By Joe Napsha/ Tribune-Review on June 3, 2015
Mary Lou Rendulic does not need a study to tell her about the economic value of the Great Allegheny Passage, the popular 150-mile recreational trail that cuts through West Newton as it connects Pittsburgh with Cumberland, Md.
“We’re finding that we are renting more and more rooms per season,” said Rendulic, who operates Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast, The Annex Inn and the new Willow Springs Inn along Jefferson Court, just off the Great Allegheny Passage.
Rendulic opened Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast in 2002 with her husband, Robert. Trail users have accounted for almost 90 percent of the business for the 12-room bed and breakfast that is spread over three houses, Robert Rendulic said.
There has been an overall increase in the economic impact of those using the Great Allegheny Passage, compared to previous surveys dating back to 2008, according to a trail user and business survey conducted from July to October 2014 in West Newton, Connellsville, Ohiopyle, Confluence and five other trail towns in Pennsylvania.