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News from New River Gorge Regional Development Authority
News from New River Gorge Regional Development Authority
Development Summit 2016
More than one hundred community leaders, representing dozens of organizations, businesses, and non-profits gathered to learn some very insightful information on the economic shift we’re experiencing, as well as how the political realm and higher education will mold our future workforce and business base. To see for yourself and to read some of the reports from the Summit click here...
2016 Economic Development Summit
Development Summit 2015
On October 15th, 2015 the NRGRDA hosted its annual Development Summit to help bring real-time, relevant data to those seeking a more in tune local development authority. Below are links to presentations made at the Summit:
NATIONAL ECONOMIC INDICATORS
WEST VIRGINIA AND NEW RIVER GORGE AREA ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
2015 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT NRGRDA PRESENTATION
STRATEGIC PLAN PROGRESS INDICATORS
Choose New River Gorge
New River Gorge Regional Development Authority introduces a new tool in researching and Choosing the New River Gorge areas of Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh and Summers Counties of West Virginia.
to find information on:
New River Gorge Regional Development Authority
for more details on the region.
Ribbon Cut on Pinecrest Business and Technology Park Expansion
By Jessica Farrish Register-Herald Reporter
BECKLEY — A ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday celebrated an extension of the road and infrastructure at Woodlands Pinecrest Business and Technology Park in Beckley.
Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh, president of the Pinecrest Development Corporation, was joined by PDC Treasurer Nancy Kissinger, Vice President Bill Baker and members of the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce to cut the ribbon on the acreage, which is located at Cranberry Creek Drive, just off of the East Beckley Bypass.
The extension is currently in phase two of a plan that started in 1992, when Pugh and others decided to develop the stretch of property.
At that time, the park was just acres of former farm land, owned by the state, he recalled.
That led town leaders to ask, “Where’s the infrastructure?”
“We wanted to try to combine something, and put it into one big piece,” said Pugh Tuesday, describing the vision he shared with Walt Lapinsky and former 4-C Economic Development Authority Director John Hunt in 1992. That authority is now known as New River Gorge Development Authority.
The park is part of the authority, a regional initiative that combines the assets of four counties to promote economic growth.
The goal said Pugh, has always been to create jobs and to expand the presence of technology in Beckley.
The 700 acres of land being developed in phase two are privately owned.
The corporation started with a $2.5 million state grant but is now owned by the development authority and hosts a technology center.
A doctor has recently purchased some of the property for development and Woody Thrasher, president of Thrasher Engineering, told the crowd that he plans to move the southern office of his business to Pinecrest Business and Technological Park, bringing at least 45 jobs to the area.
Pugh pointed out that the property is close to the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Soccer Complex and the Woodlands housing development and that it will pay dividends “for years to come.”
It offers the area an opportunity to diversify its economy, according to comments made at the ceremony.
BRCCC President and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Taylor had reported earlier that the strong retail economy in the city has attracted corporations and businesses from other sectors to the area, an opinion Pugh shared.
Pugh recalled that Beckley was the first town in West Virginia to attract a Walmart in 1990.
Since then, major retail businesses have been attracted to the area, he said.
Baker introduced Pugh as “the best mayor in the state of West Virginia.”
City National Bank Executive Vice President Charlie Houck, Raleigh County Memorial Airport Manager Tom Cochran, Roy and Kim Shrewsbury, BRCCC spokesman Joe Guffy and others were present for the ribbon-cutting and a reception at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center afterwards.
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The Raleigh County Memorial Airport – ‘The Scouting Connection”
The Raleigh County Memorial Airport located 3 miles east of the City of Beckley is configured with two Runways – East West Runway is 5,000 feet long x 100 feet wide and the North South Runway is 6,750 feet long with available land to extend. Commercial Air Service is available with ViaAir on the Embraer-120 Brasileira aircraft with service to Charlotte, NC, St. Augustine, Fl and now Myrtle Beach, SC. There are two daily flights Monday through Friday and one outbound and one inbound on Saturday and Sunday. For more information on flights, call 304-986-4000 or visit www.flyviaair.com.
Lodging is available one mile from the Airport, or Resort lodging 4 miles with various seasonal entertainment options including; World Class golf courses, West Virginia picturesque scenery, Skiing at Winterplace Ski Resort, Whitewater Rafting, National Parks, Theatre WV, Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum, Tamarack, The Best of West Virginia Center and Burning Rock Outdoor Adventure Park.
Another unique airport area amenity is the two fully developed industrial parks for those interested in a full service business climate adjacent to the Airport.
Raleigh County Memorial Airport Industrial Park
Excellent proximity to major interstates and an abundant labor supply help make the Raleigh County Memorial Airport Industrial Park one of the South’s best super sites. With phase one, totaling 174 acres and the newly added phase two with 278 acres, this site is ideal for a variety of industries, including aviation and aerospace. The park houses 35 businesses and more than 1800 employees. Because the facility is located directly in the automotive corridor of Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia, it is also well suited for auto-supply industries. The site has a well designed infrastructure in place including an abundance of water as well as sewer, electricity and gas.
Another plus for companies considering this site, the area offers lower utility rates than most of the nation. Located in southern West Virginia approximately 30 minutes from the Virginia border and one hour from Interstate 81, this site is also only one mile from I-64 and about five miles from where I-64 and I-77 merge.
The site is adjacent to the Raleigh County Airport with two commercial-sized runways. Thanks to recent deregulation of the airline industry, commercial flights at this airport are limited, freeing the runways for planes to transport materials and products for companies located in the park.
