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  1. #1
    Uphill? What's that
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    Need your input on 7 Springs Bike Park

    I have been asked to join a meeting with the people who run the bike park along with the new CEO of 7 springs.
    They want input on what they could do next year to improve the park.
    So, if anyone has ridden there this year and has some ideas on what would make the park more rider friendly or what different types of trails and obstacles you would like to see next year please let me know and i will be sure to mention all reasonable ideas to them. also, if there is anything you think they should get rid of or if there is something they should stop doing please let me know.
    It sounds like they are very interested in improving the park and they want to attract more riders next year.
    a couple ideas i had were to create at least one long technical trail for the DH racers and maybe create a skills area where the people who are new to the sport could learn basic skills before charging into the trails.
    This is a great chance to be heard by the staff at 7 springs so if you have an idea please let me know, post it here or you can PM me.

  2. #2
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    simple trails trails trails.

    They need to get some more trails up and running on both sides of the mountain. They need to use the other side of the hill b/c of the terrain and i have to say a few more trails in the woods with rocks and tech riding like the freeride side of snowshoe would be great. They need to add some non machine built trails off that other side and they will be golden. They should have at least 4 or 5 more trails next year on the back slope that are all freeride-ish.

    I think they could squeeze one more machine built trail to the right (from the top) of 007. Make it an entirely different trail that goes in and out of the woods and utilizes the open slope. Sol Vista in CO did this pretty nice and it worked with the woods to open slope design. There seems to be plenty of room between the coaster and 007 to get another machine built trail in there with the continued theme of big tables and maybe some bigger berms or a wall ride or two. They dont even have to machine build the slope if they dont want to destroy it, rip some grass out, put the berms in, and let there be a bit of off camber stuff (or just narrow single track it doesnt have to be 20 feet wide) between the wall rides and tables.

    Also, Winter Park in CO had some nice Dirt jump lines that were really easy to hit over and over. This was a better play area than a few ladders in a skills area. They would get more people out that enjoy DJ'ing and they wont even need to use the lift unless it was on the top of the mountain. It only needs a relatively small piece of land to put in a nice jump park that you can walk back up and hit the lines over and over again.

    I have to drive 1:45 minutes and would be happy to do so for more runs. I would stay over and ride weekends too. Their trail crew from this year built really good stuff, but i am a bit biased since they are friends. They need to keep EC and crew designing the trails b/c they did an excellent job and it showed in the difference between WISP and 7SPRINGs.
    Chance favors the prepared mind

  3. #3
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    -I would echo your comment about a longer, more technical trail.
    -Skip the pump track. They aren't built for downhill/freeride bikes, so they're useless for 95% of the bike traffic. Spend the time/resources building new trails or improving old ones.
    -More wood features. See Snowshoe Bike Park's integration of technical terrain and teeters, skinnies, drops, etc.
    -Probably 90% of mountain bikers are beer drinkers, but there's none to be had unless you hike up to the lodge. There's a huge missed opportunity with the Foggy Goggle deck in terms of creating a scene/culture...a place to hang out and watch other bikers come off the mountain, hit the table tops, etc. (an obvious parallel is the hot spot this area becomes on sunny winter days for skiiers and boarders). If the resort doesn't want to open up the Goggle bar, hell, set up an Igloo cooler and pay a "beer girl" $10/hour to sell bottles. They would probably draw a lot of onlookers, as well.

  4. #4
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    I've had the pleasure to make it to Seven Springs a few times this season, with the latest being on Saturday.

    First, I think the resort is doing a phenomenal job so far at creating and maintaining trails, making proper signage, branding the park, providing rentals and service, etc. It seems that all of this is moving in the right direction, and hopefully we will see more trails next season.

    However, there are a few issues that I believe need to be attended to in order to not only bring in new customers, but keep the existing ones coming back.

    Most importantly, a method needs to be devised for carrying the bikes up the lift in a safe and sensible manner. Currently, riders must either hold the bike on their lap or let it hang from the knees, both of which are not only unsafe but extremely uncomfortable. A couple of the times I was there, you could have your bike tied on to the chair with the rider either sitting next to it, or on another chair with other riders. This works ok, but it is slow. This past weekend, I know many of us were quite upset with the manner in which mountain bikers were being treated in regards to loading. The park was allowing only one in every four chairs to hold bikes, due to Autumnfest attendees riding the lift for scenic views. This created a bit of a bottleneck for us riders waiting in line, as we were bypassed by spectators. Essentially, our $29 paid for the lift ticket was secondary to the dollar paid by those for scenic rides.

