The Mecosta County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Mecosta County C.V.B.) is excited to announce their strategic investment of $100,000 in the Michigan’s Dragon Trail project, along with being the trails first sponsor. With outdoor recreation creating 2.2% of the annual US economy, quantifying in $412 billion dollars, and $26.6 billion in outdoor recreation consumer spending right here in our home state of Michigan, it is easy to see how this is a solid investment being made by the Mecosta County C.V.B.
“We see the Dragon Trail project as a key investment that will bring even more Pure Michigan magic to Mecosta County,” stated Connie Koepke, Executive Director of the Mecosta County C.V.B. “The Dragon Trail will add world-class mountain biking and hiking along with winter activities such as fat tire bikes and dog sledding, not to mention dozens of related events in our already compelling story for attracting visitors. Plus, Mecosta County offers hundreds of quality hotel rooms, great hospitality and entertainment venues designed to attract outdoor enthusiasts from across the country and around the world.”
Scott Faulkner, Fundraising Coordinator for the Dragon Trail Project, also commented, “The Mecosta County C.V.B. is making a very important, early investment in this incredible trail resource, which will lead to new levels of economic development in the region. Based on our research with Michigan State University, Mecosta County and Big Rapids are very likely to see a sustainable surge in economic activity for many years to come.”
Along with being the first financial sponsor of the Dragon Trail, the Mecosta County C.V.B. has earned the distinction of having the longest suspension bridge in the project (one of three) named after their organization.
Both Newaygo and Mecosta Counties have contributed seed capital dollars to fund the development of the Dragon Trail and several important grants have also been received to assist in development and construction. The bulk of the construction funding will come from State and Federal Grants, private, corporate and foundational fees, parking fees, donations and the County Parks Departments budgets (both Mecosta and Newaygo counties). The Dragon Trail is expected to take two years to complete construction.