Virginia State Route 16 Becomes the “Back of the Dragon”

Nov 04, 2012 View Comments by

Looking to duplicate the marketing success that U.S. 129, the famous “Tail of the Dragon,” has become, the Tazewell Virginia County Board of Supervisors announced that Virginia State Route 16 will be designated as the “Back of the Dragon.” Crossing between Tazewell and Smyth counties, Route 16 boasts 260 curves over 32 miles and has become a popular destination for motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts.

The idea to brand this stretch of road came from Larry Davidson, local businessman and owner of Drag-A-Knee Inc. As a dedicated motorcyclist, Davidson had ridden both Virginia State Route 16 and the much better known U.S. 129. He realized that, since both roads offer fantastic rides, the main difference between the two was marketing.

Recognizing the potential to boost tourism and bring jobs to the area, local county and tourism board members quickly got behind the idea and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held on October 22, 2012 to commemorate the road’s new name.

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