Walker Rocks will soon be hitting the road. David Bridges, owner of Battlefield Outdoors, won a $5,000 grant at the first Walker Rocks Start-up Challenge pitch competition held Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Walker County Civic Center.
Bridges competed against two other finalists, Back Archer Farms and Tess de’Carlo, selected from a pool of applicants. Each presented their ideas to a panel of judges and fielded questions from the judges.
Bridges pitched the idea of adding a passenger van to his business to transport outdoor enthusiasts to hiking, biking and kayaking destinations in Walker County and other parts of the southeast. The van will be wrapped with the Walker Rocks logo, along with artwork featuring Walker County-based attractions.
“It’s a way for people to find out about us and to get interest in an area that we know is so great,” said Bridges. “There are so many things that would lend to people wanting to come here.”
The Walker Rocks Start-up Challenge pitch competition was designed to help a recreational, travel or hospitality business get started or expand in Walker County, building on the momentum created by the launch of Walker Rocks this summer.
Walker Rocks highlights the scenic and stunning destinations available in Walker County for rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, biking and other outdoor adventures. The new tourism initiative embraces the county’s environmental assets and invites outdoor enthusiasts to "come play."
In addition to promoting tourism in Walker County, Bridges said the shuttle, which will be able to carry up to 15 people, will make it feasible for Battlefield Outdoors to take people to Pigeon Mountain, McLemore Cove and other locations for excursions. The shuttle can also pull a trailer transporting passengers' bikes or kayaks for those activities.
The $5,000 start-up grant is funded by a partnership between the Walker County Chamber of Commerce and Peach State Federal Credit Union. Grant funds will be distributed in the form of a reimbursement for documented expenses.