Senator Manchin

MAN — Manufacturers of ATVs were treated this week to rides along the Hatfield-McCoy Trail highlighting the region as a place for building the ATV and the parts used by enthusiasts.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., hosted executives from Polaris, Kawasaki and Honda to tour the Hatfield-McCoy trails to highlight West Virginia’s quickly expanding ATV industry and the growing adventure tourism opportunities in southern West Virginia. The Hatfield-McCoy trails created an estimated economic impact of more than $38 million in 2019.

Manchin called Monday’s tour and ride in Logan County “an exciting opportunity to show West Virginia’s expanding adventure tourism industry to manufacturers of offroad vehicles from across the country. The beauty of our state attracts tourists from across America to visit Wild and Wonderful West Virginia for the adventure of a lifetime. With our expanding trail systems and growing number of off-road enthusiasts traveling to our state, there is a great opportunity for manufacturers of these vehicles and their accessories to locate the facilities and jobs they require right here in West Virginia.”

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail has 10 trail systems and 900 miles of trails throughout Mercer and McDowell counties as well as the counties of Logan, Kanawha, Wyoming Wayne, Lincoln, Mingo and Boone.

Executive Director Jeffrey Lusk of the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority said that the ride was on the Rock House Trail System near the authority’s headquarters in Man. It was the first time the trail had hosted a tour for ATV manufacturers.

“With us selling as many permits as we sell on the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system, it makes perfect sense for manufacturers to be making the products where their products are being used,” Lusk told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

“It was a great day and I think they were very impressed with the trail,” Lusk said. “I think they’re going to take a genuine look at southern West Virginia as a place to manufacture vehicles and parts.”

Executives from the manufacturers said they were impressed with both the Hatfield-McCoy Trail and the state’s business climate.

“We discussed the importance of American manufacturing and how the growing outdoor recreation industry supports small businesses and local communities,” said Steve Menneto, president of Off Road, Polaris.

“West Virginia has always been one of the strongest off-highway vehicle markets for Kawasaki and the industry as a whole. With a world class trail system in place like Hatfield-McCoy it is easy to see why,” said Bill Jenkins, Senior Vice President Sales & Operations of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.. But as Senator Manchin showcased (Monday), the state has also developed a business climate that has the ability to make West Virginia a key to future growth of the powersports industry in U.S.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline. com

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