With a population of 7,032, the town has a rich history as an early railroad hub. Construction of a one-acre town square is currently under way in the rail yard in downtown Elkins. The 23-acre rail yard includes a Go-Mart, Elkins Physical Therapy & Sports Injury Clinic and the BMA Kidney Dialysis Center. A Holiday Inn Express is also under construction. On April 1, the depot will open as a dispatch center for the Dubrin and Greenbrier Railroad freight and passenger service. In 2004, more than 16,000 people boarded the Tygart Flyer excursion train in Elkins and more than 8,000 rode the Cheat Mountain Salamander excursion train.
Downtown Elkins is home to several unique shops and quaint eateries.
The arts are prevalent throughout the downtown. The Randolph County Community Arts Center, at the corner of Park Street and Randolph Avenue, provides a place for local artists to showcase their talents in music, dance, painting and photography. The Old Brick Playhouse, on Davis Avenue, presents theatrical performances by local actors throughout the year. Next door, Artists at Work features everything from jewelry to pottery crafted by local artists.
The small town offers some big town amenities including Davis Memorial Hospital, Davis & Elkins College and the Elkins-Randolph County Airport, known as "The Aerial Gateway to Central Appalachia."