    Furthermore, we were required to pay three dollars to park due to the Autumnfest. Though we told the attendant we were there to mountain bike only, he told us we were basically there for Autumnfest and had to pay. Imagine going skiing/snowboarding this winter and having to pay to park in the resort's own lot!

    I think the resort can only improve on what it has developed so far, and already has an amazing start. But in order to become a top notch facility that increasingly and continually attracts the mountain biking community, these issues need to be addressed.

    Thanks,
    Rick

  5. #5
    poormtnbkr
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    New question here. No side rack on the lifts?!!!!

    I am planning on coming down from Erie on the 18th but I have to admit that hearing that they dont have racks on the chairs is a little discouraging. It won't turn me away but It really makes me consider the trip a little more. When I rode at Plattekill almost three years ago they had a fairly simple padded double L rack on the side of each chair and a lifty top and bottom doing the loading and unloading. This does require some work to achieve and two lifties to be paid but I thought that this was the standard practice for lift access mountain biking.

    I remember the racks were not permanent and they were not fancy either. Im really surprised that the consulting crew for trail design didn't address this issue.

    I agree with all of the other ideas already posted as well. BEER (maybe available only near the close of the lift and after), DJ park, no pump track, Steep Technical Trails under the trees. I've never seen the terrain, but there are huge cost implications if developing another face means running another lift. If a sensible return road or the current face could host the new trails it would make the most sense for the resort.

    Maybe you could hole punch lift tickets to limit beer consumption. Liability People, this is
    America.

    It is truly awesome that 7 has dove into this and I want to see it be succesfull.
    Keep Your Scene Tight!
    Grow your trails long not wide.

  6. #6
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    yes the festivals at 7-springs do seem to bring a damper on all the riders considering we are the ones who go their all summer when no one else is around to spend but i guess as riders we also have to understand they need the festivals to keep the resort going they do bring in a lot of revenue for this and the other good thing is it attracts other riders the more good attention we get the better as for 3.00 the bike shop says you do not have to pay it you are only there to ride and two more good things we finally get to have food and beer when these things are going on

  7. #7
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    I have ridden the DH trails twice, both times the same weekend as the 24 Hour XC race because a bunch of us drove out there together from Philly. I must say I am very impressed with what they have so far, and the amount of progress they made from 2007 to 2008. Personally I love the smoother machine built trails with lots of jumps and features. That, to me, is the closest similarity to Whistler's awesome trails: A Line and Dirt Merchant (obviously Dirt Merchant is my favorite ever ) I have been to Whistler 4 times and I think those type trails are the best and I think they will keep many people coming back. I do also love the knarly rocky trials, but I prefer the jump lines, probably because I used to race motocross. Anyway, if they build some more trails period this will improve the situation. Also as was mentioned, a better, consistently used method of getting the bikes up to the top is needed. This of course will cost money but it will keep people coming back and handle the increased crowds, which will no doubt happen when word gets around on the major improvements made this year and the commitment to keep improving the trails. Definitely get some more wood features like Diablo. (I rode there yesterday!) They have some real nice drops off wood structures and some are really big! Tell them to keep up the great work and more of us will be driving from Philly, for sure. More and more guys here are getting DH bikes. The market is growing. Thanks!
    bike = good

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainbckt
    -I would echo your comment about a longer, more technical trail.
    -Skip the pump track. They aren't built for downhill/freeride bikes, so they're useless for 95% of the bike traffic. Spend the time/resources building new trails or improving old ones.
    -More wood features. See Snowshoe Bike Park's integration of technical terrain and teeters, skinnies, drops, etc.
    -Probably 90% of mountain bikers are beer drinkers, but there's none to be had unless you hike up to the lodge. There's a huge missed opportunity with the Foggy Goggle deck in terms of creating a scene/culture...a place to hang out and watch other bikers come off the mountain, hit the table tops, etc. (an obvious parallel is the hot spot this area becomes on sunny winter days for skiiers and boarders). If the resort doesn't want to open up the Goggle bar, hell, set up an Igloo cooler and pay a "beer girl" $10/hour to sell bottles. They would probably draw a lot of onlookers, as well.
    Agree with everything said here 100%

    Really foolish to not take advantage of the foggy goggle deck. I ride 7springs by myself most of the time, and it would be nice to have a place to unwind, have a few beers and talk with other riders at the end of the day seeing what other riders can do on those table tops. I'm 100% sure this would turn a profit.

