Bell County Tourism uses virtual reality to gather support for new trail project

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - As many in the community made their way from booth to booth at the SOAR Summit, Bell County Tourism used virtual reality goggles to draw people in.

The director said they hoped to gather support at the summit for a new trail project.

Vendors set up along the concourse.

Bell County Tourism shared a new vision with the community that includes exploring the mountains and seeing new parts that are difficult to get to.

"There are places back there that are beautiful that you can only see through an ATV or horseback," said Jon Grace, the Bell County Tourism Director.

Grace wants to create an extensive 50,000 square mile trail system in Kentucky.

The system would connect to more than 150,000 miles of Tennessee trails.

"Right now, we are trying to build a support system and we've got some really important meetings set up really soon," said Grace.

To gain community support, Grace brought the outdoors inside at the summit by using virtual reality goggles.

The hope? To give everyone a unique and memorable experience.

"It's a fun way to showcase it when people are kind of spread out, then you can preview it," said Jessa Turner, an attendee at the SOAR Summit.

Right now, Bell County Tourism is in the process of securing land for the trail.

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