Why aren't there any DH parks (with lifts) on the FR?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why aren't there any DH parks (with lifts) on the FR?

    I've been wondering why the only DH parks are up at the ski areas. Seems like a lift just about anywhere along the hills outside Denver could operate almost year round, instead of waiting till mid June to open. Heritage square chairlift might even access a ton of fun terrain if built correctly.

    I don't mind pedaling uphill and don't even live on the FR, I live in Summit, but I'd drive down to the D for a day of fun DH trails, especially this time of year.

    Has anyone looked into this kind of thing before? (I'm sure that I'm not the first).

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    That's way to hardcore for this state! Pot sales are doing great though....

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    No available Forest Service land to lease? Infrastructure costs? Insurance costs?

    Have you considered putting one in yourself? Do some of the legwork just to see the obstacles - I'm sure there are 1,436 in addition to the few I listed.

    And mt bikers are fundamentally pretty lazy.

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    It's been looked at. All the aforementioned reasons are part of it. Also, the land values close to the front range are simply too high for investors to consider something like this to be viable.

    Now, there are some pretty raging freeride spots on private land in Evergreen/Ned/ID Springs area but even those...mainly because of the insurance and other reasons have remained private.

    I can't help but dream about the Heritage Square possibilities as it moves closer to decommissioning. Having grown up here I'm still coming to terms with that. I'm hoping the gravel pit directly behind it will put the brakes on any residential or major commercial endeavors but we will see. C'mon though the lift is already in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    No available Forest Service land to lease? Infrastructure costs? Insurance costs?

    Have you considered putting one in yourself? Do some of the legwork just to see the obstacles - I'm sure there are 1,436 in addition to the few I listed.

    And mt bikers are fundamentally pretty lazy.
    Yeah, not my area of expertise (that's why I'm asking). If ski areas can do it and deal with liability, then why not anyone else? Shit, all you have to do is move some dirt around. Not like you are making snow and mitigating avalanche hazards.

    Yeah, I know there's shuttle trails on private land around IS and others. I'm looking for lift served, professionally built, DH specific trails, similar to Trestle or Keystone.

    But what if, WHAT IF? You could ride 9 months of the year, right off the Morrison exit? As far as many of these excuses go, all I have to say is "THUNDER VALLEY"

    Lastly, I admit to being mentally lazy, but not fundamentally lazy.

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    Probably because it wouldn't be profitable

  7. #7
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    If PPIR went out of business just after 4 or 5 years and 100s of millions being spent you know not much will work on the front range.............anybody want to smoke a bowl though???

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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    No available Forest Service land to lease? Infrastructure costs? Insurance costs?

    Have you considered putting one in yourself? Do some of the legwork just to see the obstacles - I'm sure there are 1,436 in addition to the few I listed.

    And mt bikers are fundamentally pretty lazy.
    Shouldn't that read " downhill mt bikers are fundamentally lazy"

    I ride up the hills I decend

  9. #9
    GL1
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    Why aren't there any DH parks (with lifts) on the FR?

    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Probably because it wouldn't be profitable
    That's the main reason and whatever land it was on would be worth more as just about anything else. Plus, DH and even all mountain are niche aspects of the sport. Among the entire MTB community the support would be far more for more XC type trails and access.

    But on a positive note, there are a lot of bike parks around now and the size and scope of Valmont is unprecedented and simply amazing...and just up the road. I know it's not proper DH but it's pretty amazing as far as what it offers and there are places you can ride DH rigs year round and that didn't really exist even 10 years ago.

    Valmont is Boulders big consolation prize to the MTBers since the Sierra Clubbers got there first and put the red tape all over any actually close singletrack. But for as cool as Valmont is, if pressed I'm sure that 8 out of 10 MTBers would rather have ripping singletrack options all along the flatirons. Maybe someday. They got close a few years ago.

    Sorry took a tangent but again, I'd see Valmont as a huge bonus and go with that. I don't see a front range proper DH park anytime in the near future. As cool as I think it could be like a lot of us, I'm also kind of just busy with all the efforts to keep what we've got and get more xc trail.

    Oh and there is the talk of developing MT Glennon (Morrison/across from Falcon) into something with some all mountain appeal but even if that happens its still going to take pedaling to get to the top.
    Last edited by GL1; 04-05-2015 at 10:25 PM. Reason: edit
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waafoo View Post
    If PPIR went out of business just after 4 or 5 years and 100s of millions being spent you know not much will work on the front range.............anybody want to smoke a bowl though???
    I'm in, call me and we can get together, heck spent all day saturday doing that and riding my bike around, drank so much coffee then water that it was like stop pee smoke every twenty minutes

    got to the top of the last climb at the end of the day (who needs a chairlift anyway) smoked out and got so paranoid I wasn't gonna be able to ride my bike downhill back to the car was all dizzy the cactus were talking to me well I made it down even got myself a strava top ten placing on a climb that day

    call me up for it, next sat, maybe wed too if I quit my job by then

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post


    Shouldn't that read " downhill mt bikers are fundamentally lazy"

    I ride up the hills I decend
    I ride up the hills I descend too. That doesn't change the fact that I'm fundamentally lazy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GL1 View Post
    That's the main reason and whatever land it was on would be worth more as just about anything else. Plus, DH and even all mountain are niche aspects of the sport. Among the entire MTB community the support would be far more for more XC type trails and access.

