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  1. #1
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    This doesn't sound good (Kingdom Trails)

    This sounds like a lose-lose situation.

    Burke resort cuts ties with mountain biking trails network
    That creep can roll, man.

  2. #2
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    I wondered about the Q that suddenly appeared before Burke in their marketing email. Pretty amazing that this guy does not see the value in being associated with KT.

  3. #3
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    Some other notable consequences of Ary Quiros management style.

    - Many long term employees of the mountain were fired without cause(source: existing employee).
    - The school ski program for the local kids was basically ruined(source: local family we know).
    - Now this after ignoring the fact that KT basically built and maintains the mountain trail system for him.
    - Two prominent restaurants in town closed this year. Not sure if he was involved or not but it is not good.

    From what I understand, this guy has no ski area management or recreation type experience. The locals are getting fed up and the mountain will certainly not succeed in their future plans without the town's support.

  4. #4
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    definitely seems like short sighted decision based primarily on a sense of entitlement and $$. Tons of other intangibles that need to be considered with a relationship like that. Interested to see how this plays out for them...

  5. #5
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    Was the $20 going to Burke for the lift? Why not just charge $35 and make everyone happy?

  6. #6
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    Does this new development change anyone's opinion on this?

    http://forums.mtbr.com/vermont-new-h...it-860860.html

  7. #7
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    Hey folks--I have been in the ski business for 40+ years, in NH and Colorado-as a grunt, i.e liftie, patrolman, rental manager ,etc.. Cross country areas for 20 years...In this corporate world, for the most part, it is all about the "Alpine" experience; they could care less about anything else. They sell more burgers, chips, and beer in a weekend then a Nordic or Bike operation takes in over a whole season. Burke Mt. as a viable ski area will never make it- too far for day trips, not enough snow making potential (i.e. water) , nothing else to do once there, and on and on. Even worse is for a non-profit to depend on the benevolence of a corporate entity, or private landowners, to supply the land for them to build there trails. Waiting to see whoever actually owns the resort land at Ascutney to decide then can do better being an ATV destination resort or sell of the land for more second homes. Be very happy that non-profits such as land trusts, conservation areas, town forests, etc., actually seem to want hiking and biking trails on their land.

  8. #8
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    To the SLAV--It is all about $$ and entitlement, this is the good old USA! And I know you are in central NH where Highlands was a tiny little failing ski area where someone with vision stepped in and built a downhill/lift served mecca (and they have free xc MTB trails) for mountain biking. And within 15 miles are nearly 60 miles of free, purpose built MTB trails--all on conservation land, town forests, a federal Dam, a Farm trust, a Youth Center, a State Park. I love to go to Kingdom and Ascutney, but thankfully we have are own little Kingdom without Corporate largess.

  9. #9
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    To Likeaboss-- once again it is all about $$ and entitlement- I have lived in and worked at Waterville Valley, in NH, for 10 years. New Owners; get rid of experienced veterans, replace them with outsiders who are clueless but young and go getters..We had lift served, not very good, Mtb trails--this Summer the mechanics, inexperienced, killed the chairlift-not likely to be replaced for the pittance it brought in compared to the Alpine Area, which has been run into the ground by previous corporate owners. Little Towns: Waterville Valley, Ascutney, East Burke are a non-entity from the Corporate view--this is not Stowe, Aspen, Telluride, North Conway. And I don't think any of us can do much to change it all. Keep in mind that MTB'ers do not drop close to 4 or 5 hundred a day to ski at an Alpine area--Mom,Dad, 2 kids, tickets, rentals?, lunch ($10 burger, $8 beer),etc. Cherish your own special places to bike!!!

  10. #10
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    Like many of you, I too, have many years of "ski world" experience. AS many of you ahve mentioned, it's truly about the all mighty dollar. This has happened all across the country in many fields... I guess the only thing that I feel that I have control ovr is "who" my money supports, and that will ALWAYS be the Kingdom Trails. Hopefully over time, things will get worked out... but if not, I still will support the trails !!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by epic View Post
    Does this new development change anyone's opinion on this?

    http://forums.mtbr.com/vermont-new-h...it-860860.html
    What's the deal with that flow trail? Did Trail Solutions ever lay out a trail and where is it?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    What's the deal with that flow trail? Did Trail Solutions ever lay out a trail and where is it?
    It's called Roly Grail it's in the bike park.