    Also, its very minor but make sure there is the proper planning, and staff training to deal with mt bikers RESPECTFULLY(capitalized to show emphasis) when there are other events going on. Its not a big issue, but when riding up there the same time as a festival the staff really treated cyclists like 2nd class citizens

  9. #9
    Uphill? What's that
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poormtnbkr
    I am planning on coming down from Erie on the 18th but I have to admit that hearing that they dont have racks on the chairs is a little discouraging. It won't turn me away but It really makes me consider the trip a little more. When I rode at Plattekill almost three years ago they had a fairly simple padded double L rack on the side of each chair and a lifty top and bottom doing the loading and unloading. This does require some work to achieve and two lifties to be paid but I thought that this was the standard practice for lift access mountain biking.

    I remember the racks were not permanent and they were not fancy either. Im really surprised that the consulting crew for trail design didn't address this issue.

    I agree with all of the other ideas already posted as well. BEER (maybe available only near the close of the lift and after), DJ park, no pump track, Steep Technical Trails under the trees. I've never seen the terrain, but there are huge cost implications if developing another face means running another lift. If a sensible return road or the current face could host the new trails it would make the most sense for the resort.

    Maybe you could hole punch lift tickets to limit beer consumption. Liability People, this is
    America.

    It is truly awesome that 7 has dove into this and I want to see it be succesfull.
    every other lift chair at 7 springs has a hook on the front of it so that your bike can be sent to the top in the lift chair after you, so you don't have to carry your bike up if you don't want to. it usually is not an issue, but when they have festivals going on they don't want the seats of the lifts to get muddy so that is why they are limiting the bikes to every 4th chair.
    developing the North Face of the mountain is something I know they would really like to do, but i think they would like to see a better turn out before they go into the expense. When i talked to Judd ( the trail builder) earlier this month , he said they could have the college trail ( a trail they used to use for college DH races) open in less than a week. Its just a matter of convincing the owners of 7 springs that if there are more technical and advanced trails available to ride then more of the true DH community will start coming to their resort on a regular basis. This is something i will mention when i speak to them.

  10. #10
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    I'll be there this weekend to check it out. I'll be sure to post some suggestions afterward.
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  11. #11
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    "it usually is not an issue, but when they have festivals going on they don't want the seats of the lifts to get muddy so that is why they are limiting the bikes to every 4th chair."

    Understandable, however I think even every third chair would have been a lot better. On Saturday at least, there just never seemed to be any wait for those who were just riding the lift. At certain times, us riders had to line up and stand aside while the non riders just walked up and loaded. The only reason why it didn't become a bigger issue was because of the small rider turnout.

    Besides, if they work on getting a better rack system together for next season, "muddy seats" won't be an issue!

    Again, it's matters like this and those stressed by others in this topic that when addressed properly, will bring forth the rider turnout and consistent clientele necessary to support the park and further expansion.

  12. #12
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    More trails, I would like to see a long rocky twisty mess of a trail not just the fast stuff with all the air time

    I admit I am not a great jumper, but from the 4 times I was up there at least half there clientele was not either... It just seems like a technical trail could be ridden fast or slow and appeal to more people (read more $$$) I guess to give it a label more "all-mountain heavy" or "freeride light".....I love trees, huge rocks, drops, roots.....the stuff you think your way through some will do it faster than others but it would be fun for all mountain bikers not just hard core down hillers.

    I do think 7 Springs made a great choice for the first trails, but its time for some variety, I dont want easy...think Rock and Roll section but on crack & steroids x10

    Ray

  13. #13
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    developing the North Face of the mountain is something I know they would really like to do, but i think they would like to see a better turn out before they go into the expense.

    I guess this is the classic chicken or the egg argument. They need more terrain to attract more riders, but they can't attract more riders without more terrain. At some point, if they're serious about this, they're going to have to bite the bullet and make the investment. In a 2007 economic study on the Whistler Mountain Bike park, it was found that mountain bikers pumped $16 million into the local economy ($28 million if you count CrankWorx). Obviously 7Springs won't achieve anywhere near these kind of numbers, but it's illustrative that Whistler made the investment, did it right, now they're reaping the benefits. Arguably with Winter seasons here getting shorter and shorter, making this sort of strategic investment makes sense.

