RUSH, Ky. — Kentucky officials have announced a $4 million grant for infrastructure improvements to a 7,000-acre ATV/UTV park in southern Boyd County in hopes of promoting tourism and other economic development, according to a news release.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., announced the funds from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot program, which will help the Rush Off-Road park, located about 12 miles southwest of Ashland, to add a new access road and extensions of sewer and water lines to its trailhead.
The infrastructure improvements will allow additional future development at the trailhead area to include cabins, full-service campsites, a welcome center, a shower/bathhouse, vehicle wash facility, storage facility, and service to these areas with sewer, water and electric utilities, according to the release.
“Expanding much-needed infrastructure at the Rush Off-Road park will help to boost visitation and add other economic development opportunities, which is critical for this region,” Beshear said in the release. “These funds support not only Boyd and Carter counties, which the park’s off-road trails run across, but help to showcase to thousands of visitors who use the park every year that Kentucky is committed to coalfield revitalization efforts and to offering innovative adventure tourism experiences.”
Tim Gibbs, president and CEO of Ashland Alliance, said the grant sets the stage for growth of an already successful park.
“Rush Off-Road park has had from 4,000 to 8,000 people on a weekend,” Gibbs said. “I am very pleased they and this region is being rewarded for its vision with tourism.”
The Boyd County Fiscal Court will oversee the AML project. The AML program was created to support the revitalization of the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region, the release said.
Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said the project is a great fit for the area.
“The AML Pilot program is designed to bring economic development, and we are confident that these infrastructure improvements to Rush Off-Road park will do that,” Goodman said in the release.
Rush Off-Road park opened its gates in December 2012.