  13. #13
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    This doesn't sound good (Kingdom Trails)

    The trail is there, it's super fun.

    So anyway, I was there I the midst of all this, and Ary is a supreme ass who shoots from the hip. It cost 35 dollars to ride the bike park, 20 for Burke. 15 for KT. Ary decided not to honor the existing contract, and stiffed KT for upwards of $20,000. He would ride the lift with one of the rental bikes, no experience, and come down in jeans with NO helmet. People would come in saying some jackass was riding without a helmet on. Yup, that's the Prez.

    I thought that I had stepped into an opportunity to grow the biking at the mountain, but it was obvious from the start that Ary had no intention in investing what was needed, and proceeded to make decisions to bury the place. When the stuff with KT came around I had to bail, you can't treat people like he does. He will fail, ultimately...no doubt in my mind. But as long as he has something to snort, he's happy.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schott View Post
    The trail is there, it's super fun.

    So anyway, I was there I the midst of all this, and Ary is a supreme ass who shoots from the hip. It cost 35 dollars to ride the bike park, 20 for Burke. 15 for KT. Ary decided not to honor the existing contract, and stiffed KT for upwards of $20,000. He would ride the lift with one of the rental bikes, no experience, and come down in jeans with NO helmet. People would come in saying some jackass was riding without a helmet on. Yup, that's the Prez.

    I thought that I had stepped into an opportunity to grow the biking at the mountain, but it was obvious from the start that Ary had no intention in investing what was needed, and proceeded to make decisions to bury the place. When the stuff with KT came around I had to bail, you can't treat people like he does. He will fail, ultimately...no doubt in my mind. But as long as he has something to snort, he's happy.


    "You're like a Ferrari engine driving a dump truck"
    This seems to be the sentiment of everyone who has dealt with Ary. I think the KTA is bigger than the mountain at this point.

    I hope Knight still has that shuttle bus running, we'll be needing that moving forward.

    The real concern here is that they'll run Burke into the ground and then strip everything they can move out to Jay, leaving our hill with nothing.

  15. #15
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    So what does this really mean? Shut down?

    I've never been but I was planning on making the trip to ride the park and Burke mt. In the spring/summer, don't wanna waste the time if I'm not gonna be able to get my DH fill..

  16. #16
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    This doesn't sound good (Kingdom Trails)

    I think that the mountain will operate the bike park, but it won't be built, maintained, or run by kingdom Trails as it has in the past. That was my last impression. Knight didn't run a summit shuttle this year, nobody did. It didn't prove to be very profitable.


    "You're like a Ferrari engine driving a dump truck"

  17. #17
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    I guess Stenger has stepped in and retracted Jr.'s statements. Resorts. What a ****in gong show.

  18. #18
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    If you need to dh while up in east Burke, head over the border to bromont. It's worlds better than Burke mtn and only about an hour and a half away. Burke is only good for when your legs are tired and you want something different from kt. They won't survive with the same trails and the same price, with no kt access.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    If you need to dh while up in east Burke, stay on this side of the border and spend your US dollars at Highland It's worlds better than Burke mtn and only about an hour and a half away.
    Fixed that all up for you!

  20. #20
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    Have you been to both? Highland is highland....it is NOT bromont. Also, 80% of the people i pass at kt are frenchies...not sure they'd enjoy that attitude.

    Plus...poutine.

  21. #21
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    I'll stand by what I've said.

  22. #22
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    Burke Bike Park's biggest strength is that it is kid and beginner friendly, not something you can say about Bromont, and while Highland is getting better, Burke is still a better call for that demographic.
    Last edited by epic; 12-29-2013 at 05:18 AM.

  23. #23
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    Gravy Fries!

    Anyways, I've seen bungholes like this guy buy restaruants and clean out long term employees, kind of like the burke situation. Many people would say that the new owner will never make it, but as long as they have their accounts managed and the books are in the black, they don't care how many locals/regulars they loose. With so much invested in this project, I'd be suprised to see it fail. The town pays, the mtb community pays, but the business will profit. It's just sad, especially since this town seemed so stoked on mtb and community.

