Blue Ridge Outdoors

Blue Ridge Outdoors

Adventure Mendota received a mention in one of our favorite magazines, Blue Ridge Outdoors.    A few months ago, author Wally Smith called and asked to interview Mike and me about our experience in the outdoor economy.   He thought a phone interview would suffice, but we decided to drive over to UVA Wise where he works and meet there.  It was a beautiful drive, great afternoon and great fun talking with Wally.

As a small business owner, we are appreciative to Wally and to Blue Ridge Outdoors for thinking of Adventure Mendota.   I have a strong conviction that ten years from now, someone will pick up a magazine and read that Southwest Virginia is one of the best places to live and work in the United States.   Coal will always be important to the citizens of Southwest Virginia, but following the past 3-5 years, we know that diversification must take place.  For my friends who work in the coal industry, it has been a tough few years.  High tech jobs and the outdoor economy offer diversification that we need.

Just like Adventure Mendota, we start where we start.  When we opened three years ago, no one — least of all the owners — suspected a kayak business located 17 miles from a grocery store and 11 miles from a gas station would succeed.  However, we have done so.   Mike and I know that there will be others like us who will do the same.  Likewise, we know that with our local colleges and universities striving to offer the learning and support required for high tech companies, they will come and succeed as well. Why wouldn’t they? This is a great place to live!

Needless to say, we are excited about the future of Southwest Virginia. Here’s the article:

Thank you, Wally, for your friendship and taking the time to discuss that baby called Adventure Mendota!   Let’s continuing transforming the Southern Appalachians into a place providing a high quality of life, work and education for generations to come.