Blacksburg Ranked a Top 10 College Town for Mountain Bikers

January 30, 2017

Singletracks.com has ranked Virginia Tech a top 10 Best US College/University for Mountain Bikers.  Read more at https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-trails/the-10-best-colleges-and-universities-for-mountain-bikers/10/

2016 in the New River Valley, Ranked!

New River Valley, VA – 2016 was a banner year for the New River Valley in terms of regional and national recognition.  From Fox News to Southern Living to Area Development Magazine, both the region as a whole and the counties, city, towns, and universities within it were recognized for outstanding lifestyle, business, and educational opportunities.

Although this list is far from comprehensive, we hope that it gives you a good overview of how the New River Valley stacked up against the rest of the country (and world!) in 2016.

 

Safety First

•  Blacksburg (#6) and Christiansburg (#11) were ranked by Backgroundchecks.org as two of the top 25 Safest Cities in Virginia.


Happiness Counts

•  Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Floyd, and Pulaski all earned top awards in Blue Ridge Country magazine’s Happiest Town in the Blue Ridge survey.

•  Christiansburg was ranked #3 Happiest City in Virginia by OnlyInYourState.com.

•  WTKR rated Blacksburg the #7 Best City for Singles.

•  Southern Living listed Floyd among its Best Small Towns.

•  Forbes called Blacksburg a Top 25 Best Place to Retire.

•  Pulaski rang in at #10 on the Best Small Towns That Offer Peace and Quiet.

 

Leading Metro

•  AIER named the a Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA #19 Top College Town.

•  In its Leading Locations survey, Area Development Magazine ranked the MSA as #30 overall and #12 among mid-sized metros.

•  The MSA ranked #4 overall and #2 among mid-sized metros in Area Development’s Prime Workforce rankings.

•  The Milken Institute recognized the MSA as #41 out of 201 small metro areas.

 

Tech-Savvy

•  Blacksburg was named one of the Best Tech Hubs in Virginia by Southern Business & Development Magazine.

•  Southern Business & Development Magazine also named Montgomery County as one of the Best Data Center Locations in Virginia.

•  NaCo ranked Montgomery County the #4 Top Digital County for counties with populations under 150,000.

 

 College Town Love

•  Garden & Gun ranked Blacksburg as the #1 Southern College Town.

•  Southern Living’s Facebook fans awarded Blacksburg the #1 College Town.

•  WalletHub gave Blacksburg the #27 ranking and Radford the #90 ranking out of 202 college towns.

 

Get Outside

•  Singletracks.com named Blacksburg the Mountain Bike Capital of Virginia.

•  Canoe & Kayak Magazine named Pembroke one of America’s (Next Best) Paddling Towns.

•  Fox News called Floyd Fest the #7 Hottest Music Festival in the U.S.

•  LifeOutside Magazine recognized both Pulaski and Floyd as top Weekend Getaways in Southwest Virginia.

•  Blueridge Outdoors magazine listed the Flat Peter/Dixon Branch Loop in Giles as a Top 10 Fall Foliage Favorite.

 

Top Tier Colleges & Universities

•  Princeton Review ranked Virginia Tech as having the #1 Best Quality of Life and the #7 Happiest Students, among others.

•  Washington Monthly Magazine dubbed Radford University a Best Bang for Your Buck school.

•  New River Community College was named one of Virginia’s Best Community Colleges for Workforce Training by Southern Business & Development Magazine.

•  Giles County was awarded the NaCo 2016 Achievement Award for its Access to Community College Education program.

•  Virginia Tech ranked #9 in Research Expenditures by the National Science Foundation.

 

If you’d like to stay up-to-date with the latest rankings for the New River Valley, be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram!

About Us:

Virginia’s New River Valley is a vibrant community that’s home to two state universities, Virginia Tech and Radford University, and a diverse industry base ranging from large international corporations to small technology startups. The region is designated the Blacksburg-Christiansburg Radford Metropolitan Statistical Area and encompasses the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and the city of Radford.

The New River Valley Economic Development Alliance is a public/private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market the New River Valley, to foster job creation, facilitate new investment and to improve the quality of life in the region.

NRV Towns Voted Happiest in Blue Ridge

Date:  October 28, 2016

New River Valley, VA – This summer, five towns (technically four towns and one city) were voted to top spots in the Happiest Mountain Towns reader poll by Blue Ridge Country magazine.  Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Floyd, and Pulaski all received top honors in the magazine’s rankings which used quantitative data like unemployment rates and commute times as a baseline, but also accounted for readers’ passions for their hometowns.