    But on a positive note, there are a lot of bike parks around now and the size and scope of Valmont is unprecedented and simply amazing...and just up the road. I know it's not proper DH but it's pretty amazing as far as what it offers and there are places you can ride DH rigs year round and that didn't really exist even 10 years ago.

    Valmont is Boulders big consolation prize to the MTBers since the Sierra Clubbers got there first and put the red tape all over any actually close singletrack. But for as cool as Valmont is, if pressed I'm sure that 8 out of 10 MTBers would rather have ripping singletrack options all along the flatirons. Maybe someday. They got close a few years ago.

    Sorry took a tangent but again, I'd see Valmont as a huge bonus and go with that. I don't see a front range proper DH park anytime in the near future. As cool as I think it could be like a lot of us, I'm also kind of just busy with all the efforts to keep what we've got and get more xc trail.

    Oh and there is the talk of developing MT Glennon (Morrison/across from Falcon) into something with some all mountain appeal but even if that happens its still going to take pedaling to get to the top.
    I've often thought that if gravity folks wanted their own area they should look for a piece of property somewhere close to the FR cities. They could form a non profit and begin fundraising, have memberships and/or charge fees for public access.

    Of course it would have to meet some fairly specific criteria; You'd want enough vertical and the right topography to make it worthwhile. You'd need some sort of shuttle access. (you could look for a double lift that some ski area was replacing, but even if the purchase price was right, you'd still have design/engineering and installation cost as well as inspections and maintenance and all that gets pricey). You'd want it to be fairly low elevation, with sunny aspects so the season would be fairly long. Assuming you found that property you'd have to deal with things like local zoning, planning, permits, insurance, medical, parking, etc.

    Done on a grass roots level, you might be able to attract enough people (revenue) to pay the bills. Having an all volunteer staff would help quite a bit, but maintaining and managing something like that would be a pretty big chore for an all volunteer organization.

    The bottom line as mentioned is the full on gravity crowd - regardless of what is portrayed in the media - is a fairly small percentage of the total MTB user group. Most people still do what is categorized these days as "XC" or "trail" even if they're doing it on "AM" bikes. Many of the ski areas offer some sort of MTB lift experience, but only a few of them cater to the hard core big bike, full face, body armor DH folks because most of their customers aren't looking for that sort of experience and it's not worth the extra expense to construct and maintain those kind of trails. You'd have to have a creative business plan for it all to make fiscal sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I've often thought that if gravity folks wanted their own area they should look for a piece of property somewhere close to the FR cities. They could form a non profit and begin fundraising, have memberships and/or charge fees for public access.

    Of course it would have to meet some fairly specific criteria; You'd want enough vertical and the right topography to make it worthwhile. You'd need some sort of shuttle access. (you could look for a double lift that some ski area was replacing, but even if the purchase price was right, you'd still have design/engineering and installation cost as well as inspections and maintenance and all that gets pricey). You'd want it to be fairly low elevation, with sunny aspects so the season would be fairly long. Assuming you found that property you'd have to deal with things like local zoning, planning, permits, insurance, medical, parking, etc.

    Done on a grass roots level, you might be able to attract enough people (revenue) to pay the bills. Having an all volunteer staff would help quite a bit, but maintaining and managing something like that would be a pretty big chore for an all volunteer organization.

    The bottom line as mentioned is the full on gravity crowd - regardless of what is portrayed in the media - is a fairly small percentage of the total MTB user group. Most people still do what is categorized these days as "XC" or "trail" even if they're doing it on "AM" bikes. Many of the ski areas offer some sort of MTB lift experience, but only a few of them cater to the hard core big bike, full face, body armor DH folks because most of their customers aren't looking for that sort of experience and it's not worth the extra expense to construct and maintain those kind of trails. You'd have to have a creative business plan for it all to make fiscal sense.
    What if it started out not as DH GNAR but fun, purpose built trails that people could rip around on on a 6" AM/Trail bike? Sure, have a few big ass DH only trails eventually, but start with some big berms, bridges, jumps, etc. I definitely think that many people would pay for the ability to go ride that kind of terrain for a day, especially if it was that close to the metro, and open so you could even go after work.

