ATV riding in city limits, a hot topic in Bluefield, W.Va.

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 6:25 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - ATV riding in city limits in Bluefield is a hot topic. The chances of seeing four-wheeler traffic are rising according to the city manager. But he’s urging residents to pump the brakes on outrage because at this point, it’s in the early stages of discussion.

“To be honest I know it’s a contentious issue. Half the people will be like yep we need to do it for business growth and the other half don’t want their areas disturbed. So it’s just something we’re going to look at. It’s not anything anybody needs to get too excited about right now. We’re just having that discussion,” said City Manager Cecil Marson.

Marson adds the city is trying to do the best for the most people. He says they are currently looking at how other cities ATV regulations are working out in those municipalities. There’s a hint of success in Mercer County right next door in Bluewell. Tourists and business owners alike there say they believe allowing ATV’s into certain parts of the city would be beneficial.

“Extremely, all the riders enjoy taking their machines and riding through drive thru’s, going to restaurants, going to get parts from advance. As long as they stay on the avenue and out of the residential areas,” said owner of Crazy Mountain Cycles, Mark Bullis.

“I think a lot of the areas that have the land and have the ability to open up to outside travel and tourism. I think it’s a great way for the state, towns to get some good revenue,” said Richard Daniels, an ATV rider from New York.

Those involved with tourism in the county report a great year for tourism in 2021 and they think there’s more growth potential this year, if certain areas of Bluefield become “ATV traffic-friendly”.

“Bluefield is the closest neighboring city to a lot of our resorts and the trails so naturally we want to make sure that visitors come, that they’re seeing a lot of the county and things that they can do and places they can eat. So it’s just a discussion about how can that work. What needs to happen to make it work and just sit down and make a plan,” said Executive Director for the Mercer County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Jamie Null.

Marson adds that the city has seen a few ATV’s on the streets since the discussion was held but reminds riders that ATV’s should stay of the streets until further notice. We’ll continue to monitor developments.

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