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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Hardwood Hills Sold

    Yes, it is true. Kim Viney has sold her beloved Hardwood Hills to a new owner, Jack Sasseville, who was the pro turned coach cross country skier at Hardwood.

    Rumours fly that it will become a private club with members requiring to purchase ownership shares. However, I find it hard to believe that day pass paying public users will not be an important business requirement as well. After all, Hardwood Hills as it is today does not have an ultra uber flair for luxury and 5 star class to attract the big time spenders. Crum.....no luxury condos, and only 2 buildings built from 2 halves of a massive storm drain tube! No bar?? No entertainment?? No dining room?? So working class....

    Wish them all the luck !
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  2. #2
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    They might as well make some business off of it, or else they won't be putting those trails to very much use for the majority of the year.

  3. #3
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    I can't see them requiring ppl to become owners to ride their. Unless it is at a reasonable price. They'd lose my business. It would be a damn shame as Hardwood is an amzing place to ride.
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  4. #4
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    I thought Hardwood was sold last year to the county because of a lawsuit. Something to do with the dump next door leaching toxins into the ground......I dont remember the whole story.

  5. #5
    Gears, beers and slices..
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    I'm pretty sure that it was sold to the county of Simcoe last year, and that Kim will be running it for them (leasing it). There were news releases about the sale, and they announced it at the end of the xc race season.

    I believe it was because of the lawsuit involving the leeching dump next door and affecting the groundwater? Don't remember specifically anymore, but it was all over the news back in the fall. I also seem to recall reading in the paper that the county plans to continue running it business as usual (except that the Wed race series will start 2 weeks later this summer).

    Do a search here and you'll find the entire story, and the press releases.

  6. #6
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    I think this is the latest development, AFTER that happened.

    Garage Monster is an avid XC skier there and he may have some more information to share.

  7. #7
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    I hope not. When the county bought it last year, they indicated they were going to maintain the land as is - that it would not be lost to development, and that they were actually trying to purchase adjacent parcels of land to ensure recreational greenspace. I kind of liked that idea.

  8. #8
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    This thread would be referring to the hardwood hill business. Would include items like the bike shop, cafeteria, coaching services, the lease to the land the buildings are on, not the actual property that the trails are on.

  9. #9
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    Jack Sasseville purchased the small amount of property out front with the parking lot and buildings from Simcoe County. He also leased all the trails property for a long time frame (30 years?). It is great to see a facility like this continue as an asset for our area. It sounds like the new ownership is buying this with the idea of making it bigger and better.

  10. #10
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    As far as I've heard, the members-only worries are unfounded. Day passes will continue as part of the business plan. I have heard that the new owners are eager to upgrade Hardwood facilities into something more like an outdoor sports club, with much improved food etc. This might lead to higher membership fees, but I'm not sure whether it's been decided for sure.

    And yes, the business was sold; the land is leased.

    ~ Nerdgirl (aka Mrs. Monster)

  11. #11
    Gears, beers and slices..
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    That makes sense, and I wish them every success.

    I hope prices don't go up much though...it's not exactly a cheap place to ride as it is. The membership prices aren't bad, but the daily fees and Wed race fees are pretty steep.

  12. #12
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    there goes the neighborhood. riders will have to pay equivalent money like Hilton hotel to ride there.

  13. #13
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    I never really understood the concept of paying to ride XC trails. Hardwood is fine but there are MUCH better trails in the area. As for amenity's like bike washes and food service..who needs them. This sport is supposed to be about exploration and adventure...isn't it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHBoner
    Hardwood is fine but there are MUCH better trails in the area.

    I'm very familiar with most of the trail systems around there - there are certainly some amazing trail networks (that the general public don't know about), but I don't know of any that have the sheer variety or quality that Hardwood has.

    The best thing about Hardwood is that it's often less crowded than some of the other trail networks throughout the area. Even on weekends, it really isn't that crowded.
    Last edited by Pizza_Royale; 04-09-2008 at 02:38 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHBoner
    I never really understood the concept of paying to ride XC trails. Hardwood is fine but there are MUCH better trails in the area. As for amenity's like bike washes and food service..who needs them. This sport is supposed to be about exploration and adventure...isn't it.
    Partially yes. But places like Hardwood are great if you are trying to ride with a bunch of people of varous skill levels. Or if you are new to the sport or area and want to ride good mountain bike trails but don't have the time or contacts to search out the hidden stuff. Or, to a lesser extent, if you want to go out for a good long hard ride on technical trails and don't want too many easy linking trails. Or if you are a race promoter looking for a good venue to hold a race at. And while I don't necessarily see the need for showers after a long hard day's ride (I ain't called skunky for nuthin'), my wife seems to think that they are a good thing (and she tells me that the showers at Hardwood aren't bad
    at all.) Besides which, if I've got to drive all the way up from Toronto, the entry cost to Hardwood is getting to be tiny compared to the gas cost.
    Anyway I like Hardwood, I'll be riding there again , I just wish I didn't have to deal with all the traffic on the 400 going there and coming back.
    Cheers, Dave

