WATCH: Study shows rock climbers bring $12 million to New River Gorge

FAYETTEVILLE (WOAY)- The beautiful outdoors. It’s one of things southern West Virginia is known for.

You’ll find thousands of people every year taking advantage of what “Almost Heaven” has to offer, including rock climbing at the New River Gorge.

“You won’t find better rock to climb in the world,” Water Stone Outdoors owner Kenny Parker said.

A study done by Eastern Kentucky University shows rock climbing at the New River Gorge is a big money maker, bringing in over $12 million a year and over 160 jobs.

“I’m not surprised,” Parker said. “People also move here so they can climb.”

One of those people is Rhea Mitchell. She even helped out with the study. Unlike Parker, Mitchell is surprised by the amount of money brought in annually.

“I am surprised by the $12 million,” Mitchell said. “I knew it was a big amount but I didn’t think that data would show that much.”

Watch Dylan Fearon’s full report above.

Sponsored Content
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at