  24. #24
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    Burke Mt.--Viable or Not: In New England there would be no viable ski areas without snowmaking, and lots of it! Just a look at Vt. area trail totals this morning tells the story: open/total> Jay 57/78, Killington 87/155, Mad River 4/45 **, Magic 3/43**, Okemo 91/120, Stowe 70/116, Burke 14/50**. Pretty obvious who has The Snowmaking and who does not. And this is at the end of the Christmas Vacation, which usually accounts for at least 25% of the total Season income! Guess how well Magic, Mad, and Burke did this Vacation. OK, so you say the "Q" has a lot of money; that may be wonderful and hopeful but all the snowmaking equipment you can buy is useless without Water, and lots of it! And I see no large source of water for Burke; States generally do not allow water to be drawn from streams or rivers. The option then is drilling a lot of wells, building Large holding ponds, and spending millions to upgrade the snowmaking equipment. And then you have to have Resort infrastructure--restaurants, bars, shops, lodging,etc. Burke is not a day area, too far from any real population to make that viable. So they have to build a destination Resort with tons of snowmaking--do not really think they would take that chance when they already have Jay to work with. KT was there and successful before the downhill park! They should spend the time, money, and effort concentrating on what has worked so far-- surely they could do a lot to help those many trails that have been beaten to death by high traffic volume and un-sustainable building practices. Let Burke have the Bike Park and KT get back to making what they have more lasting and fun for the future!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by epic View Post
    Burke Bike Park's biggest strength is that it is kid and beginner friendly, not something you can say about Bromont, and while Highland is getting better, Burke is still a better call for that demographic.
    This is true. I can't tell you the number of people I've had to slow down and wait for on Jester or have seen rolling over the lips on Knightslayer. The only problem is that isn't a sustainable business model. All of those people are going to go once, and either not go again, or go the one time a year the family goes up there. Everyone else, ie the money, are going to go to places that cater to MTBers, not just as a side business. Besides, Highland now has lessons and fantastic rental packages, in addition to the newer trails which are all beginner focused.

    There are so many near-dead MTB parks it's not even funny (Snow, Attitash, Jiminy, whiteface, Killington). There are a few that are thriving (Mt Creek, Highland, Bromont). The ones that are doing well are the ones with laser focus on actually building a good park for MTBers, and not treating it as a joke.

    Don't get me wrong I love burke, I think the two trails there are fantastic, but I would never pay $35 to ride there and there alone. When it's $20 for the uplift and $15 to ride KT, it makes more sense.

  26. #26
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    Side note... someone posted in another thread that KTA sold 60,000 day passes last year @ $15 a pop.... That's $900K revenue by my math (plus all the goodies they sell at the office, etc.).

    While that certainly is an impressive # of biker visits... how much of that goes back into the trail system?

    I understand they have their costs, etc., but they also benefit from lots of volunteer hours.

    Not trying to be a dick... it just popped into my head when I did the revenue math... I thought "does it look/feel like they reinvest at that level?"

    thoughts?

  27. #27
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    Shifty Bits-- That is a good question. I suppose that liability insurance takes a sizeable chunk- could it be $100,000 or $200,000 a year? I have no idea. $100,000 for Executive Director and Staff? I have heard $20,000 to $30,000 to build a machine made downhill trail; and $10,000 for new bridges, etc.? Maps and advertising and ? And let's not forget rental of those "crappy" porta potties! Wonder also who pays for Nembafest and who, if anyone, profits from it......I would think at the end there would be a couple hundred thousand around for trail maintenance. What does a non-profit do with extra profits? Anyone have any answers/ideas?

  28. #28
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    As a non profit I believe all profit has to be reinvested into the business. How many season passes did they sell?

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    I would hope the maps are a break even for them given they sell advertising space on it.

    Sure the staff needs a salary, benefits, etc. That's a no brainer. I'm sure nobody is getting rich on this. Just wondering how the costs break down... Insurance is probably their single largest expense. I wonder if they have to indemnify the private landowners? That could be a big part of it.

