Governor McDonnell Announces First Legacy Project of Richmond 2015 Bike Race
– Kicks-Off Fund Drive for World Class Richmond Region Ride Center; Dominion Foundation Donates $50,000 –
Study: Trail Improvements to Have Annual Economic Impact of $4.5 Million and Create 51 New Jobs
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell was joined today at Pocahontas State Park by leaders from Richmond City, Chesterfield County and Virginia’s bicycling community to announce that Dominion Resources has donated $50,000 toward development of the Richmond Region Ride Center, matching Virginia’s investment in the project. The Governor requested the state appropriation last session and it was approved by the General Assembly. The Dominion donation officially launches a fund drive to raise the remaining $700,000 needed for trail improvements to Pocahontas State Park.
Upon completion, Richmond will become the 12th site worldwide of an International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Ride Center. The center will focus on mountain biking trails in Pocahontas State Park and Richmond’s James River Park System and will serve as a key ongoing legacy project of the Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships.
“Bringing the road championships to Richmond and Virginia is the result of outstanding regional and public-private cooperation,” said Governor McDonnell. “Dominion’s donation to this regional ride center, which will be a lasting legacy for this region, is the epitome of continuing that cooperative spirit. This internationally renowned event will highlight the Commonwealth’s beautiful landscapes and create jobs and economic development for the entire region. ”
IMBA is recognized as the international leader in the mountain biking community. Their ride centers featuring extensive trail networks are the organization’s strongest endorsement of a trail experience. The centers become travel destinations for mountain bikers from around the world. With the combination of trails in the James River Park System and those existing and to be created at Pocahontas, the Richmond Region facility is expected to be among the most highly rated IMBA Ride Centers.
According to a study done by Mangum Economic Consulting, Inc. the trail improvements at Pocahontas State Park alone will increase annual economic activity in Chesterfield County by $2.7 million and by $4.5 million in Virginia. It would also generate 31 new jobs in Chesterfield and 51 in the state. The complete study can be found here.
Dominion’s gift is being made through the Dominion Foundation, the company’s charitable giving arm.
“The establishment of a regional center of this magnitude will put Richmond and Central Virginia on the international map as a premier mountain biking destination,” said Dominion Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II. “The Richmond Region Ride Center will have a long-lasting, positive economic impact for both the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County.”
An additional 30 miles of trails are planned along with improvements to the park’s current 20 miles of mountain bike trails. In designing the new trails, partners will use a “stacked loop” design, preferred by most mountain bikers. This allows riders to choose from flat, relatively easy trails to more challenging ones. Paralyzed Veterans of America are partners and will work with IMBA and the local rehabilitation community to determine local needs in developing accessible trails. An additional $490,000 would be needed for a new trail head with expanded parking, a restroom and event staging area.
Other groups represented at today’s event include IMBA, Richmond 2015, Richmond MORE, Paralyzed Veterans of America – Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Friends of Pocahontas State Park and the Virginia Association for Parks. The Virginia Association for Parks, a nonprofit that supports Virginia’s state and national parks, is coordinating all fund raising with all funds raised going directly to the project.
Located in Chesterfield County, Pocahontas State Park is one of Virginia’s 36 award-winning state parks managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The James River Park System is managed by the City of Richmond.
Dominion (NYSE:D), headquartered in Richmond, is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy. Dominion and the Dominion Foundation in 2012 gave more than $21 million to some 2,600 organizations to support projects that protect the environment, develop educational opportunities, provide for basic human needs and promote community vitality.
About Richmond 2015
Richmond 2015, Inc. is the independent non¬-profit corporation responsible for the organization, management and promotion of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships. The 2015 World Championships is projected to generate approximately $158 million in economic impact, 450,000 onsite spectators and a global television audience of more than 300 million viewers.
Founding Partners of Richmond 2015 include Altria, CarMax, Davenport & Company, Dominion, Genworth, Hourigan Construction, Kings Dominion, Lansing Building Products, MWV, McGuire Woods, Norfolk Southern, Piascik, The Community Foundation, VCU Medical Center and Williams Mullen. In addition to its corporate partners, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Richmond, Hanover County and Henrico County are all key partners to Richmond 2015.
About the UCI Road World Championships
The UCI Road World Championships is cycling’s pinnacle event, held annually in an international city as chosen by the UCI, the sport’s governing body. Upcoming World Championships will be held in Florence, Italy in 2013 and Ponferrada, Spain in 2014.