Recreational Tourism Opportunities in the Buckeye Hills Region

Photo by Jasmine Facun/Baileys Trail System. Mountain biking photo atop page by Joel Prince/Athens County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Did you know the outdoor economy in Ohio employs more people than the auto industry and adds $11.4 million in value annually to the state economy while capturing $1.5 billion in state and local tax revenue?

This diverse economic sector holds great potential in Appalachian Ohio, where natural, cultural and recreational assets are plentiful, along with the entrepreneurs that can grow businesses.

Join us on May 20 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for a free virtual session examining how WealthWorks can help the Buckeye Hills Region leverage recreational tourism to bolster the local economy. The WealthWorks strategic capital framework emphasizes the creation of value chains, and is a proven tool for growing economic opportunities in rural communities.

During this daylong workshop, hosted by Rural Action, Buckeye Hills Regional Council, and ACEnet, you will strengthen your understanding of asset-based economic development in Appalachian Ohio and connect with community development professionals in the first of three WealthWorks Institutes to be hosted this year.

Register Now


9:00 – 9:30
Welcome! Introductions
Rural Action

Why WealthWorks?
Barbara Wyckoff, Creative Disruptors, Inc.
Leslie Schaller, Appalachian Center for Economic Networks

Why Recreation Tourism?
Dan Vorisek, Rural Action

The Principles of WealthWorks
Barbara Wyckoff, Creative Disruptors, Inc.

10-minute break – Spin the Wheel of Fortune, sign up for flash talks!

10:30- 11:20
Wealthworks inThe Buckeye Hills Region – Breakout Session

  • Barbara Wyckoff, Creative Disruptors, Inc.
  • Leslie Schaller, Appalachian Center for Economic Networks
  • Dan Vorisek, Rural Action

11:20 – 12:30
Lunch on Your Own!

12:30 – 1:00
Roundtable with Local Recreation Tourism Entrepreneurs

  • Bret Adams, Black Diamond Development, Shawnee OH
  • Laura Sowers, Baileys Lodging Company, Chauncey, OH
  • Mark Brunton, Burr Oak Getaways, Glouster, OH

1:10 – 2:10
Value Chain Practitioner Panel

  • Noah Wilson, Mountain Bizworks, NC
  • Jean Clark, Rockbridge County & the Shenandoah Valley, VA
  • Sarah Cottingham, Downstream Strategies, WVa

10-minute break – Spin the Wheel of Fortune, last call for flash talks

2:35 – 3:15
5-minute Flash Talks by Attendees: Share your projects!

3:15 -4:00
Wrap-up Breakout rooms

Download/Print Agenda

What is WealthWorks?

WealthWorks brings together and connects a community’s assets to meet market demand in ways that build livelihoods that last. WealthWorks aims to advance a region’s overall prosperity and self-reliance, strengthen existing and emerging sectors, and increase jobs and incomes for lower-income residents and firms — all at the same time. It can work for people, firms and places of all sizes, shapes and success levels.

Want a concrete example? Here’s a report on how WealthWorks was used to scale up marketing for food systems in Southeast Ohio.

Why WealthWorks?

WealthWorks offers a systematic approach that intentionally focuses on creating economic value rooted in local people, places and firms. The WealthWorks approach is designed to produce and sustain these results:

  • Build a more self-reliant and robust area economy.
  • Bring underutilized community assets — people, place, property and know-how — into fuller participation and production.
  • Create wealth that sticks — because it is locally owned, controlled and reinvested.
  • Increase upward mobility overall and advance the livelihoods of lower-income people, firms and places.
  • Strengthen industry sectors that fuel the economy.
  • Forge valued partnerships that can ably and flexibly connect again and again to power increasingly resilient regions.

Learn More