By Eugenia Jones
The McCreary County Park Board met earlier this week during a special meeting to approve a motion allowing McCreary County Industrial Development Authority (IDA)/Deputy Judge Executive Nathan Nevels to move ahead with an informal presentation of grant information to state authorities. The presentation is in conjunction with Eric Hubbard of the nonprofit group, Backroads of Appalachia. Backroads is a 501(c)3 organization with a passion and empathy for the Appalachian region driving economic development, job training, and opportunity to the poverty-stricken areas of Appalachia through tourism and motorsports. Hubbard and his nonprofit organization are in the process of marketing the Copperhead Motorcycle Trail which meanders throughout McCreary and Whitley Counties.
If the McCreary County/Backroads of Appalachia project proposal qualifies for submission, Backroads of Appalachia will submit the grant proposal in their name. The grant proposal seeks to develop the Sand Hill RV Camp by adding 7-15 cabins on the north side of the Camp. Backroads will organize motorsport events, and the cabins will provide quality lodging for tourists. The cabins will also be used as lodging during additional events such as Blazin’ Bluegrass, Spring/Fall Trail Rides, etc.
In the proposed project, Backroads of Appalachia operates the lodging (cabins) year round assuming all expenses (insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc.) and keeping all rental fees. In return, McCreary County receives all transient (lodging) taxes. If the project fails, improvements on the property automatically revert to the County.
In conjunction with the grant proposal, the County plans to work with Hubbard to promote and develop local adventure motorbike trails including developed areas such as Buzzard Rock, Hickman Cemetery (near Princess Falls), the Ritner/Cowhorn loop, and the Rock Creek/Peter Mountain loop.