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Positive Economic Impact of ATVs for Hatfield-McCoy Trails

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, created by the West Virginia Legislature to spur tourism-centered economic development for the sluggish state economy, has been a smashing success. More than 500 miles of off-road trails are open 365 days a year and cover a handful of counties in the southern part of the state. The trails connect ATV-friendly towns and cover the gamut of difficulty levels from beginner to advanced, with an overall goal of over 2,000 miles of trails covering nine counties.

Marshall University completed an Economic Impact Study for the trail system in October of 2006. Key points from this study show remarkable positive economic effects on the communities surrounding the trail system:

The U.S. Census shows total retail sales in the region have grown by 12 percent and sales per establishment by 25 percent.

Gains in sales were seen in all related sectors including gasoline stations, accommodations, food service and real estate sales and rentals. This latter sector experienced the greatest growth due to the improving property values adjacent to the study

The Hatfield~McCoy Trail System generated 146 new jobs for the State of West Virginia .

This list is only a small fraction of the positive impact the trail has had on the community. The full study in PDF format can be found here

Revenue from gasoline stations, lodging, ATV tires and parts, and real estate have dramatically increased economic activity in a devastated region. Hopefully this model will encourage more municipalities to follow suit and become more friendly towards offroad recreation sports in their regions.

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