COEBURN, VA – JANUARY 14, 2022 — A $50,000 grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund to be used to finance building renovations and improvements to assist with the development of the Spearhead Trails Adventure Recreation Center at Coeburn was closed recently.
The funds, awarded to the Southwest Regional Recreation Authority (SRRA) which oversees the Spearhead Trails system, will be used to develop the Coeburn center which will house not only its main offices, but also, its shop, an activity center and supply storage.
The activity center is part of a larger plan by SRRA to develop recreation and activity centers throughout the region. The centers will each feature unique activities to add to the tourism and amenities of the area. Activities planned for the Coeburn center include indoor climbing, indoor batting cages, indoor ax throwing, sling shot/knife throwing, an indoor skate park, picnic pavilion, board room/party room, games, events/programs, shopping and concessions.
“VCEDA’s support of the Spearhead Trails through the years is well-documented and the $50,000 grant closed recently will continue support of SRRA’s attempts to further develop tourism potential throughout the region we all serve,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “The application projects a net gain of one full-time job and one part-time job at the center.”
The Southwest Regional Recreation Authority was formed by act of the General Assembly in 2008 for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a Southwest Regional Recreation Area, which was defined as “a system of recreational trails and appurtenant facilities, including trail-head centers, parking areas, camping facilities, picnic areas, recreational areas, historic or cultural interpretive sites and other facilities that are a part of the system.”
SRRA purchased the previous location of the Coeburn Home Center which includes a 22,600 square foot building and a five-acre yard and parking area to house the new center at Coeburn. SRRA estimates the renovations and improvements to the building will cost approximately $350,000 and the activity center portion will be an additional $150,000.
“Spearhead is a destination with more than 600 miles of trails over seven motorized trail systems for any skill level, as well as equestrian, biking, hiking and blueway trails,” said SRRA Executive Director Melissa Slemp Rose. “We also have an indoor and outdoor archery range, a shooting range which includes sporting clays, skeet, pistol and rifle ranges. Our new headquarters, which will also house several different activities for the surrounding area gives young and old a wide range of unique opportunities to enjoy all the beauty and wonders that Southwest Virginia has to offer.
“VCEDA’s support has been a critical piece of our growth,” Rose added. “As we are continually expanding our headquarters, we will be using these funds to purchase more heating and plumbing solutions for our axe throwing and wall climbing facilities. Our new office provides alternatives for family adventures. ”
An economic impact report provided by SRRA on the proposed STAR centers showed a minimum economic impact for the proposed Coeburn center to be $233,000 annually, with a maximum estimate of up to $1 million annually.
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.