    Funny how the mere mention of a lift cues some people to immediately state "I RIDE UPHILL RAAAAWWWRRR". That's great, so do I, all the time. But it sure is fun to go rip downhill on purpose built trails every once in a while and give the brake hand a workout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    What if it started out not as DH GNAR but fun, purpose built trails that people could rip around on on a 6" AM/Trail bike? Sure, have a few big ass DH only trails eventually, but start with some big berms, bridges, jumps, etc. I definitely think that many people would pay for the ability to go ride that kind of terrain for a day, especially if it was that close to the metro, and open so you could even go after work.

    Funny how the mere mention of a lift cues some people to immediately state "I RIDE UPHILL RAAAAWWWRRR". That's great, so do I, all the time. But it sure is fun to go rip downhill on purpose built trails every once in a while and give the brake hand a workout.
    Other than some trail will require more maintenance than others, I don't think it's the trail layout/design that is the issue, it's finding the right property, having the money to purchase it (land near FR cities ain't cheap and we're talking at minimum 30 acres for multiple trails), manage it and comply with all the rools and wreckulations associated with running a business.

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    You know, Heritage Square is closing this year. There is a nice gondola lift in place for the Alpine Slide. Too bad there could not be a downhill specific trail(s) on that side away from hikers and uphill climbing mountain bikers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    I ride up the hills I decend

    well aren't you a special little cupcake
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

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    Well, it's not the front range but there is a slight possibility of something like this happening in glenwood springs in a few years. The area to the north of the town has an adventure park area with gondolas that provide access up the mountain. THe vert isn't huge (maybe 1000ft) and who knows how well the ground is suited for trails but it does face south and is low enough in elevation to be rideable from March - Oct. So basically twice as much as a regular bike park is open in a year.

    Glenwood Springs Area – Concept Trails Plan | Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association (RFMBA)

    From what I understand from the above link and from a few follow-up emails, the area is planned to have gravity trails and be accessed via vehicle on the 4x4 transfer trail at this point in time but there are conversations with the owner of the adventure park. So there might not end up being any lift-assist/bike park feel to it, just some trails out there to go get on your own.

    In my mind it makes a lot of sense to add in some dh trails since the gondolas are already there and there's nothing else on the mountain competing with the space (alpine slides, etc) but as mentioned above there are many other factors that go into it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    Yeah, not my area of expertise (that's why I'm asking). If ski areas can do it and deal with liability, then why not anyone else?
    Because the ski areas already put all the work in for something else, and with just a little more additional work, they bring in a new revenue stream. They have lodging, restaurants, shops, bathrooms, employees, a legal team, CHAIRLIFTS, access roads, etc. It's a whole different ball of wax starting from scratch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumpcaser View Post
    THe vert isn't huge (maybe 1000ft)
    If Sol Vista can make it happen, that vert is enough.

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    Counterpoint to the "land is too expensive" argument*....land on a hillside that would make a good DH run probably has a much smaller market than the rest of the FR. Its not like someone is going to want to level the mountainside to put in a strip mall or new housing development. A single mansion and access road might be a different story but still, that's a much smaller market than all the flat spaces we have.

    *Note: even if my counterpoint holds true I still think there are way too many obstacles for this to happen unless some forum member wins the lottery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post


    Shouldn't that read " downhill mt bikers are fundamentally lazy"

    I ride up the hills I decend
    I am not sure this is accurate either. For a good DH bike you need some $$. This would require not being lazy to earn that paycheck. Right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwhan View Post
    Because the ski areas already put all the work in for something else, and with just a little more additional work, they bring in a new revenue stream. They have lodging, restaurants, shops, bathrooms, employees, a legal team, CHAIRLIFTS, access roads, etc. It's a whole different ball of wax starting from scratch.
    Exactly.

    Lift-served mountain biking is pretty much something the ski areas do in order to better utilize their capital investments during non-ski months. Ski towns figured out about 30 years ago that they were leaving money on the table by not exploiting the summer vacation months. So then pretty soon there were more golf courses, music/wildflower/beer festivals, and mountain biking being promoted by the ski towns.

    The amount of revenue selling lift tickets to mountain bikers even makes for the areas is questionable once you factor in liability. There have been areas that shut down their lift served mtb access because it turned out to be a loser. I think Big Bear in CA shut down after losing a big law suit.

    Big Bear may be operating again, but point is that lift-served mountain biking doesn't make enough money to cover the land acquistion or leasing, construction of lifts, and liability. It happens at ski areas because they already have to have the first two in order to run their actual business, which is selling lift tickets to skiers.
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    It would be a massive win if we could even get a non-lift served, bike only, downhill direction trail anywhere in JeffCo or BoCo. Something you have to ride to the top of would be ok with me. Longhorn or Canyon Link would be great, as these trails seem to be primarily MTB already. We might not get DH features, but at least you could go fast.

    I like riding to the top, but last summer I put in a lot of DH days, just because front range trails have gotten so damn crowded that it's pretty much impossible to get a clean descent in after 5pm or on the weekends.

