AMP News Sports/Outdoors Tourism

IMBA World Summit in Bentonville draws cyclists from around the world, bolsters governor’s Arkansas bike tourism plan

More than 500 attendees from across the globe are at the International Mountain Bicycling Association World Summit event, which began yesterday in Bentonville.  IMBA recently distinguished Bentonville, Fayetteville and Hot Springs as “Ride Centers” for their world-class facilities and high standards of hospitality.

At a reception Thursday evening at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced several key initiatives that will continue to bolster mountain biking and road cycling tourism in the state. Both are growing niche markets that can have a significant economic impact on Arkansas’s economy.

Governor Hutchinson unveiled plans for a new Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling, and a $309,000 grant from The Walton Family Foundation to IMBA to help provide professional maintenance of the state’s five Epic Rides, which account for almost 200 miles of mountain biking trails.

Arkansas’s five Epic Trails are: Ouachita National Recreation Trail, Womble, Lake Ouachita Vista Trail, Syllamo and Upper Buffalo.

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