Warren County awarded marketing grant from Kinzua Region

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The Warren County Development Association, in conjunction with the Warren County Commissioners, and Senator Scott Hutchinson’s office, has applied for and been awarded a $75,000 grant from the DCED’s Marketing to Attract Tourists” Programk.

This application was designated and submitted by Commissioner Jeff Eggleston with assistance from WCDA Executive Director Jim Decker.

The grant will be used to solicit and fund proposals for a combination of marketing and engineering studies which focus on the redevelopment of several key areas around Kinzua Reservoir to improve economic development and historic preservation.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this project and the grant award. This is the perfect time to bring all of the relevant entities together to create a focused redevelopment plan for these key areas around the reservoir and dam,” said Jeff Eggleston, Warren County Commissioner.

The project will involve creating RFPs for two separate consulting contracts.

The first contract is for a hospitality consultant to produce a market study and strategic plan for the Kinzua region which will focus on Kinzua Beach, Kinzua Point Information Center, Wolf Run Marina, and the trails at Jake Rocks.

This project will include market research and study of the current and future utilization of those areas by tourists and local patrons, gathering community input on local needs and interests related to those areas, producing preliminary plans based on that research and input, and including preliminary engineering on those concepts to create an actionable strategy.

Once the first project is complete, the subsequent plan will be used to solicit regional developers for
public/private projects to rejuvenate and perhaps create new amenities around that region.

That process will also include collaborations with local, state, and federal authorities as well as local nonprofit and community-based organizations to guide and support the redevelopment of the Kinzua region.

The second consulting contract will be to study and document the utilization of the Trails at Jakes Rocks
and how they could be further developed and expanded based on the demonstrated market need and
economic impact.

“We truly have a tremendous and unmatched outdoor experience whether you are riding a bicycle on the trails or utilizing the waterways by boat. This grant will be a final and very important component to bring
more people into the region.” said Andy Georgakis, Sales and Service Manager of Warren Cycle Shop.

The overall concept was developed by the Kinzua Regional Marketing Initiative, which is an ad hoc
committee of community leaders who have continued the work of the Marketing Taskforce to improve tourism and marketing in Warren County with a focus on the Kinzua region. That group includes Dan
Glotz, the County Planning Director; Piper Van Ord, owner of Allegheny Outfitters; Andy Georgakis,
manager at Warren Cycle Shop; and Jeff Eggleston and Jim Decker.

The Kinzua Regional Marketing Initiative was also developed in collaboration with the Allegheny National
Forest and the Army Corps of Engineers, who both wrote letters of support for the grant request, as well
as the Warren County Visitor’s Bureau.

“The Forest Service is very excited to work with local partners on the Kinzua Regional Marketing
Initiative. “We are very appreciative for the efforts of the Warren County Commissioners to secure this grant,” said Rich Hatfield, Forest Service District Ranger.

For the grant award to be successful, the committee had to work closely with Senator Scott Hutchinson’s
Office who assisted in the grant submittal and support.

“The Senator’s office and the staff was an absolute pleasure to work with and I can’t say enough good things about their effort in this,” said Commissioner Eggleston.

“This grant award provides the resources necessary to obtain a professional, unbiased and informed assessment of what types of development would be financially feasible to be pursued for implementation that would enhance the positive impact outdoor recreation and tourism has on our local economy as well as the Warren County livability factor,” said Decker.

The RFPs soliciting the consultant proposals will be released within the next few weeks.

Any questions for the Commissioners Office regarding this news story may be directed to Pam Matve,
Chief Clerk, by phone at 814-728-3402 or by email at pmatve@warren-county.net.

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