    One way trails and alternating hike/bike days would help a ton IMO, it works well at Betasso. Walker one-way, bikes only day would be freaking awesome in my book.

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    cough... Eldora cough...

    Too bad their expansion plans include not a word about XC or DH trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    cough... Eldora cough...
    that would require Eldora to have some clue about managing their operation.

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    forgive me if my riding uphill comment was insensitive, but it seems like their are lots of great trails to ride on the front range, but not specific "downhills"

    I can't hep but wonder how many people you think would use such a park on any given weekend? What is the total demand for this service? that's what is ultimately holding back any development, people that will pay to do it a on a regular basis. No matter if it's tax dollars, or private funds, demand drives growth, you can't expect demand to grow from development.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwhan View Post
    that would require Eldora to have some clue about managing their operation.
    It's not that they don't "have a clue about managing their operation", it's that you think they should have a different philosophy. That a small area like Eldora has survived in the mega resort age when so many other small areas haven't says their doing something right.

    As others have mentioned, spinning lifts, building and maintaining trails, paying staff and other operations expenses makes catering to the fairly small number of people who want to ride lifts with bikes a not particularly lucrative endeavor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    forgive me if my riding uphill comment was insensitive, but it seems like their are lots of great trails to ride on the front range, but not specific "downhills"

    I can't hep but wonder how many people you think would use such a park on any given weekend? What is the total demand for this service? that's what is ultimately holding back any development, people that will pay to do it a on a regular basis. No matter if it's tax dollars, or private funds, demand drives growth, you can't expect demand to grow from development.
    If it was what was initially discussed, a place that's actually as easy to access as one of the JeffCo Open Space Parks like Apex, I think it would get slammed.

    I don't think demand would be the problem with that scenario, I think capacity would be.

    So you buy or lease 30 acres. Or 60. Or 150... how many people could really be packed into that area on a given day? Ski areas have way way more acreage than you could typically expect to be able to afford. Even dinky little Monarch has 800 acres of (skiable) terrain in their lease.

    So you're charging let's say $20 each to ride. Do you get to charge 1000 people to pay that on a given day? Where are 1000 people going to be, standing on each others' shoulders?

    No, to make this something that would have the capacity to be worth what it cost to get going, you'd need big acreage. Which would make it even more costly to get going, especially near the FR.

    I think demand would be very good and strong. Problem is that even with limitless demand, it couldn't make enough money to ever justify the cost of opening it up for the first day.

    Or at least that's what I would expect.
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    What ever happened to Echo Mountain near the top of Squaw Pass? At one time, there was talk of summertime usage.

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    Echo Mountain was purchased and turned into a private ski race training facility.

    I've looked into the possibility of a front range, lift served bike park a little bit. The first challenge I found was where to put it. Land ownership/management is a huge hurdle.
    It can definitely be done, but it's going to take a large investment and a few years before shovels hit dirt.

    As far as lazy downhillers, I'm in that group, but oddly enough, often times my heart rate is higher on descents than when climbing (ya know, by pedaling, not riding in a truck). That's odd, because we all know that all you do is coast on the way down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I don't think demand would be the problem with that scenario, I think capacity would be.

    So you buy or lease 30 acres. Or 60. Or 150... how many people could really be packed into that area on a given day? Ski areas have way way more acreage than you could typically expect to be able to afford. Even dinky little Monarch has 800 acres of (skiable) terrain in their lease.

    So you're charging let's say $20 each to ride. Do you get to charge 1000 people to pay that on a given day? Where are 1000 people going to be, standing on each others' shoulders?
    But the acreage isn't really comparable to what's needed for skiing. A lift accessed bike only area could pack a huge number of trails into a small area (see Valmont, with 36 or so acres, and there's a ton of room there for more trails).

    I'm not speculating on what it would take to be profitable, but I think a well designed trail system could fit on a relatively small parcel, so long as there weren't a FS or other overriding entity to placate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    It's not that they don't "have a clue about managing their operation", it's that you think they should have a different philosophy. That a small area like Eldora has survived in the mega resort age when so many other small areas haven't says their doing something right.

    As others have mentioned, spinning lifts, building and maintaining trails, paying staff and other operations expenses makes catering to the fairly small number of people who want to ride lifts with bikes a not particularly lucrative endeavor.
    Just because they have survived does not mean they're doing things right. I know that you like to take the contrarian view here, or at least like to run counter to what you perceive as a one-sided lynch mob, but really, you're wrong here, and it has nothing to do with whether Eldo has mt biking or not. The place is very poorly run, and has been for years. They generally ignore their customers, and they leave money on the table based on short-sighted decisions, and most people who have paid attention to them and their operations over the years would agree with that. So, no, my comment has very little to do with their philosophy vis a vis mt biking. What my comment does say is that in order for Eldo to even get close to mt biking, if they so chose, they would have to completely change the way they run their business, ie they would actually have to acquire a clue.

