WVU Extension Service Working Paper on how mountain biking and mountain biking facilities can bring an array of benefits to rural communities.
In the U.S., an estimated 50 million people (20% of Americans 16 and over) mountain bike. Mountain biking and mountain biking facilities can bring an array of benefits to rural communities. They leverage communities’ natural assets to create places that are attractive to visitors, businesses, and both new and current residents. Documented benefits include health benefits for local users, increased tourism and economic development opportunities, and benefits to the local environment.
Although communities are often concerned about low wages and the seasonal nature of tourism, data suggest that recreation opportunities can generate significant economic impacts. There are multiple examples of how small towns, especially those transitioning from economies dominated by natural resource extraction are leveraging their natural resources for outdoor recreation tourism, and mountain biking specifically.
Attached document published May 2019