Allegheny Highlands Trail (Part of the Great Allegheny Passage)
By Brad Smith
Owner of Confluence Cyclery
Confluence Cyclery is located on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) at milepost 60 in Confluence. We opened the shop in the fall of 2008 to provide bicycle services to cyclists on the GAP. We are a full service bicycle shop providing repairs, rentals, accessories, and sales. In the years that we have been open, we have seen the traffic on the GAP grow each year. The increase in traffic has resulted in the opening of as many as 13 new trail-related businesses in Confluence in the past nine years. The trickledown effect of these new businesses is increased business across the entire town.
The trail brings visitors from all over the United States as well as all over the world. Many of these visitors are passing through Confluence, either riding the GAP or as part of a longer trip, including many who are riding coast to coast. The natural beauty as well as all the recreation opportunities of the region leads many of them to return. The GAP is one of the best ambassadors for the Laurel Highlands Region.
Confluence is a small town with a population of less than 1,000. A town of that size is not large enough to support a bicycle shop. We are profitable because about 90% of our business comes from the GAP. The truth of the matter is that we would not be in business in Confluence if the GAP did not exist.