    ETA: coincidentally, I saw this article in today's Daily Camera: Ski areas turn themselves into summer resorts, too - Boulder Daily Camera Yet the local resort does none of those things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    forgive me if my riding uphill comment was insensitive, but it seems like their are lots of great trails to ride on the front range, but not specific "downhills"

    I can't hep but wonder how many people you think would use such a park on any given weekend? What is the total demand for this service? that's what is ultimately holding back any development, people that will pay to do it a on a regular basis. No matter if it's tax dollars, or private funds, demand drives growth, you can't expect demand to grow from development.

    Just give us a hand full of one-way, dh only, bike-only days a month on existing trails. I don't care if I have to ride to the top.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Just give us a hand full of one-way, dh only, bike-only days a month on existing trails. I don't care if I have to ride to the top.
    This. ^^^

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    dead-horse11.jpg

    Hmmm...that didn't post right.

    But the reason there is no lifts on the FR for bikes, in my opinion, is because of lawyers. No one, outside of ski resorts who have their asses covered, wants to try and tackle that.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu View Post
    dead-horse11.jpg

    Hmmm...that didn't post right.

    But the reason there is no lifts on the FR for bikes, in my opinion, is because of lawyers. No one, outside of ski resorts who have their asses covered, wants to try and tackle that.
    I think you can set up a business, whether it's a non or for profit to do something like this and have the officers/management protected as far as liability goes as long as you exercise "reasonable care". Insurance wouldn't be cheap of course, but I think as long as you ran a tight ship and didn't have hazards that would be considered negligent by normally accepted standards of DH mountain biking you'd be OK from a lawsuit POV. I think having enough customers at a reasonable price point to cover all the other costs on top of insurance like land acquisition, staffing, maintenance, etc would be a bigger obstacle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Just give us a hand full of one-way, dh only, bike-only days a month on existing trails. I don't care if I have to ride to the top.
    Also agree with this... When will Jeffco finally cater to their biggest population of trail users and get with the times? Directional trails are highly popular across the country, yet we haven't seen one yet?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Just give us a hand full of one-way, dh only, bike-only days a month on existing trails. I don't care if I have to ride to the top.
    How would you ride to the top if all the trails were dh only?lol

    Sounds like you want to put on an event, like the Captain, a dh event on closed trails. Do it. Use the profits to build more trails.

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    Why aren't there any DH parks (with lifts) on the FR?

    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    Also agree with this... When will Jeffco finally cater to their biggest population of trail users and get with the times? Directional trails are highly popular across the country, yet we haven't seen one yet?
    I used to be on the fence about this but I now think this is a good idea with the usage volumes we are seeing. Also, experiencing this at Betasso the last several years has also led to more positive experiences there so I do now think it's a good management strategy in a lot of ways and for certain trails.

    There is talk of this kind of directional loop in the future at Falcon. No timeline though.
    Last edited by GL1; 04-10-2015 at 07:12 AM. Reason: add
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    The business model that I am envisioning for this would be very similar to Silverton mountain in SW CO (who had a bike park but shut it down). Bare bones, one lift, and a few shacks at the bottom to start off for rentals, concessions, and ticket sales. And by "Front Range" I mean "In Close Proximity to Denver". There's tons of options and there's gotta be some old mining claims or something that would work for a decent price or lease. Think about Central city area maybe, something up 285, even down south towards castle rock.

    With a 8 month season, and races and events to draw interest, it might not happen over night, but I think you could build a strong following of riders who could support long term operation.

    You could even start without a lift, just land to build quality, purpose built trails with features. Maybe with a shuttle to start out. Buy a bus and tow a trailer for the bikes. Charge less for uphill riders. Really, just a place where it's allowed to build and ride NShore style trails instead of old mining trail single track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    The business model that I am envisioning for this would be very similar to Silverton mountain in SW CO (who had a bike park but shut it down). Bare bones, one lift, and a few shacks at the bottom to start off for rentals, concessions, and ticket sales. And by "Front Range" I mean "In Close Proximity to Denver". There's tons of options and there's gotta be some old mining claims or something that would work for a decent price or lease. Think about Central city area maybe, something up 285, even down south towards castle rock.

    With a 8 month season, and races and events to draw interest, it might not happen over night, but I think you could build a strong following of riders who could support long term operation.



