Climbing brings in more than $12 million into New River Gorge region

By MATT COMBS

The Register-Herald

Rock climbing — like that taking place at Cathedral Falls in Gauley Bridge in the file photo above — brings in more than $12 million in estimated direct spending by non-local climbers to Fayette, Nicholas and Raleigh counties per year, according to the study, “The Economic Impact of Rock Climbing in the New River Gorge Region.” Along with the more than $12 million in direct spending, the study estimated that climbing supported 168 jobs and $6.3 million in wages in the three counties, along with an additional $2 million in spending inside West Virginia but outside the study area each year.
(Register-Herald file photo by Chris Jackson)

BECKLEY, W.Va.  — According to a recently released study, rock climbing brings in more than $12 million in estimated direct spending by non-local climbers to Fayette, Nicholas and Raleigh counties per year.

The study, “The Economic Impact of Rock Climbing in the New River Gorge Region,” was completed by a team from Eastern Kentucky University, Wofford College and a Ph.D. candidate from Virginia Tech between May and November 2018 at the recommendation of the New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC) and the Access Fund.

Along with the more than $12 million in direct spending, the study estimated that climbing supported 168 jobs and $6.3 million in wages in the three counties, along with an additional $2 million in spending inside West Virginia but outside the study area each year.

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