    I guess my "wish list" of stuff I'd like to see them invest in (beyond new trails, that's a no-brainer) is (in no particular order) - better trail signage (such that you wouldn't even really need to refer to your trail map all that often... a trail system near me (Musquash) is "best in class" for this... A less ghetto area to change/poop.... porta potties are good for events, but they should think about a pavillion or something like that with multiple changing areas and better shitters (pit toilets or something like that)... I love the pay for use showers somebody put up in the back lot area... something like that, but with some stalls to change in, etc. And for that kind of coin they take in, I would expect trail maintenance to be a bit better, especially in late fall (leaf blowing, blowdown removal, trimming back branches, etc.).

    But what the F do I know... maybe Insurance is $600,000 or more of the cost side and that leaves very little money for things they'd really like to spend more on.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by likeaboss View Post
    As a non profit I believe all profit has to be reinvested into the business. How many season passes did they sell?
    A 501(c)(3) non-profit is not required to have a zero net gain on their balance sheet each fiscal year. Being a non-profit is more a function of organizational governmental structure than economics. It is also about what the money they make is USED FOR.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnation View Post
    Shifty Bits-- That is a good question. I suppose that liability insurance takes a sizeable chunk- could it be $100,000 or $200,000 a year? I have no idea.
    I thought you didn't need insurance for recreational area in VT.

    From the SMBC web page:

    YOU'RE PROTECTED BY THE STATE OF VERMONT
    Vermont has developed laws with the intent of protecting the generosity of landowners who make their land available for recreation. To paraphrase the law; A landowner is not liable should someone get hurt while recreating on their property, whether the landowner is aware of the activity or not.
    Vermont State Law VSA Title 12, Section 5793.(a) states, "An owner shall not be liable for property damage or personal injury sustained by a person who, without consideration, enters or goes upon the owner's land for a recreational use unless the damage or injury is the result of the willful or wanton misconduct of the owner." In addition, a landowner has not duty to inspect the land to be sure that it is a safe for a specific recreational use or to discover any dangerous conditions.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scharny View Post
    A 501(c)(3) non-profit is not required to have a zero net gain on their balance sheet each fiscal year. Being a non-profit is more a function of organizational governmental structure than economics. It is also about what the money they make is USED FOR.
    Yup. Based on some information that I was able to come across.. unless they had a huge jump in ridership in 2013... the math of 60,000 * $15 per doesn't appear to be realistic.

    I'm NOT saying, AT ALL, that something isn't right here... just curious to see how they are funded and what they spend their money on... Wish they could do more... I for one wouldn't blink at a $5 increase to the pass... if I'm driving up to KT, even for a day trip, the pass is one of my smallest expenses.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozz View Post
    I thought you didn't need insurance for recreational area in VT.

    From the SMBC web page:

    YOU'RE PROTECTED BY THE STATE OF VERMONT
    Vermont has developed laws with the intent of protecting the generosity of landowners who make their land available for recreation. To paraphrase the law; A landowner is not liable should someone get hurt while recreating on their property, whether the landowner is aware of the activity or not.
    Vermont State Law VSA Title 12, Section 5793.(a) states, "An owner shall not be liable for property damage or personal injury sustained by a person who, without consideration, enters or goes upon the owner's land for a recreational use unless the damage or injury is the result of the willful or wanton misconduct of the owner." In addition, a landowner has not duty to inspect the land to be sure that it is a safe for a specific recreational use or to discover any dangerous conditions.
    Yes, Jazz... it appears that way. They still have to fund some insurance for the organization, but not for the recreational component of it.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty Bits View Post
    Yes, Jazz... it appears that way. They still have to fund some insurance for the organization, but not for the recreational component of it.
    I beleive they still need insurance because that VT law does not keep anyone from suing the landowner stating there was willful blah blah blah. It can still cost a landowner tons of money to defend against that.

