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  1. #1
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    Downhills with chairlift for summer?

    Does anyone know if any of the micro ski slopes around the AR, MO, KS, OK, allow bikes on their land in the summer? And if not, then lets get a bunch of people to call and find a way to make it happen. I know there is one in Weston, MO near Kansas City and there is also one in or near St. Louis. I don't know if there is anything on the slopes worth riding really, but it can't be horrible. Add a few temporary (or permanent) jumps in there somewhere and it would keep me busy for a full day. There has to be some singletrack around those places, and if not, I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to build some. Any input?

  2. #2
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    If you can afford to make the trip, I would recommend going to Winter Park/Trestle Bike Park in Colorado. You can take slow easy trails or you can take the free ride trails. Even my mom who never rides enjoyed the green trails. I believe they have one or two trails that you have some serious jumps, but most of the blacks that I took had jumps that were "rollable". The jumps had a lip then a table top between the ramp and the down ramp. The best thing to do is to pace a local that way you can get the right speed to land on the down ramps. I rode one trail that had some rocks that you had to pick lines, but for the most part the trails had banked turns and smooth, fast trails. It was easier than riding Arkansas Trails.
    If you really want Arkansas, I would recommend just running shuttles for the DH section on the blue trail at Syllamo or shuttle at DH trail at Eureka Springs. There just isn't enough people in Arkansas to justify building a bike park with a lift. Along with other considerations like the small percentage of Arkansans who are active in biking and that so many people live near poverty.

  3. #3
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    I just don't see why people would drive for 300' of vertical, or that it would be profitable to develop. You might get some local interest, but I doubt people would be travelling far to get there.

    I agree with ArTech, if you are going to drive for lift served biking and trails go somewhere with big mountains.

  4. #4
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    You could get a nice ride down Rich Mountain or Mount Magazine 1800+ of vertical but you'd have a tough time convincing the US Forest Service to give up the property. You'd also have to find someone with deep enough pockets to build a lift where one does not exist and not enough snow falls for skiing more than one or two days a year. Of course it could run for mountain bikers year round.
    Visit us here: ArkansasOutside.com

  5. #5
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    To clarify, the 300' of vertical I mentioned was for the established lift at Weston, MO.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I honestly agree. It probably wouldn't be worth it. I guess the main reason I even think about this is because life gets so busy for me and sometimes it's hard to organize shuttles. I can't complain about the riding in Arkansas though considering what great trails we have and that we are not in big mountain territory. I just wish there was somewhere that had some sort of tow-rope contraption that worked for bikes just so that I can do more riding in a small amount of time. Thank you all for your input. I certainly plan to take a trip out to Trestle/Winter Park this summer.

    My Dad is considering buying some land in the mountains somewhere down there, so one of these days I'll build something with a rollercoaster style uphill tow and let people use the area (subject to a liablility disclaimer of course, ha). This will probably be for my grandkids because that's probably when I'll have the money and time to think about it.

  7. #7
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    Forgot to mention that I emailed Snow Creek in Weston. They said they tried it once and it was a huge flop. Said they had about 15 bikes all summer. Although I agree that it's probably not worth it for the effort and money to do it, my guess is that they didn't advertise well, didn't network with avid bikers to spread the word, and didn't get the word to a far enough distance.

    People would not drive much of a distance for a green hill, but if in the spring they could get someone to design jumps and obstacles and get a solid team of volunteers willing to build it I think it could be a huge success. I think they should contact all bike shops that carry bigger hitting bikes within a 500 mile radius, as well as post here on mtbr.com forums and pinkbike.com forums. AND if they had some areas that were BMX friendly then that scene could provide even more customers.

    If the place is just opened up, then yes, it would just flop. But with the right person that can forsee its success I think it would guarantee that success. If I lived there I would be glad to do it. My wife is also in the social work field and knows how to write grants, which I think we could get to encourage area tourism.

    I do agree that Arkansas probably wouldn't be able to sustain it since the chances of skiing here are slim to none. But KC, and StL already have the lift. If I lived there I would be all over it.

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