The ABCWV supports Boy Scouts of America's Amendment 1, titled
the West Virginia Nonprofit Youth Organization Tax Exemption, Amendment
1, this amendment is intended to
benefit both Scouting and tourism in West Virginia.
The proposed measure would
permit a nonprofit property that was constructed for $100 million or more and
used for adventure, educational, or recreational activities for youth to lease
its facilities to other organizations while maintaining its tax-exempt status. If
approved, the measure would take effect only after the West Virginia Legislature
adopts rules for the use of the property to protect local and regional businesses
from unfair competition and unreasonable loss of revenue.
The Summit Bechtel Reserve (SBR) is a training and adventure center
built by and for the Boy Scouts of America on a 10,600-acre site in Fayette
County, West Virginia. The Summit opened for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree
last year and welcomed more than 35,000 Scouts, Venturers, leaders, and
volunteers to West Virginia. While in our great state, these Scouts and
Scouters participated in a wide array of activities like zip lines, canopy
tours, challenge courses, mountain and BMX biking, kayaking, rock climbing,
skateboarding, and white water rafting.
The BSA has sought to provide opportunities beyond its Scouting programs to
leverage SBR for the economic benefit of our state. One of the primary ways in
which we can do that is by making the SBR available during non-Scouting program
periods for major events such as concerts and sporting events. Amendment 1 is
intended to provide for such use. Here are a few examples of how the world-class
facilities at the SBR could be used to increase tourism, create jobs, and shine
a spotlight on West Virginia:
AT&T Summit Stadium could host concerts and other events. It can hold up to
80,000 people and could be used to boost tourism. One example would be to have
an evening event associated with Bridge Day at the nearby New River Gorge
Bridge each October.
archery, shooting, BMX biking, mountain biking, skateboarding, and other
outdoor facilities could host national or regional touring sports competitions,
some of which could be televised.
Local tourism and recreational organizations could use the SBR to extend partnerships and invite people to our great state.
Broader use of the Summit Bechtel Reserve would help the region and the entire state of West Virginia by giving us greater exposure and attracting more people to the area. But for the SBR to realize its full potential, West Virginians must approve Amendment 1 on the November 2014 ballot.
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