A Virginia legislative committee recently approved funds for a large-scale improvement project of the amenities at the Breaks Interstate Park.

The Virginia Senate Finance Committee approved a $1.4 million budget amendment to the state’s Senate budget proposal for funding to Breaks Interstate Park. The amendment, which was filed by Virginia Sen. Todd Pillion, provides funding to the Breaks for the purposes of modernizing and repairing The Lodge and Rhododendron Restaurant.

In a statement, Pillion said that he filed the amendment in honor of former Virginia Sen. Ben Chafin, and he said the funding will help the Breaks to become more sustainable and boost overnight visitation, which will help support the Breaks for “generations to come.”

“Sen. Ben Chafin loved Breaks Interstate Park. He was a tireless advocate for this crown jewel of Southwest Virginia, and I was proud to work alongside him to support numerous projects there over the years,” Pillion said. “This project is a key

component of the park’s five-year strategic plan to make the Breaks more sustainable and boost overnight visitation. This is a fitting tribute that will continue allowing Ben to share his love of the Breaks for generations to come.”

Breaks Interstate Park also issued a statement after the approval of the amendment by the committee, saying that they were grateful for the support from Pillion and that it is “fitting” for the funding to be made in honor of former Sen. Ben Chafin.

“We are humbled and deeply grateful to Sen. Todd Pillion for his unwavering support of the park and of SWVA (Southwest Virginia),” according to the Breaks’ statement. “Senator Ben Chafin was a tremendous advocate for the park, and most importantly he was our friend. This project represents the number one request we have heard from our guests over the years, and to have it advanced in honor of Senator Chafin is extremely fitting.”

The amendment must be approved by the full general assembly before being added to the Senate budget proposal.

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