  16. #16
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    They're out there...you just have to find them!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHBoner
    They're out there...you just have to find them!
    True, and word does tend to spread quickly over the web so I won't mention names. I've gotta say I've met some really interesting people on the "other" networks around Barrie, and if they look out of place (or are enjoying themselves WAY too much) I always ask how they found out. It's usually the same..."I was brought here by a friend and swore not to tell anyone else"
    Last edited by Pizza_Royale; 04-09-2008 at 02:48 PM.

  18. #18
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    There is indeed some nice stuff veryyy close,,, but the interweb is just too big.

  19. #19
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    True. Forget I mentioned some of the area names that I did.
    Last edited by Pizza_Royale; 04-09-2008 at 02:41 PM.

  20. #20
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    Show, Don't Tell......has a nice ring to it........helps keep respect for what is there.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phat Tyred
    Show, Don't Tell......has a nice ring to it........helps keep respect for what is there.
    Yeah, I almost understand this sentiment - if you already know the good trails, its easy to tell others to explore or to hook up with other riders who know the area. Its a lot harder on the other side (new to the area / available at odd times to ride / don't want to drive 1-2 hours just to spend all day poking around side roads looking for mythical sweet singletrack). In practice, this attitude is at least a little selfish. Are you promoting respect for the trails, or just keeping them to yourself? Share and share alike, I say.



    To DHBoner - it may seem stupid to pay, but if you have 1 day free per week and just want a good hard ride (but noone will spill the beans on their personal, hidden gems) what else to do? Sure there are a few well known free spots to ride around (Hydrocut, Ravenshoe, Don, Durham), but a change of pace is nice ya know?

  22. #22
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    Hey Evil, I do not know of any trails other then the great ones at Hardwood Hills. My family rides in the Wednesday night races. The cost is very reasonable and we love it there. I was only commenting on the Pizza's friends, they seem to want to share the ride, just not broadcast it to the world, sounds fair.

    I also only have one day a week to spare, so I go to where the ride is great. I also do not have time to rake or maintain any trails, so again I ride where I pay for someone to do this for me. I would consider it selfish to ride without helping or paying, just the way I feel. Others consider promotion to be work. To each their own, I would rather ride sweet singletrack instead of poking around.

    Have a good ride.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHBoner
    I never really understood the concept of paying to ride XC trails. Hardwood is fine but there are MUCH better trails in the area. As for amenity's like bike washes and food service..who needs them. This sport is supposed to be about exploration and adventure...isn't it.
    Every 12 months or so I repost an example from Kolapore since I'm familiar with it. There are no amenities whatsoever. Exploration and adventure? carry the map with you but don't look at it unless you're still in the woods at dusk. Ballpark annual cost of trail maintenance: $10000 (insurance+materials) but that doesn't include hundreds and hundreds of hours of volunteer labour plus driving expense as many volunteers are coming from the GTA at $0.35/km in travel cost. One day you will understand, I guarantee it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilScience
    Its a lot harder on the other side (new to the area / available at odd times to ride / don't want to drive 1-2 hours just to spend all day poking around side roads looking for mythical sweet singletrack). In practice, this attitude is at least a little selfish. Are you promoting respect for the trails, or just keeping them to yourself?
    I think it's a combo of both. A lot of work has gone into some of the trail systems, and I can see how those that cut/do the work can become a little possessive, wanting to keep them pristine. On the other hand, by keeping them quiet (and by keeping the crowds away) you ensure that the quality remains and you reduce trail impact. We all know it's easy for trails in Southern Ontario to turn to sand, erode or increase in width.

    I usually head north each spring to meet up with friends to do a bunch of raking/clearing of deadwood in the Barrie area each spring. There's a TON of windfall/deadwood each spring that needs to be cleared - most areas up there are practically unrideable without a spring maintenance session. The work sucks, but it needs to be done, and it's a good way to get introduced to new areas...it's like "buying" your way into the club, so to speak. Originally, when I asked about new areas to ride nobody would say anything, but when I offered to rake and to clear trails suddenly the 'cloak of silence' was gone.
    Last edited by Pizza_Royale; 04-09-2008 at 03:11 PM.

  25. #25
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    Yes, the young ones still think that trails came down from the heavens.......as granted by their wishes.
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