Crooked Road music trail generates $9 million in annual economic impact
A 333-mile route with 60 attractions that celebrate Southwest Virginia's cultural and musical heritage brings in about $9.2 million annually and supports 131 jobs in the region, according to a Virginia Tech study.
The Crooked Road, founded in 2004, attracts visitors from outside the commonwealth to music events at venues in the region through its marketing and programming.
According to the study, 42 percent of event attendees along the music trail are tourists, and 20 percent of them come directly because of The Crooked Road’s marketing. Some hail from as far away as Canada, France, Australia, and Britain.
“It’s really kind of just putting you out there. It’s like another social media, another part of that,” Jason McGuire, owner of the Hillbilly Opry, said in a statement. His business joined The Crooked Road in 2013.
The data come from a study by the Office of Economic Development, part of Outreach and International Affairs at Virginia Tech.
Once visitors are in town, the study says they’re likely to take advantage of shopping, visiting museums, and hiking – extending the benefits of The Crooked Road beyond the music stages.
Visitors spent $192 to $272 per person per trip. A multiday visitor spent from $134 to $591 per trip, depending on the choice of lodging.
“Organizations like The Crooked Road exist to really create opportunities for communities in this region,” said Jack Hinshelwood, director of The Crooked Road. “It’s all about using these assets that we have right here in front of us, which are really our strengths.”
Six of nine major Crooked Road venues estimated a 5 to 15 percent increase in revenue and number of visitors as a result of The Crooked Road’s marketing efforts.
Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development has posted the study online.