    You could even start without a lift, just land to build quality, purpose built trails with features. Maybe with a shuttle to start out. Buy a bus and tow a trailer for the bikes. Charge less for uphill riders. Really, just a place where it's allowed to build and ride NShore style trails instead of old mining trail single track.
    Black Rock outside of Salem, Oregon is a great example of a place with no lifts and except for fundraising days no shuttles, but some of the best trails around. Push or pedal up, super fun green trails to super fun and big featured black trails with lots of options in between, not a huge vertical but well worth the effort...
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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    The business model that I am envisioning for this would be very similar to Silverton mountain in SW CO (who had a bike park but shut it down). Bare bones, one lift, and a few shacks at the bottom to start off for rentals, concessions, and ticket sales. And by "Front Range" I mean "In Close Proximity to Denver". There's tons of options and there's gotta be some old mining claims or something that would work for a decent price or lease. Think about Central city area maybe, something up 285, even down south towards castle rock.

    With a 8 month season, and races and events to draw interest, it might not happen over night, but I think you could build a strong following of riders who could support long term operation.

    You could even start without a lift, just land to build quality, purpose built trails with features. Maybe with a shuttle to start out. Buy a bus and tow a trailer for the bikes. Charge less for uphill riders. Really, just a place where it's allowed to build and ride NShore style trails instead of old mining trail single track.
    Seriously - you should make this happen. Get on it.

    You'd probably rather ride your bike, wouldn't you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Seriously - you should make this happen. Get on it.

    You'd probably rather ride your bike, wouldn't you?
    I'm just a man with a dream

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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    Black Rock outside of Salem, Oregon is a great example of a place with no lifts and except for fundraising days no shuttles, but some of the best trails around. Push or pedal up, super fun green trails to super fun and big featured black trails with lots of options in between, not a huge vertical but well worth the effort...
    Done on public land with the blessing of State Forestry officials. Sounds kinda similar to... say... Buffalo Creek. Maybe someone should talk with the FS about putting in a freeride trail or two down there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    I'm just a man with a dream
    This is probably one of the biggest barriers - the work involved in this (for very little reward, I might add) is basically too much given that we already have a bunch of kicka$$ trails around to distract us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    This is probably one of the biggest barriers - the work involved in this (for very little reward, I might add) is basically too much given that we already have a bunch of kicka$$ trails around to distract us.
    How many trails within 1 hr of downtown were specifically built for downhill mountainbiking? With berms, jumps, bridges, and features specifically designed for your enjoyment? Very few, most are old mining trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    How many trails within 1 hr of downtown were specifically built for downhill mountainbiking? With berms, jumps, bridges, and features specifically designed for your enjoyment? Very few, most are old mining trails.
    If I told you that, I'd have to kill you.


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    I've ridden a bunch of trail centers around the West coast, where like billybobzia said, it is very common to have dedicated climbing/multi-use/birectional routes and directional trails for descending only. Some singletrack routes are multi-use, birectional (generally the easy trails).

    It works great. Trail conflict is pretty much zero. I've never seen a hiker on one of those dedicated descending-only mountain bike trails, never heard of any issues, and if you want to haul ass down the hill on a mountain bike, you can do that without worrying about plowing hikers around a blind corner.

    Edit: Mount Galbraith in Bellingham, WA is about the best I've seen. If anybody is looking for an example, go look at those trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtg7aa View Post
    I've ridden a bunch of trail centers around the West coast, where like billybobzia said, it is very common to have dedicated climbing/multi-use/birectional routes and directional trails for descending only. Some singletrack routes are multi-use, birectional (generally the easy trails).

    It works great. Trail conflict is pretty much zero. I've never seen a hiker on one of those dedicated descending-only mountain bike trails, never heard of any issues, and if you want to haul ass down the hill on a mountain bike, you can do that without worrying about plowing hikers around a blind corner.

    Edit: Mount Galbraith in Bellingham, WA is about the best I've seen. If anybody is looking for an example, go look at those trails.
    Galbraith is great, one of the more extensive networks of trails I have seen in a town that caters to all types of riders...
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Just give us a hand full of one-way, dh only, bike-only days a month on existing trails. I don't care if I have to ride to the top.
    FWIW, this is being discussed. No promises, but there is a very active group of folks meeting with JCOS every couple of weeks right now to "study" directional/ alternate use models. The ultimate solution, however, requires more trail, and, unfortunately, that takes a LOT of time to make happen. Still, it's good to know that the idea is being considered and researched.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3sigma View Post
    What ever happened to Echo Mountain near the top of Squaw Pass? At one time, there was talk of summertime usage.
    This has always seemed like the most likely possibility to me. I know it was bought by some wealthy woman for private youth ski training, but MAYBE those owners would be interested in some extra income in the summer months...

    Quote Originally Posted by ripper roo View Post
    I'm in, call me and we can get together, heck spent all day saturday doing that and riding my bike around, drank so much coffee then water that it was like stop pee smoke every twenty minutes

    got to the top of the last climb at the end of the day (who needs a chairlift anyway) smoked out and got so paranoid I wasn't gonna be able to ride my bike downhill back to the car was all dizzy the cactus were talking to me
    LULZ

    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    Sounds like you want to put on an event.... Use the profits to build more trails.
    Stay tuned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    If I told you that, I'd have to kill you.

