Beckley, W.Va. (November 2, 2023) – Leaders of Bluebirding, a West Virginia Hive outdoor industry client and new private land leasing technology company, announced the launch of their innovative mobile application designed to empower private landowners to monetize their properties for outdoor recreation. The company will work with private landowners, campgrounds, RV parks, and tourism-focused entities to build out an inventory of properties for those seeking their next adventure.
The app was founded and developed by Brandon Fitzwater, a native of Bridgewater, Va., with a vision for providing a gateway to the outdoors that would excite and revolutionize the outdoor shared economy. In late 2021, Peyton Ballard, CEO of Ballard Consulting Group, a Nicholas County company, and Max Gottlieb, an attorney based out of Kanawha County, joined Fitzwater as partners to commercialize this technology for the growing outdoor recreation sector.
“Our platform provides an opportunity for landowners to monetize their properties for outdoor recreationalists in hunting, fishing, camping, birding, and other activities,” said Ballard. “Bluebirding differs from other short-term rentals in a number of ways. For instance, Bluebirding focuses on private landowners’ ability to target activities. Hosts list their properties according to the activities for which the property can support — such as hunting, camping, fishing, birding, and hiking.”
Ballard said the mobile application allows users to book experiences from their phones and on-the-go.
Bluebirding will seek a round of seed funding in early 2024 as the company begins to scale to meet the growing demand of landowners and recreationalists utilizing their mobile application.
Mary Legg, senior business advisor at the West Virginia Hive who is working with Bluebirding leaders, said, “We see great potential for this new app. There is a heightened interest in the outdoor economy, and the number visiting national and state parks in the Mountain State and Appalachia is at an all-time high.”
The startup is also guided by two West Virginia native board members with impressive business careers — Chris Vaught, Founder and CEO of Vaught Inc., and Scott Widmeyer, Founding Managing Partner of Finn Partners.
About the West Virginia Hive Network: The WV Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, serving 13 counties in southern West Virginia. More information about the WV Hive can be found at https://wvhive.com/
About Bluebirding: Inspired by the untapped potential of privately owned lands, our founders embarked on a mission to bring people closer to the great outdoors. Bluebirding created an innovative platform that connects landowners and adventure seekers. This trailblazing venture allowed hosts to lease their lands for outdoor activities, from camping to hiking, enabling city dwellers to escape urban confines. Bluebirding seeks to spark a revolution, uniting nature enthusiasts and cultivating a deep appreciation for the wilderness, one trip at a time. More details are at https://bluebirding.io/