    I think it really comes down to is it worth the $15 or cost of a season pass? If it is, go, if not don't go. I think it is well worth the cost but that is my deal and may not work for everyone.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty Bits View Post
    Side note... someone posted in another thread that KTA sold 60,000 day passes last year

    thoughts?
    Let's assume 240 days of operation - April through November. 60,000/240=250. I know it gets packed up there weekends and such but an average of at least 250 day pass sold every day seems quite high. I didn't see the other thread where they posted the 60,000 number but my thoughts are that 60,000 is not a valid number and thus your revenue projection are well out of whack.

  36. #36
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    2 topics---the "Q" factor....and "where does all the money go"....First-KTA should have stuck to their successful formula of a nice network of, at least when they were built, buff, fun singletrack and lots of it. Became World Famous..but somehow they wanted the Downhill Plum to round things out and attract more business and fun for all--so hook up with the "Corporate" entity and throw a bunch of money to build on "What's his name's land". The good people on Darling Hill and the Village of East Burke bought into the MTB idea and it has worked. Never get in bed with the Man!! Item 2: Having built and worked on trails,I see a lot of KT washing out, gullying, very rooty, the ultimate end of all New England bike/hike/4-wheel/just plain usage trails.There are solutions but it requires a will and resources to repair, rebuild, close, build new....maybe- why at even half of 60,000 visitors-30,000 per/yr ( even little Franklin Falls Dam in NH, 100 acres, 10 miles of trails does 500-1000 per month for 8 months) that is an income of $450,000 per-not a small amount of change for a network of trails on other peoples land! Just Wondering--we all want to see great riding areas stay great!

  37. #37
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    Pines and Herbs were both rerouted this year Harp was done last year. LOTS of board walks get built. KTA does the grooming of the XC ski trails. I'm not sure if they own or rent the building they're in, but either way it's an expense. KTA has two full trail crews running power equipment all summer... what's liability and comp insurance cost for that? I have no doubt KTA money is spent on KTA operations.

    As for the ski hill...KTA has had trails there for years before " jumping into bed with the man." The lift access is fun, but only a small part of the gig. The best stuff isn't accessed by the lifts (" Give me J-bar or give me death!" Ethan Allen said that, or sumthin' of that sort) Take the auto road up for $60 a year.

    As I spend more and more time up there I see just how deep the passion for outdoor recreation is rooted in that town. QBurke has some question marks. East Burke and KTA will be fine.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozz View Post
    I thought you didn't need insurance for recreational area in VT.

    From the SMBC web page:

    YOU'RE PROTECTED BY THE STATE OF VERMONT
    Vermont has developed laws with the intent of protecting the generosity of landowners who make their land available for recreation. To paraphrase the law; A landowner is not liable should someone get hurt while recreating on their property, whether the landowner is aware of the activity or not.
    Vermont State Law VSA Title 12, Section 5793.(a) states, "An owner shall not be liable for property damage or personal injury sustained by a person who, without consideration, enters or goes upon the owner's land for a recreational use unless the damage or injury is the result of the willful or wanton misconduct of the owner." In addition, a landowner has not duty to inspect the land to be sure that it is a safe for a specific recreational use or to discover any dangerous conditions.
    I don't think the recreational use statutes apply if you're charging money. Not positive about VT but that's definitely the case in most states including NH. I am sure they have to indemnify the landowners because they are charging a fee.

    NEMBAfest is a joint venture with KTA and NEMBA and they split any profits.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    I don't think the recreational use statutes apply if you're charging money. Not positive about VT but that's definitely the case in most states including NH. I am sure they have to indemnify the landowners because they are charging a fee.

    NEMBAfest is a joint venture with KTA and NEMBA and they split any profits.
    This is theoretically correct, but the staute has nver been tested in court. The fee is technically charged for facility accss, not land access. You can still get sued, and have to spend $ for legal defense. Tax breaks or other compensation also nulifies the law.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    This is theoretically correct, but the staute has nver been tested in court. The fee is technically charged for facility accss, not land access. You can still get sued, and have to spend $ for legal defense. Tax breaks or other compensation also nulifies the law.
    There have been a couple mountain biking injury cases in CT where their rec. use statutes have held up and cases thrown out. One of the NH statutes was strengthened recently by requiring a plaintiff to be responsible for all legal fees if a suit was dismissed. These are good things.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    One of the NH statutes was strengthened recently by requiring a plaintiff to be responsible for all legal fees if a suit was dismissed. These are good things.
    Good things indeed. I've also read on the SMBC web page that they put aside a fund to help any landowner pay for legal fee if ever a case was brought to court.