The initial 96 towns were whittled down to 61 for readers to choose from, and the coverage area included the mountain regions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina.  Blue Ridge Country vetted the 61 initial choices by setting “minimum happiness-base standards” (i.e. a commute of <30 minutes, a below-average cost-of-living, unemployment rate below 10%, etc.), but then left the poll open for readers all over the nation to vote for their favorites.

In the 10,000-49,999 category, three New River Valley towns cracked the top twenty: Blacksburg (#6)Christiansburg (#17), and Radford (#18).  Blacksburg and Christiansburg, both located in Montgomery County, are strongly affiliated with Virginia Tech and the many companies that have spun-off from or located near the research university.  Radford, of course, is closely tied to Radford University and its award-winning business, nursing, education, and liberal arts programs.

All three places boast a low cost-of-living, easy accessibility to the outdoors (the 7-mile Huckleberry Trail connects Blacksburg and Christiansburg and the New River snakes its way along the edge of Radford’s downtown and campus corridor), and a strong arts community.

Floyd (#3) and Pulaski (#26) clinched a top spots in the <10,000 category.  Heralded by Southern Living as one of the South’s Best Small Towns, the top tier ranking is no surprise.  What Floyd lacks in numbers, it makes up for with style, small town charm, and impactful events.  Floyd’s innovative business climate offers start-ups, entrepreneurial ventures, and artisanal producers a welcoming place to do business.

Pulaski, a former furniture and textile manufacturing town, has undergone a massive revitalization initiative including the renovation of the Jackson Park Inn, clean-up of Peak Creek, and improvements to Calfee Park, the ninth oldest professional Minor League Baseball Park in use in America.  While many diverse manufacturing jobs still exist in Pulaski, other home-grown business are sprouting up and the town is working to attract a mix of industries.

Both towns offer unlimited outdoor recreation opportunities like paddleboarding the Little River, biking the New River Trail State Park, or hiking the region’s trails.  They also both promote large community farmers markets and music-oriented events like the Floyd County Store Friday Night Jamboree.

To learn more about the poll, its methodology, and to see how the New River Valley stacks up, visit Blue Ridge Country.

Blacksburg, Christiansburg among safest places in Virginia

Date:  May 6, 2016

New River Valley Economic Development Alliance

New River Valley, VA – Two New River Valley towns are among the safest places in Virginia, according to BackgroundChecks.org. The public safety focused organization recently ranked the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg on its 2016 list of the 25 Safest Cities in Virginia. BackgroundChecks.org had this to say about Blacksburg and Christiansburg:

#6 Blacksburg “Located in Montgomery County, Blacksburg is a town that has a current population of 42,600 residents. Best known as the home of Virginia Tech, the town was named by Business Week as one of the best places in the U.S. to raise kids and by Southern Living as the Best College Town in the South. The violent crime rate here is 90.6, and residents of Blacksburg have a 1.1% chance of being involved in a property crime.”

#11 Christiansburg “A town in Montgomery County, Christiansburg is home to 21,000 residents. Also the county seat, the community was a stagecoach stop in the 1850’s and was the residence of such legends as Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and Booker T. Washington. The violent crime rate here is 141.1, and the chance of being affected by property crime in Christiansburg is 3.1%.”

BackgroundChecks.org is a public safety focused organization committed to increasing public safety, community involvement, transparent government and education. To compile the list of the 25 Safest Cities in Virginia, BackgroundChecks.org used FBI violent crime stats and its own proprietary research data.

To view the full list of the Top 25 Safest Cities in Virginia, visit http://backgroundchecks.org/25-safest-cities-in-virginia-2016.html 

About Us:

Virginia’s New River Valley is a vibrant community that’s home to two state universities, Virginia Tech and Radford University, and a diverse industry base ranging from large international corporations to small technology startups. The region is designated the Blacksburg-Christiansburg Radford Metropolitan Statistical Area and encompasses the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and the city of Radford.

The New River Valley Economic Development Alliance is a public/private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market the New River Valley, to foster job creation, facilitate new investment and to improve the quality of life in the region.

Forbes Ranks Blacksburg Among the Top 25 Best Places to Retire, Again

NEW RIVER VALLEY, VA – For the third consecutive year, the Town of Blacksburg has been ranked among the “25 Best Places to Retire,” by Forbes.com. To compile its list of the 25 Best Places to Retire 2016, Forbes considered several factors in the survey, including overall cost of living and home prices, as compared to national averages, and general tax climates for retirees. The ranking included more than 500 communities nationwide.


Blacksburg: A college town (Virginia Tech) of 44,000 in southwestern tail of Virginia.


PROS:

  • Economically robust.
  • Median home price $230,000.
  • Above average air quality.
  • Low crime rate.
  • High Milken aging rank.
  • Somewhat walkable.
  • NOTES:

  • Cost of living 2% above national average.
  • Average state tax climate for retirees and doctors per capita.
  • Mild climate.
  • On list last year.
  • TRIVIA: Named two centuries ago for town’s founder.


