Boy Scout Summit brings in millions to state, new study reports

Larry Abbot, aide for director Boys Scouts of America, left, and Jeff Hermann, aide to chief scout director, look for the Gateway Village of the Scott Summit Center at Summit Bechtel Reserve Center for the 2017 National Jamboree. (Rick Barbero/The Register-Herald)

The West Virginia University Bureau of Business Economic Research (BBER) released its study Thursday on the impact from the Boy Scout of America's Summit Bechtel Reserve in Fayette and Raleigh counties.

According to the study, in years without a national jamboree, the Boy Scout reserve brings in an estimated $28 million, supports 280 jobs and injects $1 million into local and state tax coffers.

When the national jamboree is in town, which occurs once every four years, the Summit leads to $76 million in economic output, 350 jobs and $1.2 million in local and state tax revenues.

The study does not take into account this summer's World Scout Jamboree, which will bring in 50,000 scouts from more than 150 countries.

“The Summit is an amazing community asset and we want to be a part of helping the area grow to its full potential as well as providing positive life changing memories for the Scouts and others attending the Summit,” Summit Group Director Todd McGregor said in a news release.

Like the World Jamboree, the study doesn't take into account other factors that can lead to money coming into the state.

“The estimated impact also does not include non‐quantifiable impacts, such as the exposure that the state’s tourism industry receives from hosting the event, which in and of itself could help boost the state economy,” said John Deskins, the director of the BBER, in the study.

Built in 2009, the Summit draws in approximately 46,000 participants during national jamboree summers and 24,000 in off summers, according to the release.

“Having the Bechtel Summit in West Virginia is an incredible advantage to the state and the University,” said WVU President Gordon Gee, an Eagle Scout and member of the Scouts’ National Executive Board said in the release.

“Not only does it introduce the world to West Virginia, but at West Virginia University, we believe so strongly in Scouting’s potential in positive youth development that we have developed a strategic partnership with the Summit Bechtel Reserve.”

The full Summit economic impact report is available at  

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