Debbie RolenStaff Writer
March 29, 2013
LYBURN — The Hatfield-McCoy Regional Trails Authority announced on Wednesday a new category of sponsorship with a long-term partnership with Element Federal Credit Union, a financial services organization based in Charleston.
According to a release from Mike Pinkerton, Hatfield-McCoy Trails Director of Marketing, the new relationship will allow all Hatfield-McCoy trail permit holders access to low-cost financial services such as vehicle loans and credit cards, regardless of where they live.
“Hatfield-McCoy Trails, as a statutory corporation created by the West Virginia Legislature to generate economic development through tourism in nine southern West Virginia counties, is always seeking innovative new ways to fund the expansion and maintenance of the trail system,” Jeffrey Lusk, Executive Director of the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Trail System, said.
The five-year agreement between the two entities will enable riders of ATV, “side-by-side,” dirt bike, and 4x4 vehicles who have purchased a Hatfield-McCoy Trails permit from 2009 or later to be members of West Virginia-based Element Federal Credit Union (EFCU). A non-profit cooperative federal credit union, EFCU offers low loan and credit card rates and enhanced savings rates, the release stated. Hatfield-McCoy Trail Riders who join will become members-owners of EFCU and enjoy all credit union-related benefits.
“As a West Virginia-based non-profit credit union, we are dedicated to economic development in the state and the growth of other West Virginia organizations,” Linda Bodie, CEO of EFCU, said. “We are delighted to support the passionate and growing Hatfield-McCoy Trails rider community, including the thousands of riders who come to Hatfield-McCoy Trails from around the country, with outstanding financial products and innovative online banking tools.”
Bruce “Pork Chop” Melton, a passionate Hatfield-McCoy Trails rider from Rock Hill, S.C., is already a fan of the partnership.
“Hatfield-McCoy Trails is a place where friends bring friends to meet more friends; with this new financial services partner, (it’s) making it more affordable for everyone.”
“Visitors to the Hatfield McCoy Trails are among the most passionate and loyal people you will ever meet,” Pinkerton said. “More than 90 percent of our visitors say they plan to come back, so we’re always seeking new ways to add value to their visits and to their lives as off-road vehicle riders. Our partnership with EFCU will open up low-cost credit union services, including vehicle and vacation loans, to our riding community all over the country.”
“The partnership helps fund the growth and maintenance of Hatfield McCoy Trails by sharing revenue from the partnership back to the trails for these purposes. It’s an ideal way for Hatfield-McCoy Trails riders and fans to support the trails while enjoying enhanced financial service offerings,” the release stated.
The release also stated that the partnership opens up credit union services to local West Virginia consumers and businesses in Southern West Virginia counties who may not have had access to a credit union. Through their Hatfield-McCoy Trails rider permit status, those people will now have access to become members of EFCU.
Information about signing up for Hatfield-McCoy special offers, including the free 2013 trail pass, can be found at www.trailsheaven.com/Plan-Your-TRIP/Finance-Your-Trip.aspx or www.elementfcu.org/index.php/hatfield-mccoy-trails, or by calling Element Federal Credit Union at 888-588-1334.
“Due to the competitive financial services offered by EFCU and the funds raised by products such as vehicle loans and credit cards marketed through this partnership, we think this a win-win for our riders around the country, our Southern West Virginia Hatfield-McCoy Trails business community, and the citizens of West Virginia,” Lusk said.