Roanoke Region Touted as Family Vacation Destination

The Roanoke Region made quite the impression on a Michigan mom.

An article in Metro Parent – “The online hub for southeast Michigan moms” – in their June, 2014 issue titled “Trails, Trains and More in Roanoke, Virginia,” touts the Roanoke Region as a great family friendly vacation destination. As part of the Road Trips issue, the magazine lays out a vacation plan including a hike on the Appalachian Trail, a visit to museums in downtown Roanoke, and a stop at the Mill Mountain Star. 

Here is an excerpt:

“You could easily spend the day at Mill Mountain. There are hiking trails crisscrossing the mountain. One trail is an easy walk from the star/overlook to the Mill Mountain Zoo. This compact space holds 175 animals, including snow leopards, red pandas and wolverines. No visit is complete without a trip around the complex on the Zoo Choo, a miniature train big enough for kids and adults.”

Roanoke is a family friendly, outdoor oriented community and that message is getting out as more and more publications and people visit the region. With so many great things to do and see, it is no wonder. 

611 Bicycle Co. Goes Local With Hometown Bikes Line

Six-Eleven Hometown Mfg.The Roanoke Region’s Six-Eleven Bicycle Co. is one of only about 150 custom, hand-made bike makers in the world so it’s no surprise the bikes coming out of the shop carry a heavy price tag. Each bike is made to order, and can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $12,000. That price point is poised to drop, however, with the launch of a brand new line of bikes under the label, Hometown Bikes.

The name is not a coincidence. Six-Eleven owner and founder Aaron Dykstra wants his custom frames to be more accessible to riders everywhere, but especially in his hometown of Roanoke. 

“I want this to be more local,” he told the Roanoke Times. “I want this to be something quality they can get that’s not Taiwanese, but from down the street.”

Two years in the making, the new business plan will make it easier for Six-Eleven to produce more bikes in a shorter time, lowering the price for the average consumer. Dykstra says he will still make each steel frame by hand, but will design one frame and then reproduce multiple copies from that design. The frames will retail for about $1,000 each, significantly lower than the made-to-order variety.

The plan is to have the new line of frames sell in local bike shops to get more Roanoke riders on Six-Elevens. With the robust, and growing, cycling scene in the Roanoke Region, the market for locally-made bike frames is certainly on the rise. 

For more information, check out the article in the Roanoke Times >>>

Julia Boas Joins Roanoke Outside

Julia BoasJulia Boas has joined Roanoke Outside as events manager. She will handle logistics and planning for brand building events such as the Blue Ridge Marathon, Radical Reels Film Festival, and GO Outside Festival. She will also represent Roanoke at events regionally and nationally, promoting the city as an outdoor tourism destination.
Julia has worked in the outdoor industry for almost a decade with experience guiding adventure excursions, planning outdoor related events, promoting, management and customer service.

She comes to the partnership from Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing where she served, most recently, as the director of operations. She spent most of her years there as the Director of Programs, focusing on marketing, group coordination and activity logistics.

Julia moved to the region nine years ago after graduating from The University of South Carolina with a degree in journalism and public relations.

Spring Break: Cycling Magazine Features Roanoke Region

The mountain biking scene in the Roanoke Region is as robust as any out there. The locals know it, riders around the state know it, and those outside the region are beginning to take notice. The secret is beginning to get out.

Mountain biking lifestyle magazine Dirt Rag – “Your independent mountain bike magazine, since 1989″ – recently featured a trip to the Roanoke Region as part of it’s spring bike testing trip. The team set up shop at New Castle’s Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing, just north of Roanoke, Va in Washington-Jefferson National Forest.

While Wilderness Adventure served as Dirt Rag‘s basecamp, the team sampled several trail systems in the region. Price Mountain, Dody Ridge, Spec Mine, and Mill Mountain were all mentioned and praised in the article. The team spent two days riding the Carvin’s Cove, and were particularly impressed with the “Gauntlet” trail. 

A sample: 

“The final day took us into Roanoke for breakfast and a stop at Underdog Bikes. From there we hit up another city park, Mill Mountain. Located about five minutes from downtown, the park boasts 12 miles of singletrack and is a favorite spot of locals’ for lunch rides. Smooth, well maintained trails; it was a great way to wrap up our trip.

There is a huge variety of trails in the area, and it would be easy to tailor rides to fit riding fitness, skills and preferences. We rode everything from a rigid 29+ to a 160mm all mountain bike, and everyone was smiling.”

Check out the full article here >>>