BREAKS, VA – NOVEMBER 13, 2023 – An up to a $694,645 grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to the Breaks Interstate Park was recently closed.
The funds, some of which have been reallocated from other projects which came in under budget at the park, will be used to develop infrastructure and improvements at the park, specifically an expansion of the waterpark including swimming pool construction; swinging bridge construction; and site improvements.
“VCEDA is pleased to work with the Breaks Interstate Park on this most recent round of improvements planned at the park,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “The park is truly one of Southwest Virginia’s greatest recreational/tourism assets and we appreciate their continuous commitment to growing and expanding the amenities offered there. It not only improves the experience for locals and tourists, but it also helps to grow the economy and to create jobs.”
Currently, the park has six full-time and 80 part-time employees. The park estimates it will add one full-time employee and 20 part-time employees within two years.
The overall waterpark project will include the construction of a 3,200-square-foot swimming pool. The swimming pool project is estimated to cost some $1.37 million, which includes funding from other sources. If there is funding from the VCEDA grant remaining after the pool construction is completed, the park will apply those funds to the pedestrian swinging bridge project across the Russell Fork River.
“Park management utilizes a variety of tools to seek feedback from park guests about the amenities that they wish to see developed and/or expanded at the Breaks,” said Breaks Interstate Park Superintendent Austin Bradley. “Over the course of the last 10 years, the addition of a pool with a diving area to our existing waterpark facility has consistently topped the list of projects which our guests want to see constructed and we are thrilled to finally be able to fulfill this request. We expect an opening date of May 2024.
“This project wouldn’t have been possible without support from the VCEDA, the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority and an AMLER grant which was awarded to the park by Virginia Energy,” Bradley added.
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.