Event organizer talks economic impact of Spartan Race cancellation

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – The Spartan Race, held annually at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean, has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Jim Campbell worked as a special events coordinator for the Summit Bechtel Reserve and is one of the people credited with bringing the race into the state about four years ago.

He says this will have a major economic impact on the area as organizers say it brings in about $4.2 million to the local economy with 14,000 people coming from all over to participate in the extreme race.

Campbell says local businesses and hotels refer to it as their “Second Bridge Day” as thousands of people come from all over, but that is also the reason the state made the recommendation for it to be cancelled this year as cases continue to rise.

Not only is this an economic hit, but Campbell says it is an tourism exposure hit as well.

“It’s also the demographic of people that we really want to introduce to Southern West Virginia that does the mountain biking and hiking our trails and the rock climbing, and that’s the demographic we really,” he said.

The race was supposed to be held at the end of this month as organizers now begin to look forward to next year.

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.