U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.8 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Improve Mountain Biking Infrastructure in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.8 million grant to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, South Charleston, West Virginia, to develop and expand recreational mountain biking infrastructure in the state’s Eastern Panhandle. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.
This project will support completion of the bike trail system at Cacapon State Park, including trail design and construction, and development of bike facilities. This EDA grant will be matched with $700,000 in local funds, and is expected to help create 36 jobs, retain 46 jobs and generate $934,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is dedicated to supporting the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector as it works to recover and rebuild following the pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will boost critical tourism and hospitality industries in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle while building resiliency in the region’s economy.”
“The travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector is a critical economic driver for many communities and the Economic Development Administration is pleased to support community-led development strategies designed to boost tourism and build a better America,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will expand the bike trail system at Cacapon State Park by adding an additional 35 miles of trails, making the park a regional destination for mountain bikers.”
“People from all over recognize West Virginia as one of the best destinations for outdoor recreation in the nation. That’s why one of the first things I did as Governor was to increase our investments in tourism, allowing us to market our natural wonder to the world. The results have been astounding. We’ve become one of the top destinations in America for adventure seekers. And now, this investment between the EDA and our Division of Natural Resources to build more mountain biking infrastructure in our Eastern Panhandle is going to help us continue to show the world what West Virginia is all about,” said Governor Jim Justice. “I truly appreciate the EDA’s investment on such a worthy project and thank them for their continued help showcasing West Virginia.”
“The EDA continues to be a strong partner for West Virginia, and today’s announcement is great news for Cacapon State Park and the entire Eastern Panhandle. Improvements to the park’s mountain biking trail system and facilities will support the growing local tourism industry, boost outdoor recreation and support long-term, good-paying jobs,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “The American Rescue Plan continues to spur economic development across the Mountain State, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this funding for years to come.”
“As the Eastern Panhandle continues to expand in population, it is vitally important to maintain growth in all sectors of the local economy,” said Congressman Alex X. Mooney (WV-02). “This grant will create new jobs and secure even more positions by advancing the expansion of tourism in our region. As a cyclist, I can say there is no better way to see the 2nd Congressional District than by taking to one of its beautiful trails. I look forward to greeting mountain bikers from near and far to the wonderful Cacapon State Park.”
This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.