A $2.6 million dollar FAA & State funded Apron expansion project was completed in May of 2013 at Raleigh County Airport prior to the Boy Scout Jamboree, enabling additional parking for larger business (Corporate Aircraft), Commercial Air Service. This upgrade offers enhanced aviation safety during high traffic periods, airport economic benefits and security concerns.
Rehabilitation of the Airport Main Terminal Roof was completed in October 2013. This $414,000.00 project was funded by the FAA & WV State Aeronautics Commission. Project consisted of total removal of original roof (1978) and replacement of asbestos free roofing membrane, preserving the original design and providing a safe environment for public use.
Virtual Air Traffic Control project continues at Raleigh County Memorial Airport following research and development of new technology, totally new, first in aviation industry providing unmanned air traffic control. This is an ongoing project that was recently demonstrated (in July 2013) during the Boy Scout Jamboree, with an audience of local aviators, corporate business, military, FAA representatives from the Atlantic Research center, and CEO’s of AT&T, Exxon Mobile, and Console Energy, visiting in support of Boy Scouts of America. The demonstration removed any doubt of viability, actually exceeding expectations of the project and its contribution to safety of all flying aircraft. Future of the project is awaiting funding approval and certification by the FAA to put in the system on line monitoring traffic.
Industrial Access Road Phase V was completed and opened for service to the public in September
2013. This new road offers an alternate access into the airport, Federal Prison, and 30 other companies located in the park which employee over 1200 people. This upgrade of the airport infrastructure compliments safety and security for the complete complex.
Raleigh County Airport Industrial Park “West Loop Road" Now Open
The much-anticipated Raleigh County Memorial Airport Industrial Park “West Loop Road” is officially open.
The Loop Road will improve traffic flow and safety for the Industrial Park area by offering an alternate access from Airport Road just before the federal Mine Health and Safety Academy within half a mile of Interstate 64.
The Loop Road will expand economic development opportunities in the industrial park area, while also increasing additional traffic entry and exit capabilities at the airport, increasing the safety and security of operations in and around the airport, its perimeter and the businesses that the industrial park serves.
We are very excited for the travel and economic opportunities this Loop Road will bring to the Industrial Park area. We applaud all involved in the time invested in bringing this project to completion
Raleigh County Memorial Airport Welcomes New Air Carrier - ViaAir
Raleigh County Memorial Airport has upgraded the way they do business in almost every way, starting with a broader, more regional, passenger base, the airport will serve passengers with the new air service with a reputable air carrier and amplified service to Charlotte, NC. The Airport has modeled its upgraded services to cater to modern travelers that demand reliability, exceptional customer service, and a comfortable air travel experience.
In December 2014, the new airline carrier began servicing all flights in and out of Raleigh County Memorial Airport. ViaAir travelers can book their tickets online through their website www.flyviaair.com or online booking agent, as well as, through their 24 hour service/reservation desk. In addition, passengers can park for free, check baggage and clear security in minutes and enjoy their air travel. With an industry leading reliability rate of 98% dispatch, ViaAir promises passengers an impressive level of care, attention, and dependability.
In addition to increased service to a larger international airport, ViaAir will provide a more comfortable travel experience with four Embraer EMB-120 aircrafts (fastest, lightest, and most economical in its class) to provide up to 30 passengers ample room in addition to a sizable baggage compartment.
Aside from reliable transportation for residents, ViaAir will soon begin using their parent Company Mauiva (pronounced Ma-We-Va), with its significant international distribution power, to book AirCruise adventure vacations for national and international clientele. Plans are underway to promote single and multi-day travel packages to an international audience. Adventure tourism travelers are expected to increase the total number of travelers to Beckley anywhere from fourteen thousand to fifteen thousand in 2015.
New Aircraft Maintenance Facility Brings New Jobs to Area
ViaAir and Via Airlines are new to the region, but already doing amazing things to stimulate the local economy. When Irit Vizer, company President and COO, bid to bring her air service to Beckley, she also proposed the construction of a new aircraft maintenance facility to service planes throughout the South East. This facility will be approximately 56,000 sq. ft. and will allow the 50 service technicians they plan to hire the ability to service aircraft that are up to the size of a 737. The new facility will be located north of the airport directly adjacent to taxiway “E”. Plans are to break ground on the facility in early spring of 2015. While these highly technical and well paying jobs will be a boost to the regional economy, the ability to service aircraft at the same airport will increase efficiency of ViaAir service out of Beckley, and also establish Raleigh County memorial Airport as a transportation hub in the South East.
ViaAir LLC is an indirect Air Carrier operating under DOT Regulation 14 CFR 380 together with its subsidiary, Via Airlines, as the Direct Air Carrier on 30 Pax EMB-120 (ViaAir). Via Airlines as the Direct Air Carrier has been providing Air transportation service for more than 15 years operating 30 passenger EMB-120. ViaAir is known to have an excellent dispatch rate of more than 98%, excellent safety record and client oriented service and support. Via Airlines was founded in 1997 and has grown to become a prominent Air Carrier operating 30 passenger planes while maintaining an excellent safety record and excellent dispatch rates. The company earned an ARG/US Gold rating and continuously strives and maintains best-in-class safety, quality and customer satisfaction.
For more information on the Raleigh County Memorial Airport, Airport Industrial Park contact the Raleigh County Memorial Airport Business Office at 304-255-0476 or visit online at
For more information on ViaAir or to make reservations, visit
or call toll-free (800) 565-5042 or local (304) 986-4000.
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