The 2018 Outdoor Benchmark analysis has been completed by the Roanoke Regional Partnership. This update of a 2012 study, also done by the Partnership, compares the Roanoke Region to peer outdoor communities – Asheville, NC; Boulder, CO; Chattanooga, TN; Greenville, SC; and Portland, ME.
Why did we do this intensive work? When our region has put so much emphasis on outdoor brand building, it’s important to monitor our competitive position. Is progress being made or are we losing market position? What are current strengths and weaknesses? How can we use this information as direction for future actions by Roanoke Outside Foundation, our parks and recreation partners, and Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge?
Good news is that the region’s comparative position is unchanged in 11 areas. Gains were registered in outdoor-related retail and losses were in running events, cycling events, and miles of greenway.
The Roanoke Region’s strength continues to be the diversity of outdoor amenities as well as the overall base of outdoor assets. Its highest scores are in miles of major rivers, acreage of public land, acreage in wilderness areas, and miles of greenway trails (although others are catching up).