World Championship Mountain Bike Races a Great Success at Snowshoe
If you missed the first part of out recent interview with Cara Rose, you can hear her talk about our autumn leaves and tourism by checking out that story on our website.
In this second part of the interview, Cara talks to us about the recent World Championship Mountain Bike races recently held at Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
Cara, I understand they just had a little event up at snowshoe involving bicycles (background laughter from Rose) Can you tell us how that turned out?
“We are so fortunate in Pocahontas County to host the Mercedes Benz UCI World Mountain Bike Championships this fall,” said Rose. “It was the week of September 14th through the 19th. It was actually a double-header, which meant we had two world events take place that week. The first event was the year-end race for downhill mountain biking, followed by the world championships for both downhill and cross-country mountain biking. It was very successful, and I’m sure people noticed that about every car or vehicle, van, truck, large SUV, and sometimes unusual looking vehicles were carrying bicycles when they came through Pocahontas County on their way up to Snowshoe. The event estimates around fourteen thousand people in attendance for the event, which is very successful, quite possibly the largest single event snowshoe has ever hosted.”
We couldn’t have gotten any better weather, which made things so much nicer and easier and I was there the whole week, and I will tell you that the one thing that impressed me the most was how the Red Bull TV hosts promoted West Virginia, Pocahontas County, and Snowshoe. They had nothing but wonderful things to say about our area, which is priceless marketing and public relations for us, and reached millions of people around the world.”
“It was wonderful to see world travelers coming through the county. I saw first hand a number of people every time I went into a store in Marlinton, visiting our local businesses purchasing items, whether it be at the Dollar Store or at the Ace Hardware Store, wherever it might have been, particularly at the grocery stores, they were very busy with our visitors and guests coming for the event.”
“In 2019, Snowshoe hosted this event as well, and based on the Hotel/Motel Tax, we know that event, which was just one event, generated about five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) lodging revenue for the county in just that one week. This event in 2021, which again, was two events so there was an extended length of stay for the visitors for the event -and I don’t have the numbers yet, but in another month and a half we’ll have a much better picture of what the overall economic impact looked like, but I estimate that lodging revenue will be over a half-a-million dollars with an additional half-a-million dollars in other purchases, whether that be groceries, or shopping in our local shops. So, I would estimate from one to one and a half a million dollars in economic impact in one week for Pocahontas County. Outdoor recreation is proving to be a big impact to our communities – and I believe this is something that impacts the entire county.”
“Snowshoe will host another World Cup event in July of 2022. And, the World Mountain Bike Marathon will be hosted in the area and at Snowshoe and through the Monongahela National Forest in 2024. And, that’s a sixty-mile bike race, and it will be looping through Snowshoe and through the Mon Forest, including the Mower Basin Trails, which are the new trails that are being developed on top of Cheat Mountain. And there will be a connection between Snowshoe and those trails over the course of the next year or two. So, it’s promising to be a stronger economic impact. Mountain biking as well as all outdoor recreation is growing in our county.”