BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) – Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie was in Bristol today when he announced a plan to grow the state’s outdoor economy.
He is calling it “The Outdoor Dominion” and his mission is to make Virginia the outdoor recreation leader of the east coast.
“It’s a bit of a sleeping giant,” Gillespie said. “I think we can be number one on the east coast when it comes to being an outdoor recreation destination.”
This initiative hinges primarily on eight foundational actions.
The first, called “Summit on the Summit,” is an annual day for Virginians to get outside and reach the summit of their chosen mountain.
Gillespie also wants to establish a website that would become a one-stop public information hub for outdoor recreational opportunities in Virginia.
Other actions were centered on the Clinch River.
Gillespie promised to open Clinch River State Park and add new stream and water access points so that people could more easily enjoy the waters of Virginia.
He also hopes to use entities like the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia State Park System, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and the Outdoor Recreation Caucus to assess where the state stands and how to use the outdoors to grow the economy.
Gillespie says all of this would be helped by an executive order that he would issue recognizing outdoor recreation as a significant industry in Virginia.
He said Virginia is full of beautiful sights from east to west and said they need to take advantage of it.
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