Editor’s note: A version of this story appeared in the November issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (BRAIN) — Attendees of the 2016 IMBA World Summit who returned to Northwest Arkansas this October for the advocacy group’s Dirty 30 anniversary celebration had a nice surprise waiting for them: more than a hundred miles of new trails that weren’t around when they visited just two years earlier.
It doesn’t take a CPA to figure out the rate of growth.
“We’ve been averaging over a mile a week in [trail] construction,” said Gary Vernon, program director for the Walton Family Foundation, the nonprofit whose largesse ignited and continues to fuel trail-building efforts throughout the region.
“A mile a week — that’s unheard of,” said Aimee Ross, a longtime IMBA staff member who moved to Northwest Arkansas this fall to take over as director of Bike Bentonville, the city’s bike tourism arm housed within the Visit Bentonville visitors and convention bureau. “I’ve been living in Golden, Colorado, the past five years. To get a mile of trail there is a big deal, and it takes a long time through the process to get there. That’s one thing that intrigued me …read more