prominently that said, “You smoke; I choke!” I don’t think that in all the years that Joe cut my hair that he ever used scissors! He would start up the electric razor and three minutes later, I was out of the chair. My hair never really had a chance to grow in the time between cuts, so I remained shorn for many years. Of course, there were advantages to having so little hair. I didn’t have to brush it in the morning. I hardly had to dry it coming out of the pool. And it came in handy on picnics! Obviously the picnic comment needs more of an explanation. When we were about the ages pictured below, my sister Robin (left), my cousin Julie (right) and I would go on picnics about once a week. Pearle would pack us a lunch and off we’d go.

More often than not, we would end up on Ward’s Rock. The flat area shown below is where we ate. Looking at it now, I’m not sure just how we got up there, or how we got back down!

The lunch always contained hard boiled eggs. Robin and Julie didn’t like to crack them on a rock or a log, so they started using my clean shaven head for that purpose. And the practice continued for quite some time. In fact, I soon earned the nickname “Egghead” that stuck with me until the time I finally could grow my hair longer.

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