    The full list of the Best 25 Places to Retire 2016 can be viewed at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampbarrett/2016/04/04/the-best-places-to-retire-in-2016/#512d9f1c703e


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    Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.


    Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

    Why Some Say Towns Like Blacksburg Could be the Next Silicon Valley

    “When it comes to innovation, place matters. Not necessarily because of proximity to facilities or investors (though those are lovely to have, of course), but because creativity is almost always a group endeavor — big ideas are the product not of one big brain, but of many ideas pinging between several smart people.”

    Read more from Jessica Stillman at Inc.com.

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    Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

    Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

    Christiansburg #26 Best Place to Start a Business in VA

    Christiansburg #26 Best Place to Start a Business in VA

    “With plenty of incentives for both startups and existing businesses and a state corporate income tax rate among the lowest in the nation at 6%, Virginia’s business-friendly policies appear to…”

    NerdWallet analyzed 112 places in Virginia with a population of 5,000 or more. Eleven places with less than 500 businesses and 64 places that were missing data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners were excluded.

    Read more at NerdWallet.

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    Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

    Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

    NRV Named a Top Metro by Site Selection Magazine

    New River Valley, VA – The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan statistical area, known locally as the New River Valley, has been named a “Top Metro” for 2014 by Site Selection magazine. Among 132 metro areas with populations less than 200,000, the NRV ranked No. 4 (tie) nationally with nine new or expanding corporate facility announcements in 2014.


    Published by Conway Data Inc., Site Selection delivers expansion planning information to over 44,000 readers including corporate executives, site selection consultants, and real estate professionals. The annual “Top Metros” rankings appeared in the March 2015 issue.


    Site Selection used 2014 data from the Conway New Plant Database to examine new and expanding company growth in all 381 MSAs in the United States. The 2014 rankings were split into three Top 10 lists based on population, including less than 200,000, 200,000 to 1 million, and over 1 million.


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    Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.


    Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

    Virginia's new river valley, new river valley, shopping, quality of life, town, downtown, shop local, small business

    NRV Ranked No. 7 Most Secure Small City in U.S.

    New River Valley, VA – The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan statistical area, known locally as the New River Valley, is one of the safest places to live in America, according to Farmers Insurance. The Los Angeles-based insurance company recently ranked the area No. 7 on its list of the Top 20 Most Secure Small Cities of 2013. The list, in its nineth year, identifies the most secure small metro areas in the U.S. based on safety and security statistics.


    The Farmer Insurance rankings are based on the findings of a study conducted by quality of life expert, Bert Sperling. The study examined over one hundred metropolitan areas – with populations less than 150,000 – using several indicators, including economic stability, crime, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, life expectancy, motor vehicle fatalities, and employment numbers.


    “Our most secure metropolitan areas are islands of security in our challenging times,” said Bert Sperling in a press release from Farmers Insurance. “Although each metropolitan area is different, they all possess a desirable combination of factors (jobs, low crime rates, housing, climate, health, reduced levels of natural disasters) that make these some of the best places to live in the United States.”

    Virginia’s New River Valley has three previous appearances on the Top 20 list. Since 2010, the area has climbed from No. 19 to No. 7 on the list. The area’s highest ranking came in 2006, when it debuted at No. 3.


    The Farmer Insurance accolade isn’t the first time that that the New River Valley has been recognized for its safety and security. Bloomberg Businessweek and Homes.com ranked Blacksburg the best place in the U.S. to raise a family/kids in 2011 and 2012; respectively. Both cited the area’s low crime rate as one of the factors that contributed to its No. 1 ranking.


    The New River Valley has also received third-party accolades for job growth, an important factor used in assessing an area’s economic security. Since 2012, the area has been ranked the No. 5 Best Small City for Job Growth by Forbes, No. 5 Top City for Job Growth by CNBC, No. 29 Best Place for Jobs by NewGeography, and No. 2 American City Adding Jobs by 24/7 Wall Street. Christiansburg was also recently ranked the No. 10 Best Place in Virginia for Job Seekers by NerdWallet.


    Blacksburg Ranked No. 1 Best Place to Raise Kids

    More than half the population of Blacksburg, Va., is Virginia Tech students, so it may be easy to mistake this town of 41,383 as just another college town. Yet this small community, between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, also has the makings of a great place to raise children. Excellent schools draw many families to Blacksburg, which also has such amenities as a community center with sports, fitness, educational, and social activities; an indoor pool; and even a nine-hole, 54-acre municipal golf course.


    Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek.


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    Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.


    Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.