(July 9, 2013 – Richmond, Virginia) – Richmond 2015, the organizing committee for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, today was part of an announcement to unveil plans to create a Richmond Region IMBA Ride Center. This center will focus on mountain biking trails at Pocahontas State Park and Richmond’s James River Park System. The Richmond Region will become the 12th nationwide site of an IMBA, International Mountain Biking Association, ride center.“More than one of the world’s preeminent cycling events, Richmond 2015 has always been about leveraging the World Championships as a catalyst for transformational change throughout our region,” said Wilson H. Flohr, Jr., CEO of Richmond 2015. “In this case, Richmond 2015 provided a spark for this outstanding regional project. The Richmond Region IMBA Ride Center will be yet another emerging asset in our community for people, of all ages and abilities, to enjoy bicycling.”IMBA is recognized as the international leader in the mountain biking community. Their ride centers featuring extensive trail networks are the organization’s strongest endorsement of a trail experience. The centers become travel destinations for mountain bikers from around the world. With the combination of trails in the James River Park System and those existing and to be created at Pocahontas, the Richmond Region facility is expected to be among the most highly rated IMBA Ride Centers.
The Dominion Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, has donated $50,000, matching Virginia’s investment in the project. This officially launches a fund drive to raise the remaining $700,000 needed for trail improvements to Pocahontas State Park, where an additional 30 miles of new mountain bike trails are planned along with improvements to the park’s current 20 miles of trails. An additional $490,000 would also be needed for a new trail head that would feature expanded parking, a restroom and event staging area. The Virginia Association for Parks, a nonprofit that supports Virginia state and national parks, is coordinating all fund raising for this project.
According to a study done by Mangum Economic Consulting, Inc. the ride center would annually increase economic activity in Chesterfield County by $2.7 million and by $4.5 million in Virginia. It would also generate 31 new jobs in Chesterfield and 51 in the state.
Representatives of Richmond and Chesterfield governments joined Governor Bob McDonnell and Richmond 2015 CEO, Wilson H. Flohr, Jr. to announce the project today at Pocahontas State Park. Other groups represented included IMBA, Richmond MORE, Paralyzed Veterans of America – Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Friends of Pocahontas State Park and the Virginia Association for Parks.
About Richmond 2015
Richmond 2015, Inc. is the independent non-profit corporation responsible for the organization, management and promotion of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships. The 2015 World Championships is projected to generate approximately $158 million in economic impact, 450,000 onsite spectators and a global television audience of more than 300 million viewers.
Founding Partners of Richmond 2015 include Altria, CarMax, Davenport & Company, Dominion, Genworth, Hourigan Construction, Kings Dominion, Lansing Building Products, MWV, McGuire Woods, Norfolk Southern, Piascik, The Community Foundation, VCU Medical Center and Williams Mullen. In addition to its corporate partners, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Richmond, Hanover County and Henrico County are all key partners to Richmond 2015.
About the UCI Road World Championships
The UCI Road World Championships is cycling’s pinnacle event, held annually in an international city as chosen by the UCI, the sports governing body. Upcoming World Championships will be held in Florence, Italy in 2013 and Ponferrada, Spain in 2014.