Smithfield, VA, May 24, 2023
Today, Smithfield and Isle of Wight Tourism received $20K through Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) DRIVE Outdoor program, a tourism development grant program targeting outdoor product development and entrepreneurial expansion throughout the Commonwealth.
To meet the consumer demand for upcoming summer travel, the tourism department will use awarded funds for outdoor development projects that will have an immediate impact on the area’s outdoor recreation offerings.
Working with Isle of Wight BMX Bike Park and Pump Track, an all-volunteer organization, the plan is to build a BMX Track and Pump Track as well as to update the existing mountain bike trails at Nike Park. The first of its kind in Virginia, the Bike Park will “bring an Olympic Sport to the community.”
The $20,000 will be put toward the purchase of a Bike Repair Station; Kicker Ramps; shipping; and fill dirt (purchased from a local purveyor). The following purchases will provide a quick turnaround start up time for people coming out to ride the trails. The County is donating the land for the Bike Park.
DRIVE Outdoor builds on VTC’s DRIVE 2.0 Statewide Strategic Plan to enhance outdoor recreational development, assets, and entrepreneurial opportunities within Virginia. Following participation in the program, Smithfield and Isle of Wight Tourism received the foundation for a competitive outdoor product development plan, including specific action steps, success factors, timelines, priorities, and identified partners to help with project success.
“What a wonderful way to directly impact, not only the tourism assets in our community by creating this new BMX Bike Park, but also contributing to the health of the community by offering a new outdoor recreation opportunity,” says Tourism Director, Judy Winslow.
“These new outdoor recreation projects will only add to the tourism opportunities across the Commonwealth, a destination already celebrated for its iconic outdoor assets,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “Virginia offers unparalleled outdoor experiences enjoyed by millions of people every year and the projects these communities develop will only further solidify our reputation as a premier destination for outdoor lovers.”
Smithfield and Isle of Wight County have an array of outdoor opportunities to offer. Windsor Castle Park is a 208-acre riverside park that offers walking trails, a children’s natural playscape park, a fishing pier, seasonal outfitters, and dog park. The county also hosts nine parks and recreational sites with bike paths, walking trails, playgrounds, boat ramps, fishing piers, skate parks, and more.
Outdoor recreation has proven to be a recession-proof industry and a driving force in the American economy. In 2021, outdoor recreation contributed $9.4 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy and supported 107,000 jobs and $4.8 billion in wages and salaries in Virginia according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Virginia’s outdoor recreation economy accounts for 1.6% share of the state’s GDP.
For more information or to explore more outdoor offerings from Smithfield and Isle of Wight County, visit GenuineSmithfieldVA.com.
To learn more about VTC’s DRIVE Outdoor, please visit vatc.org/driveoutdoor.
About Virginia Tourism Corporation
Virginia is for Lovers is one of the most iconic and recognizable travel brands in the world. Using that powerful brand equity, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is charged with promoting the Commonwealth as a premier travel destination by showcasing all there is to love in a Virginia vacation. The dollars spent by travelers fuel the economy, provide jobs for Virginians, and improve communities across the state. Simply put, tourism helps make Virginia a great place to live, work, and vacation. Learn more at virginia.org.