    I should say "sanctioned" or legal trails.

    Galbraith is definitely a good model.

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    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    How many trails within 1 hr of downtown were specifically built for downhill mountainbiking? With berms, jumps, bridges, and features specifically designed for your enjoyment? Very few, most are old mining trails.
    What you're talking about is pretty much a single use trail and the open space departments, the Forest Service and the state parks are pretty much committed to the multiple use philosophy. From their POV this make a lot of sense sense they have the resources/agenda/mandate for only so many trails and trails - especially trails that are almost certainly going to require more work to build and maintain for a niche of one user group wouldn't be much bang for the buck.

    You or I might not agree with the end result of that, but I at least, can understand the logic of that position. Much better to do something either on private land or under special use permit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    You or I might not agree with the end result of that, but I at least, can understand the logic of that position. Much better to do something either on private land or under special use permit.
    Agreed, I can absolutely understand why JeffCO would not look at alternative ideas to reduce conflict.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    What you're talking about is pretty much a single use trail and the open space departments, the Forest Service and the state parks are pretty much committed to the multiple use philosophy. From their POV this make a lot of sense sense they have the resources/agenda/mandate for only so many trails and trails - especially trails that are almost certainly going to require more work to build and maintain for a niche of one user group wouldn't be much bang for the buck.

    You or I might not agree with the end result of that, but I at least, can understand the logic of that position. Much better to do something either on private land or under special use permit.
    yes.. and no?

    See examples..

    Teton Pass - DH only trails with big jumps on Forest Service land.. so its been done.

    Fruita - BLM .. newest trails are directional

    Grand Junction - Free Lunch, Pucker up.. one way only (Blm too? not sure)

    These are just a couple of quick examples, I am sure there are many, many more..

    There are hiker only trails (Deer Creek comes to mind), why not biker only?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    What you're talking about is pretty much a single use trail and the open space departments, the Forest Service and the state parks are pretty much committed to the multiple use philosophy. From their POV this make a lot of sense sense they have the resources/agenda/mandate for only so many trails and trails - especially trails that are almost certainly going to require more work to build and maintain for a niche of one user group wouldn't be much bang for the buck.

    You or I might not agree with the end result of that, but I at least, can understand the logic of that position. Much better to do something either on private land or under special use permit.
    Almost every ski area in the state is located on leased Forest Service land. I'm not talking about turning current trails into bike only trails, I'm talking about creating new trails, that will be for bikes. Sure, there will have to be some convincing of land managers, and private land would be preferable, but this is not impossible.

    The model is already in place. Ski areas already offer DH trails for bikes. I'm just taking the skiing out of the equation, and moving it closer to a major metropolitan area, extending the season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    Agreed, I can absolutely understand why JeffCO would not look at alternative ideas to reduce conflict.
    And, I hate to say it, but our "advocacy" groups have simply gone along with the land managers' wishes and provided them with free labor for building trail systems that really aren't in line with our own best interests. Now, we are YEARS or DECADES behind other areas that are more progressive and forward thinking.

    IMO, the multi-use philosophy is a disaster, at least on heavily used trails, and one of the worst possible things for our sport because it creates conflict and bad will towards mountain bikers. No matter how nice and courteous everyone is... and for the most part this is the case, at least I've never had an on-trail conflict... mixing slow moving hikers and fast-moving mt bikes isn't pleasant for either user group and leads to the design of low-speed "flow trails" that suck for every user group there is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtg7aa View Post
    I've ridden a bunch of trail centers around the West coast, where like billybobzia said, it is very common to have dedicated climbing/multi-use/birectional routes and directional trails for descending only. Some singletrack routes are multi-use, birectional (generally the easy trails).

    It works great. Trail conflict is pretty much zero. I've never seen a hiker on one of those dedicated descending-only mountain bike trails, never heard of any issues, and if you want to haul ass down the hill on a mountain bike, you can do that without worrying about plowing hikers around a blind corner.

    Edit: Mount Galbraith in Bellingham, WA is about the best I've seen. If anybody is looking for an example, go look at those trails.
    Exactly.

    Why we are stuck with the policies we have now is beyond comprehension and a huge failure for mt biking and our own advocacy groups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    I'd hit it...




    ...again & again & again.
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    18 road is directional, most of BC is directional, Washington and Oregon have directional trails, even cross-country trails in the midwest are often one-direction. I rode up Joe's Ridge back in the day once, and I was pretty stoked to clean the steep part, but with the traffic it sees today, I'm glad it's now one way. It's a superior solution.

    The reality is that 2-way trails are dangerous and an awful experience for everyone involved. 2-way trails only work when there is low traffic, low grades, or wide trails, none of the things we have on the front range.