  14. #14
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    Muffed that second sentence above. They want more riders before they will build terrain, but need terrain to attract more riders is what I meant to say.

  15. #15
    Uphill? What's that
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    I know exactly what you mean.
    They might just have to jump in with both feet in order to get things really moving.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for asking

    Rob-Bob, Thanks for asking.

    I agree that the springs needs more trails, but that is a subset of what they really need in my opinion. What is really needed is somebody to nurture a bike culture at and around the resort. I am homeowner, a Bike Park season passholder and a XC rider. I would venture to say I spend as much time and money as anyone at the springs. They are certainly on the right track, but need to keep flowing in three specific areas:

    1) terrain- there are limitless options for incredible trails all over that mountain. The alpine crew has walked the north slope and is chomping at the bit to start building. Get the trails in and let us ride a shuttle for a season or two unitl its profitable to run the big lifts. Ill ride a shuttle if I get 1000 feet of vertical per run, hell, i'd climb for it if the trails were in.

    2) atmosphere- others eluded to it, but the general atmosphere at the springs in the summer is uncomfortable and disjointed. The non-biking emoployees treat Mtn bikers like cattle. Most Mtn bikers I know (200 or so) like good coffee, healthy food and are total beer snobs. open a little slopeside cafe that plays good music (no polka), and employs people not born in the 50's. create a young, fun vibe and people will congregate there to tell stories and meet new and old friends.

    3) Events- Wisp has multiple DH races, Snowshoe has a huge national series, Timberline has the double down. any major Bike park needs events, races and festival where the top riders can show off their skills and newer riders can get more involved in the sport. I won't race because I suck at DH, but I'll spectate and volunteer. The free ride weekend was great, but it was not enough to sustain a marketing effort for a season. I live in the marketing world and would love to offer my thoughts in a more formal manner.

    Just a few ideas. I hope your meeting goes well. Please offer many thanks to the resort on my behalf for their excellent early efforts and for all they continue to do to make 7 springs a great mountain bike destination.

  17. #17
    Mmmm Rocks Good
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    I loved all the new DH trails but don't consider myself as a DH guy or a jomper. We rode the XC course 1st and then did DH runs all day. We went up on the Free weekend. I would not pay $29.00 for a day of DH jumping but would consider a $15.00 half day ticket. Ride XC and then do DH runs for the last half of the day. If there were more trails in the woods w/wooden stunts and rock technical features in addition to the DH stuff I would be more inclined to pay full ticket price. Also, get a better way to finish up the XC course instead of that miserable open faced climb!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainbckt

    I guess this is the classic chicken or the egg argument. They need more terrain to attract more riders, but they can't attract more riders without more terrain. At some point, if they're serious about this, they're going to have to bite the bullet and make the investment. In a 2007 economic study on the Whistler Mountain Bike park, it was found that mountain bikers pumped $16 million into the local economy ($28 million if you count CrankWorx). Obviously 7Springs won't achieve anywhere near these kind of numbers, but it's illustrative that Whistler made the investment, did it right, now they're reaping the benefits. Arguably with Winter seasons here getting shorter and shorter, making this sort of strategic investment makes sense.
    Again agreeing 100%

    I'm a long time rider but new to DH and I was very impressed with 7spring this year. But once again I'm starting to think it is either going to be short lived or remain "small potatoes". It seems like they are very hesitant to make any real commitment to the DH resort. I was thrilled with it this spring, early summer and could hardly wait for the next chance to go, even making the hr and 1/2 trip on friday and saturday sometimes. Unfortunatly, as my skills progressed the trails got boring or stale. If you really break it down, there is only 1 of each trail type there 1. FR, 1. DH and 1 SS-type and 1 beginner. Plus they overlap heavily.

    That will not bring in big money. Its mostly a beginner park serving to get people hooked leading them to drive to a bigger more dedicated resort. Maybe I'll change my mind over the winter but I can't see myself going there regularly next year. Perhaps I'll make the longer trip to a more serious resort once a month or so rather than to 7 springs weekly.

    So when you are speaking to those in charge at 7 springs the point you have to make is they either need to $hit or get off the pot. They need to attract "regulars" and right now they don't have the variety to do so.

    I don't have anything to back this up, but IMO skiing at 7springs has been getting weaker every year. Winters are getting warmer for whatever reason and they just don't have the vertical drop to keep those entertained who have skied and the big resorts in New England and the West. I think they could compete with the big resorts in the east for DH mt biking. Just make the freaking commitment.

