Pocahontas County Looking to Get International Mountain Bike Ride Center Designation
Cara Rose, Director of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the PCCVB, briefed the County Commissioners at their April 17th meeting about some exciting developments concerning the future of mountain biking tourism in the County. She said the PCCVB has applied to the leading mountain biking association in the country, the International Mountain Biking Association or IMBA, to have Pocahontas County designated as an IMBA Ride Center. Cara expects to receive that designation very shortly. This very prestigious designation will mean that the mountain biking community worldwide will receive information about the miles of pristine biking trails in Pocahontas County as well as the services and hospitality available to mountain biking tourists. She said that IMBA offers three types of Ride Center designations, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Cara is hopeful to receive the Silver designation but would also be happy with the Bronze designation. She said there are very few Gold Ride Centers anywhere but receiving either the Silver or the Bronze would put the County in a good position to be later upgraded to the Gold Ride Center designation.
Cara also said that looking longer term, the IMBA also establishes Regional Ride Centers in larger areas where there are three or more Gold, Silver or Bronze Ride Centers who connect their trails. She said that Pocahontas County could work with nearby counties to create an IMBA Regional Ride Center. Existing Mountain Biking Trails in Davis, Richwood, Slaty Fork, Watoga and Snow Shoe Mountain Resort could be trail connection points as part of this future Regional Ride Center. In furtherance of this goal, She requested the Commissioners to make a $2,500 commitment which would be put towards a monetary match for an Appalachian Regional Commission Grant which would be shared with the other potential Ride Centers in Webster, Nicholas and possibly Fayette Counties to create this West Virginia mountain biking superhighway, the future IMBA Regional Ride Center. This would establish West Virginia as one of the top mountain biking destinations in the world, creating a huge tourism boost. The Commissioners could see the potential of this and voted to commit the $2,500 towards the grant. At Cara’s request, the Commissioners also voted to create a Proclamation Designating May 6-12, 2018 as ‘National Travel and Tourism Week’ in Pocahontas County.
Denise Campbell. The former State Delegate and currently the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Community Liaison for pipeline construction in the County, also addressed the Commissioners at this meeting. Campbell said that tree felling has ended in the county on March 31st. While their request for an extension of that tree felling period was denied, they have accomplished what was needed to be felled for 2018. She said that one hundred thirty people attended the construction open house at the Wellness Center in Marlinton on April 12th. Most of these people were learning about how to apply for jobs with the construction contractors. She said that construction is expected to begin in mid-May with yard sites in Elkwater, Randolph County and in Frost. The primary Construction company in Pocahontas County will be US Pipelines, Inc. Campbell also said the ACP is awaiting the 401 permit to allow them to pick up the felled trees not wanted by landowners, but that permit is temporally being held up in Virginia. She said that anyone who wants to report problems with the construction can call her at 304-614-4904.
Additionally, the Commissioners:
- Officially voted to lay the County Levy for 2018 at $14.19.
- Amended their Commission Contribution Request requirements to allow only one request from an organization per year.
- Approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Town of Hillsboro to allow the county to collect the Hotel Occupancy Tax for them.
- Approved the American Lung Association to store bicycles overnight for their annual Greenbrier River Trail Ride.
- Signed a Letter of Support for the five year revision of the Region 4 Comprehensive Development Strategy.
- Appointed Michael Riggsby as a full member and Jason Scotchie and Robbie Pyles as alternates to the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
- Amended the order establishing the regulations regarding collection of the Hotel Occupancy Tax. This change clarified that the 30 day lodging arrangements hotels make with their own employees are exempt from the tax.
After receiving a report from their counsel, the Commissioners ended the meeting with an executive session on a personnel matter with no action on that at this meeting.