BREAKS, VA – JUNE 22, 2023 -- Five infrastructure and other improvement projects planned at the Breaks Interstate Park received a boost recently as an up to a $168,155 grant was closed from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to the park.
The funds come from the VCEDA Civil Penalties Fund and will be used to develop infrastructure and improvements at the park, specifically including renovations and new furniture at the park’s hotel and restaurant/conference buildings; improved park entrance lighting; swimming pool construction; an HVAC unit for the Visitor Center; swinging bridge site improvements; and bike rental facility improvements.
“VCEDA is pleased to once again assist the Breaks Interstate Park in its continuing efforts to keep the park growing and up to date,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “The park is one of the premier tourism assets in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and something which contributes not only to visitor experiences, but which also adds to the quality of life amenities here for those who live in the region.”
The monies recently approved will be used for five projects, including the following:
- Renovations to the hotel, restaurant/conference and entrance: Interior and exterior renovations of the park’s five hotel buildings, the restaurant/conference center building and its entrance area to include replacement of outdated furniture and to improve park entrance lighting.
- Swimming pool construction: The funds will serve as backup funding for the construction of a 3,200 square foot swimming pool and associated infrastructure.
- Visitor Center HVAC: An additional three-ton HVAC unit will be installed to provide heating and cooling to the park’s Visitor Center.
- Swinging Bridge Site Improvements: Improvements to the site surrounding the swinging bridge project, including road improvements, additional parking, outdoor lighting improvements, restroom renovations and the construction of an ADA accessible trail to the bridge are planned.
- Bike Rental Facility: Renovation of the previous metal horse barn into a rental facility for mountain bikes and e-bikes is planned. A horse trail riding program previously offered at the park has been discontinued due to declining utilization.
"The Breaks is in the midst of many exciting projects including the renovation of the park's hotel units and restaurant/conference center facility as well as the addition of a new swimming pool to our existing waterpark,” said Breaks Interstate Park Superintendent Austin Bradley. “Our ongoing partnership with VCEDA and the funds provided through this grant will help ensure that these projects are completed in a timely manner."
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.
PHOTO CAPTION: VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher, right, presents a ceremonial check for $168,155 to Breaks Interstate Park Superintendent Austin Bradley to be used for infrastructure and improvement projects at the park.