    One more point. I have my own bike so it doesn't matter but the rental rate 7springs charges is 79$ a day for a DH bike. A mile or so outside the park speedgoat charges 39$ to rent a DH bike for a day(and you can take it out of the park). Drop the prices to compete!

  19. #19
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    good to see good ideas on here. everybody seems too be on the same page.


    i second the shuttle idea. makes total sense for a while.
    Chance favors the prepared mind

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian A
    Rob-Bob, Thanks for asking.

    I agree that the springs needs more trails, but that is a subset of what they really need in my opinion. What is really needed is somebody to nurture a bike culture at and around the resort. I am homeowner, a Bike Park season passholder and a XC rider. I would venture to say I spend as much time and money as anyone at the springs. They are certainly on the right track, but need to keep flowing in three specific areas:

    1) terrain- there are limitless options for incredible trails all over that mountain. The alpine crew has walked the north slope and is chomping at the bit to start building. Get the trails in and let us ride a shuttle for a season or two unitl its profitable to run the big lifts. Ill ride a shuttle if I get 1000 feet of vertical per run, hell, i'd climb for it if the trails were in.

    2) atmosphere- others eluded to it, but the general atmosphere at the springs in the summer is uncomfortable and disjointed. The non-biking emoployees treat Mtn bikers like cattle. Most Mtn bikers I know (200 or so) like good coffee, healthy food and are total beer snobs. open a little slopeside cafe that plays good music (no polka), and employs people not born in the 50's. create a young, fun vibe and people will congregate there to tell stories and meet new and old friends.

    3) Events- Wisp has multiple DH races, Snowshoe has a huge national series, Timberline has the double down. any major Bike park needs events, races and festival where the top riders can show off their skills and newer riders can get more involved in the sport. I won't race because I suck at DH, but I'll spectate and volunteer. The free ride weekend was great, but it was not enough to sustain a marketing effort for a season. I live in the marketing world and would love to offer my thoughts in a more formal manner.

    Just a few ideas. I hope your meeting goes well. Please offer many thanks to the resort on my behalf for their excellent early efforts and for all they continue to do to make 7 springs a great mountain bike destination.
    These are many of the things I originally put in my proposal that got this whole thing started.

  21. #21
    rd3
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    They need trails on the other side of the mountain, technical trails that use the natural terrain, lots of rocks, switchbacks, log jumps. I wouldn't build wooden features on the trails unless they are need because of an area that is wet or to bridge between rocks, etc. Wooden features just to have them aren't that cool, but when you use them to make an area rideable they are appreciated. Don't really need any man made jumps like the current trails have, but lots of drops with good backside would be nice.
    The lift price this year $29 was too expensive for the limited amount of trails, but $15 would have gotten me on the trails many more times.

  22. #22
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    I agree with the last post on the 29$ lift ticket. It was a bit steep for the limited trails compared to most parks.... mention that we have friends that would have went more often but found it cost preventive. And also as said above, a bike carrying system is definitely needed on the lift.

  23. #23
    Uphill? What's that
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    What type of bike carrying system do other parks use.
    The only other park I have been to is Wisp and their system doesn't seem any better than 7 springs

  24. #24
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    I'll have to disagree with rd3's comment that "wooden features just to have them aren't that cool." Wooden features like teeters, skinnies, etc. are integral to freeriding.

    Rob-bob, in answer to your question, I can offer Whistler and Snowshoe as a reference. The Whistler solution would be too expensive - they actually have a roll-in bike attachment to the chairs. However, they also have hooks on each side of the chair, on which the bike is hung by the front tire. This is probably a workable/cost-effective solution for 7Springs. Snowshoe has flip-up seats and the lifties load one bike per seat. Riders are sent up first so that they can lift the bike off the chair when it gets to the top. The lift chairs are numbered and the riders are always sent up on odd number seats (i.e., every other one) so that the even number seats are kept clean for the tourists.

  25. #25
    Uphill? What's that
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    . Snowshoe has flip-up seats and the lifties load one bike per seat. Riders are sent up first so that they can lift the bike off the chair when it gets to the top. The lift chairs are numbered and the riders are always sent up on odd number seats (i.e., every other one) so that the even number seats are kept clean for the tourists.[/QUOTE]

    believe it or not 7 springs chairs are set up to do exactly what you described. They did it last year during the autumn fest, i don't know why they aren't doing it now.

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