July 20, 2011
The Roanoke, Virginia Region’s numerous outdoor amenities provide a strong foundation for growth in outdoor-related businesses, according to a new analysis comparing the area to other regions known for their outdoor lifestyle.
The study found that the region ranked highly in concentration of greenway trails, public recreational land, square footage of lakes and other assets, setting the stage for growth in outdoor businesses looking to grow around hiking, biking, paddling and other activities.
This first-ever study, conducted earlier this year by the Roanoke Regional Partnership with assistance from the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, was commissioned to determine the breadth of the region’s outdoor economy and the overall competitiveness of its mix of amenities and outdoor offerings.
The benchmarking study includes Asheville, N.C., Greenville, S.C., Boulder, Colo., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Portland, Maine. The results show Roanoke on par with Asheville, Boulder and Chattanooga, with Portland ranking the highest.
While the Roanoke Region’s outdoor amenities ranked high, the study found opportunities for entrepreneurs and existing outdoor businesses looking to capitalize on its growing outdoor brand.
“Overall, this study indicates we have a strong base to build upon and there may be significant potential for further business growth,” says Pete Eshelman, director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership.
While researching the data, study authors say the Roanoke Region is ahead of competing markets when it comes to inventorying and measuring its base of amenities.
While inventories of trails, campgrounds, and other assets can be almost impossible to find in many communities, the Roanoke Region has invested in an online resource for the outdoors, http://www.RoanokeOutside.com, and regularly reports data on the usage of amenities and important metrics like mileage of trails in the region in its annual economic metrics program.
“There is potential for Roanoke to become a major outdoor industry center,” Eshelman says.
Some other findings in the study:
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/7/prweb8652519.htm