Business and the Economy
Off Road Park Expansion
Off-road parks are expanding into a new region of Kentucky. The privately-owned “Rush Off-Road Park” is situated just outside Ashland. The seven-thousand acre facility opens April 20th. Besides traditional off-road vehicles, Kentucky Adventure Tourism Assistant Director Seth Wheat says such parks also accommodate more recent designs. “And then, they also have trails that can accommodate your newer style side by side vehicles like Polaris Rangers and things of that sort. They’ve got trails for jeeps and four by four trucks that have been modified and customized to climbs rocks and climb hills,” said Wheat.
Wheat says they are self-policing with owners setting their own guidelines for riders.
“If it’s vehicle designed for only one person to ride on, then you only need to have one person on it, you always need to be wearing your helmet, you only need to ride on trails or areas that are suitable to your skill level,” added Wheat.
Most of the Commonwealth’s existing off-road-parks are still found in southeast Kentucky. Adventure Tourism Assistant Director Seth Wheat says those parks help attract substantial tourism dollars.
“And they consistently see people from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio you know any state within four or five hours they’re coming in droves almost to get to our riding locations,” said Wheat.
Wheat says park officials typically post safety guidelines for adventure tourists. He says they almost always start with recommendations made by the vehicle’s manufacturer.