In just a few months, 1,600 people will ride their bikes through Southwest Virginia as part of the Bike Virginia tour. An exciting opportunity says Pete Eshelman with the Roanoke Regional Partnership.
"We have some cool stuff right here and for these folks to come see and experience, and that is rewarding," says Eshelman.
The six day tour will start off at Maury Park in Buena Vista, and cyclists will make their way down to the Botetourt Roanoke area before heading back.
According to Bike Virginia, last year folks spent 1.8 million dollars in the areas they toured, and expect the same economic impact when they hit the road this June in our area. Eshelman says it even has a lasting effect on the economy once they leave.
"Bring people outside of the area here. They come here they set foot, they have a great experience and get to know a little bit more about Roanoke region has to offer. Then they go back and hopefully they come back from vacations or if they have companies they look at expanding or relocating here to the area," says Eshelman.
Bike Virginia also gives backs to the community, by working together with local charities to sponsor rest stops in exchange for a donation to that organization. That was seen back in 2011, when Bike Virginia rolled through Pulaski after the devastating tornadoes a touching moment for bike Virginia executive director Doctor Kimberley Perry who is originally from the New River Valley.
"We were able to give money to the civic groups and they in exchange helped host the tour and it was nice thing to be a part of the recovery in that area at that time," says Perry.
And hope to continue working together to bring more money to the region and it charities, all while having fun.