Chris Schulz Published

Appalachian Regional Commission Launches Multistate Project In New River Gorge


A new multistate grant is designed to help develop Appalachia’s outdoor tourism industry.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority in Beckley $250,000 Tuesday to launch a multistate economic endeavor.

Starting with the New River Gorge, the Planning For Outdoor Recreation Industry, Vibrant Economies, & Regional Strategy (RIVERS) project will help support the growing outdoor industry sector in Appalachian communities.

ARC co-chair Gayle Manchin said the new collaborative project will bring together six states: West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, and Tennessee to develop a replicable plan to leverage tourism and spur economic development across Central Appalachia.

“Now more than ever, it is time for us to collaborate, to take advantage of the growing interest in Appalachia is culture and outdoor recreation, and the commonalities that we all share,” Manchin said.

According to the ARC, tourism employs more than 500,000 Appalachians and generates more than $4.5 billion dollars per year in local tax revenue.