WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) applauds Backroads of Appalachia for earning a $1 million competitive grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to promote tourism through advanced motorsports in Eastern Kentucky. The grant will be used to create several new jobs to enhance management and marketing operations.
"The Wildlands of Eastern Kentucky provide incredible opportunities for outdoor adventures like hiking, off-road trails, rock climbing, and much more. Our friends at Backroads of Appalachia are also touting the untapped opportunities that we have for motorsports across the region, with unmatched motorcycle routes, like the Dragon Slayer on Highway 160, that could boost the tourism economy in some of our smallest towns," said Congressman Rogers, Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives. "I applaud ARC's work in our region and I was proud to support this grant application for Backroads of Appalachia."
Since 2020, Backroads of Appalachia has worked as a volunteer organization and branded several routes geared towards various sectors of the motorsports market such as motorcyclists, dual sport adventure cyclists and car clubs. It has organized dozens of hill climbs, obstacle courses, and different kinds of rallies, some of which have been nationally recognized. The participants and spectators create a demand for more restaurants, lodging, and other services. Along one of the most popular routes, the Dragon Slayer, 30 businesses have opened since 2019 to cater to visitors.
"Backroads of Appalachia is honored for the recognition of economic development through motorsports," said Erik Hubbard, Founder of Backroads of Appalachia. "We appreciate ARC, the Kentucky Department of Local Government, Governor Andy Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers for believing in our mission. This is a positive step for change in our region and telling the country we are open for business."
Backroads of Appalachia is also committed to providing jobs for those in recovery and is currently implementing an ARC-funded project (IS-20516) that provides housing and job training at its welcome center in Lynch, Kentucky for women in recovery.
In addition to ARC funds, state sources will provide $400,000, bringing the total project funding to $1.4 million.
For more information about Congressman Rogers' work in Washington and at home in Kentucky, visit halrogers.house.gov and follow him on social media.