FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – In the wake of the national park title the New River Gorge now has, ninety percent of it will be left the same–a preserve for visitors to still freely enjoy all the recreational activities this natural gem offers.
However, ten percent of the Gorge has now designated national terrain that outdoor adventure companies throughout the region utilize the most. And obviously, such a change could leave an impact.
“This was really all about turning Fayetteville, Fayette County, and the New River Gorge area into a nationally known travel destination, like other gate-way cities of national parks,” says Brian Campbell, Chief Operating Officer of Adventures on the Gorge.
Many outdoor industries see this new national park title as a positive advantage to their business, as tourism in the area is expected to increase by as much as 20-percent.
And it seems like the expected influx of tourists this year will not have to worry about any changes to the traditional way these outdoor businesses function.
“We expect nothing to happen in that instance. Bridgewalk is a cooperative endeavor with the National Park Service, and the West Virginia Division of Highways”, Doug Coleman, a tour guide at Bridgewalk, says.
So not only are outdoor adventure businesses in the area ready for more visitors the title is expected to bring, particularly since the negative impact of COVID-19 that last year had on businesses, but they have been in full support of this transition since the very beginning, viewing it as simply a major opportunity for growth.
“We’ve been working on this for 15 years, I’m thrilled,” Campbell says. “I think it’s an amazing thing for America to find what we’ve always known. New River Gorge is a gem, and I think everyone’s going to know it real soon.”
An endeavor that has been going on for decades, the 63rd national park is finally here for us to claim in this once tired industrial area, now a haven for upcoming outdoor industries to thrive.
WOAY-TV is a family-owned television station located in Oak Hill, WV. WOAY covers nine counties in total: Fayette, Greenbrier, Raleigh, Summers, Monroe, Mercer, Wyoming, and McDowell Counties in West Virginia and Tazewell County, Virginia.