Outdoor Recreation Economy Plan for Valdese

Friends of the Valdese Rec and Town of Valdese worked together to submit a technical assistance planning grant from Appalachian Regional Commission and the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The program is called “Creating Outdoor Recreation Economies (CORE)” and the goal is to help rural communities leverage natural assets to increase economic opportunity through the outdoor recreation economic sector. ARC/NC Commerce facilitator Kyle Case led a local working group in developing a plan for Town of Valdese. The process included 4 in person meetings with the working group, a community survey about recreation use and spending (114 results) and 6 phone interviews with members in the community very involved in outdoor recreation.

Town of Valdese Council adopted the plan at the July 10 Council Meeting. Read the plan – Creating Outdoor Recreation Economies Strategic Plan

Valdese Working Group

  • David Andersen, Town of Valdese
  • Morrissa Angi, Town of Valdese
  • Kevin Farris, Farris Insurance
  • Eddie McGimsey, VEDIC
  • Val Scott, Friends of Valdese Rec
  • Peter Skelton, The Levee Brewery & Pub
  • Beth Heile, Friends of Valdese Rec

From the meetings, surveys and exercises, the following goals came out of the process:

Parks, Trails, and Facilities

Goal 1: To provide and maintain a variety of recreation amenities that improve quality of life and encourage a sense of community for residents and visitors.

  • Objective 1.1: Update the Town’s Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Plan. (Current Plan from 2013)
  • Objective 1.2: Complete the relevant actions for the Valdese Lakeside Park Masterplan.
  • Objective 1.3: Advocate for and facilitate progress of state and regional trail projects.

Communication and Activation

Goal 2: Promote and educate residents and visitors about the community’s recreation amenities.

  • Objective 2.1: Develop a marketing plan for the Parks & Recreation Department.
  • Objective 2.2: Encourage new and repeat participants at Parks and Recreation facilities.
  • Objective 2.3: Develop a community culture that supports the outdoor recreation economy.

Economic Impacts

Goal 3: Utilize the community’s outdoor assets to improve the downtown, local, and regional economies.

  • Objective 3.1: Connect the town parks and outdoor assets to the downtown commercial district via sidewalks, greenways, and other methods.
  • Objective 3.2: Capture and analyze the economic impacts of current and future recreation assets. (See May 2023 Study)
  • Objective 3.3: Utilize the Town’s quality of life amenities and economic impact data for business recruitment efforts.

See the complete report for how to complete the suggestions above. As well as information from the surveys, like the following:

People responding to the survey would like to see these outdoor recreation businesses in town:








People responding to the survey participate in these activities when they visit an area for outdoor recreation:

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