Montgomery County looking to be the next sports recreation destination

Sports tourism is a major source of revenue for our local economy, with three hotspots right here in Southwest Virginia

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Over the last few months, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Montgomery County Tourism Office has partnered with a sports tourism team to develop a plan for sports tourism growth.

“They hired us to come out and say from a sports tourism perspective what can we do to bring more visitation,” said Jon Schmieder, CEO of Huddle Up Group.

Through their research, Schmieder said they found the answers Montgomery County was looking for.

“We want to focus on youth soccer, youth travel sports, which is the highly competitive marketplace that we, and you guys, operate in,” Schmieder said.

He said neighboring counties are already seeing success.

“Danville is just getting into it, Lynchburg has been at it for a few years, Salem’s great at it especially in the collegiate space, so forget Richmond and Virginia Beach and the bigger markets,” Schmieder said.

The idea is to utilize some of the areas like the Christiansburg Huckleberry Park to host soccer, lacrosse, and many other sports tournaments.

“What’s the next step, how do we take the next step?” said David Rotenizer, executive director for the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Montgomery County Tourism Office. “We have it already with the Town of Christiansburg. They are a sports tourism powerhouse, and we want to build upon what they have already started.”

I talked to a Christiansburg mom, and she said it’s a great idea.

“These fields have already been pretty active, so I think having more exposure around the community would be great,” Alycia Irish said.

Officials from the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Montgomery County Tourism Office said they are hoping to have events going in the next six months.

About the Author

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

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