IMPRESSIVE LIVABILITY, TECH-FORWARD INDUSTRIES
AND NATURAL WONDERS AROUND EVERY CORNER.
WHO WANT TO LIVE AND WORK IN THE
ROANOKE REGION? BY MASON ADAMS
Since colonial days, the community that became the midsized mountain city of Roanoke,
Virginia, has been a transportation hub.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the known as Big
marked the intersection of the Great Wagon Road and the Wilderness Road, pioneer routes used to navigate the mountains of Appalachia. The arrival of the railroad in the 1880s marked
transformation into a bustling New South metropolis.
The past decade has seen the region take
advantage of its location in a different way,
using the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains
to transcend rail roots and become a mecca for
outdoors lovers and a hub for industries such as
craft beer, health care, technology and advanced
Without leaving the Roanoke city limits, you
can climb a wooded trail up Mill Mountain,
descend to the Roanoke River and follow the
Greenways system to complete a 5-mile
loop. Fresh construction and new mixed-use
developments in the heart of downtown reflect
a mix of outdoors and core urban development
that has reenergized not just Roanoke but the
surrounding New River Valley.
Livability is fuel for regional reinvention
and a vibrant new economy replaced the
old image with that of a hip,
outdoors-focused city. This shift, combined with
a deft ability to meet the needs of businesses
and employees, has made the area a destination
for talented workers and the companies who