On Nov. 4, the voters of West Virginia approved the “West Virginia Nonprofit Youth Organization Tax Exemption, Amendment 1” as a constitutional amendment. With nearly 62 percent approval from the voters, the measure allows the Summit Bechtel Reserve to be leased or used to generate revenue while still being exempt from property taxation. The use of the SBR will be guided by the BSA’s tax-exempt bond funding and laws prescribing requirements, limitations, and conditions to be adopted by the West Virginia Legislature.
“West Virginia has been a valuable partner since we began development of the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve and we look forward to continuing our long-term relationship with this great state,” said Dan McCarthy, SBR director.
The Summit Bechtel Reserve is a training and adventure center built by and for the Boy Scouts of America on a 10,600-acre site in Fayette County, West Virginia. Among its features are the AT&T Summit Stadium that can seat 80,000 people and a variety of sports facilities, including a skate park, a BMX track, extensive mountain biking trails, canopy tours, zip lines, and some of the largest shooting and archery ranges in the nation. Planning for the Summit began in 2007, when BSA leaders initiated a search for a permanent location for the national Scout jamboree.
“The Boy Scouts of America is very thankful to the citizens of West Virginia for passing this amendment,” said Gary Hartley, director of community and government relations, SBR. “When we chose this site for the Summit Bechtel Reserve, we believed that it was a great opportunity to expose other parts of the world to this extraordinary state, and we can continue to do so on an even larger scale.”
The Boy Scouts of America agreed during the site selection process to do what it could to make the facilities at the SBR available for use by others to the fullest extent possible. The BSA will work alongside community partners and other organizations to provide programs and activities that support the economic development of southern West Virginia.
The BSA will leverage the world-class outdoor facilities to help increase tourism, create jobs, and bring West Virginia favorable attention nationally and internationally. For example, the BSA could use the AT&T Summit Stadium to host concerts and other events or the archery, shooting, BMX biking, mountain biking, skateboarding, and other outdoor facilities to host national touring sports competitions.