As reported in Bud’s legislative update, officials had a chance to learn about the benefits that bike touring brings to communities. US Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar and Director of the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis were in Richmond February 1, to hold a tourism town hall meeting in conjunction with the announcement of a $4M federal contribution to purchase additional acreage in Richmond National Battlefield Park.
Also attending the event at Willis Road Methodist Church was Governor Robert McDonnell and VA Tourism President Alisa Bailey.
Located on US Bike Route 76, Willis Road Church has, for many years, provided a well deserved resting spot for weary TransAmerica riders. The church’s “Red Hut” is popular for overnighting by cyclists from around the world. Secretary Salazar was given a copy of their register book which documents the comments of many of these riders.
Secretary Salazar fielded nearly three dozen questions from 100 statewide tourism stakeholders on how they could best partner to promote Virginia Tourism.
During the questioning, several speakers comment on bike topics including the VBF’s Bud Vye and Tom Bowden. They made the audience aware of the unique tourism opportunities that
bicycling adds to Virginia’s tourism portfolio. Bowden also pointed out that the 2015 World Cycling Championships which will be held in Richmond and the estimated $100 economic impact this will bring to the state.
Having the officials attend a tourism meeting at such a prominent facility along a US Bike Route was a perfect alignment of the stars for bicycle touring. Hopefully, the messages delivered will help increase mind share with state and national organization to increase efforts to get people out of their cars and see America from the saddle of a bike.