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The Breaks getting bikes and kayaks thanks to VCEDA grant

Staff report • Mar 22, 2018 at 9:30 PM

LEBANON — Electric bicycles (e-bikes), mountain bikes and kayaks will be among the new recreational offerings at The Breaks Interstate Park made possible by a grant of up to $39,000 from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA).

The grant was approved last week by the VCEDA board. The Breaks also wants to use a portion of the grant money to replace rusted stairwells at its hotel units.

“We very much appreciate VCEDA and its willingness to continue to invest in The Breaks Interstate Park,” said Breaks Superintendent Austin Bradley. “The funds VCEDA has provided to us through the years, in addition to some of the civil penalties funds which have now been made available to us, go a long way to helping us to develop and distinguish ourselves as an adventure destination.”

Last year, VCEDA also provided the means for the park to install a first-ever zip line operation, considered a solid step forward in efforts to establish The Breaks as an outdoor adventure draw to visitors from far beyond the region.

“VCEDA has been a longstanding supporter of The Breaks Interstate Park and has helped to provide funding for a variety of projects at the park, from the water park to a zip line and now for the equipment needed to add to the adventure offerings at the park. Our board recognized the potential for tourism as an economic development strategy several years ago,” said VCEDA Executive Director and General Counsel Jonathan Belcher.

Bradley said The Breaks has already purchased three e-bikes and five mountain bikes that will be offered for rent to park visitors. The kayaks haven’t been purchased yet, he said, but once they are on hand they will be used to provide excursions on the Russell Fork River outside the usual whitewater season and will supplement times when private whitewater outfitters are not offering kayak trip services.

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