    Still wish we had such a law north of the border since most of our trails are on private land.

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    More Food for Thought: Some info from the KTA video, which is on Pinkbike-Apr.9 2013, which includes a write up by KT trails manager CJ Scott, all promoting the vote for KT in the Bell Trail Contest. According to Scott, paid visits increased from 16,000 in 2005 t0 over 60,000 in 2012. That is an increase of 5,600 riders per year; of course it increased incrementally each year, so one could expect at least 65,000 tickets for 2013. That amounts to $975,000 in ticket sales! In a reply to the KT article by someone challenging the vote for KT--someone who looked into the financials of KTA ( which should be fairly transparent as a non-profit) these figures are given: 2011-2012 IRS Form 990 Gross receipts were $545,922 Plus $1,682,027 in public support, which I assume means grants, gifts , donations, etc. Folks, that gets it up to $ 2.2 million plus for the fiscal year!! So maybe you pay $1 mill to indemnify the landowners!! that stills leaves $1 mill to run the show and fix/build trails. CJ Scott also says that KT has built 3 machine made trails at the bike park, not counting the Bell trail for which they won $33,000 to build it. So building the 3 trails at a similar figure of $33,000/trail= $99,000, plus the $33,000 for the Bell trail = $132,000 for trails on "Q" Burke land; and do they also have to pay to indemnify "Q"Burke for use of there land? Probably. More later.

  43. #43
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    Yea, the "War Chest",which I think is really a bunch of folks willing to defend landowners as a free service. My observation has been that when you approach most landowners and tell them about the Land Owner Liability Act, and how they can just let us use their land and not worry about lawsuits, they are not impressed. Trying to convince people they are not liable for something that happens to a mtber on their land is a tough sell. Great that it's there though, for people who are open to public rec on private land, and great they are holding up when it counts.

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    "And for that kind of coin they take in, I would expect trail maintenance to be a bit better, especially in late fall (leaf blowing, blowdown removal, trimming back branches, etc.)"

    Better maintenance? The 10 man trail crew doesn't do enough for you? Late in the fall, many of the crew members have left for school and KT is starting to transition to winter operation preparations. The work they do is amazing.

    THE KT TRAIL CREW COULDN'T DO A BETTER JOB.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by vermontmtber View Post
    "And for that kind of coin they take in, I would expect trail maintenance to be a bit better, especially in late fall (leaf blowing, blowdown removal, trimming back branches, etc.)"

    Better maintenance? The 10 man trail crew doesn't do enough for you? Late in the fall, many of the crew members have left for school and KT is starting to transition to winter operation preparations. The work they do is amazing.

    THE KT TRAIL CREW COULDN'T DO A BETTER JOB.
    Totally agree! The crew does and awesome job. Many thanks to them for the hard work they do.
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  46. #46
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    I know this is an older thread, but some don't seem aware that a 501(c)3's financials are a matter of public record. So from KT's IRS form 990 for FY13, we know they net $114k on revenues of $577k. 45% of their expenses went toward salaries & benefits (60% the prior year).

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by objector View Post
    I know this is an older thread, but some don't seem aware that a 501(c)3's financials are a matter of public record. So from KT's IRS form 990 for FY13, we know they net $114k on revenues of $577k. 45% of their expenses went toward salaries & benefits (60% the prior year).
    So?
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    So for those wondering, those are the facts. No need to guesstimate or speculate.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by objector View Post
    So for those wondering, those are the facts. No need to guesstimate or speculate.
    So - is this Drug Money? Are we talking Business here??

    I'm confused, I have a Shoe appointment in the Morning...
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by objector View Post
    So for those wondering ten months ago, those American Alphabet letters are now arranged to resemble the immediate facts. No need to have my Day-Old anonymous ass to guesstimate or speculate because I plan to be around the Forums a long while.
    A-ha -- clarity.
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