    I think Betasso is a great example of one-way trails working in the front range. The direction switching might be a little confusing, but riders still get to climb and descend everything. The "worst" part of Betasso is almost getting run over when climbing the 2-way Benjamin connector, and I think we can all agree that it would be pretty awesome to be able to open it up and go full-speed down Canyon Link once and while.

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    ^Plenty. Look at the lift lines at Winter Park and realize most of them would rather not make the extra hour drive each way. Then think of how many people aren't there but would go if it was closer. Then think how many people at JeffCo trail heads on a weekend would rather ride at a spot nearby that doesn't have any hikers or opposite direction traffic, even if they have to pay. I think there's plenty demand for a lift accessed bike park on the Front Range that features trails suitable to the masses in addition to jump and steep/technical trails.

    Plenty of people know this (the same situation exists in SoCal) but the trick is finding the right location at the right $$$.
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    Anyone one know the status of Lefthand OHV? It's been closed with the flood, seems like it could potentially be an ideal place to put in a DH only MTB trail. Re-construction already needed, could use existing moto and 4x4 tracks for riding up, area is not popular with hikers or horses, 1k of vert, probably less hate from locals for MTB than motos and target shooters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    Almost every ski area in the state is located on leased Forest Service land. I'm not talking about turning current trails into bike only trails, I'm talking about creating new trails, that will be for bikes. Sure, there will have to be some convincing of land managers, and private land would be preferable, but this is not impossible.

    The model is already in place. Ski areas already offer DH trails for bikes. I'm just taking the skiing out of the equation, and moving it closer to a major metropolitan area, extending the season.
    Didn't say it was impossible, but there are a lot of obstacles to Shuttle/lift trails. Ski areas are a different creature than "dispersed" recreation (trails the vast majority of people ride). Ski areas are operated under special use permits which involves detailed operating plans, rules, fees, and scrutiny.

    Directional trails would be an easier sell. Creating new trails on Federal land will require NEPA work - not fast or cheap, and you may or may not like the end result, but it's certainly possible. The new Buff Creek trails were many years in the making. District Rangers don't just say, "yeah sure, that sounds great, let's start tomorrow". There's a lot of process involved (a good thing too IMO even though I wish it would move along faster)

    OPen space departments vary from place to place. On the FR you're pretty much stuck with Jeffco, City of Boulder, or County of Boulder. Well, you know how that goes. It sounds like Jeffco is getting friendlier to bikes, but directional trail tailored specifically for DH or just gnar gnar "AM" (still really don't know what "AM" means) would be a very large step from where they are now.

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    I wonder how much land they actually have. Seems like maybe you could only fit a couple of trails in there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    18 road is directional, most of BC is directional, .
    Only one trail at BC is directional and as best I know only one trail is designated directional at 18 rd.

    Certainly there are some directional trails out there and in some places it makes a lot of sense, but they are the exception, and far from the rule.

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    PBR, Joe's Ridge, Mo'Jo', Zippity Do Da, Kessel = DH only; Prime Cut = up only
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    Many of the trails at 18 rd are directional now. Zippity, Joe's, PBR, and Kessel Run are all DH only.

    I meant British Columbia, not Buffalo Creek. Pretty much all the North Shore trails are directional, much of Squamish is directional, many of the trails on the island are directional. The legal and local trail building in BC is simply astounding. Riding at say Cumberland, the volunteer trail work is just exceptional, a lot more time and effort put into building than here. The trails are also well thought out, usually there are one or two common, lower-grade climb trails, with many descend trails branching off, and the trails are generally consumed in much shorter increments with shorter mileage and less vert. Now that I am thinking about it, BC trails are kinda laid out similar to 18 rd, but with more technical down options (also similar to the trails on the hill at Pueblo).

    IMO, this leads to much better trail experience, because climbers and descenders are separated, hikers know which direction users will come from, and a bunch of shorter trail options makes it easier to include different ability levels. Right now in the front range, we can't seem to have any ability to put in option lines, which gives us 2 sucky options: either sanitize the trail, or get widening and braiding due to people riding around obstacles (you know which option land managers are going to pick).

    The "BC/18 rd" ethos is also easier for trail builders, because they can bite off smaller chunks at a time, and create rideable sections more quickly. CO's "let's build a big ol' 2-way loop" mentality takes a lot longer to produce rideable trail, ends up with a trail that's either too difficult or too easy for almost everyone who wants to ride it, and has the inherit danger and conflict of multi-direction, multi-use trails.

    I would love to see our local trail orgs push "BC/18 Rd" style trail networks as a solution to multi-user conflicts and erosion caused by using one trail for many ability levels. You can bet that if we ever got a chance to work on trails like this, there would be a lot of builders coming out.

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    Well at Apex, there are many ways to get to the top, Chimney, Apex->Apex, Apex-> Enchanted Forest, Argos->Sluicebox. There are enough trails to make one DH only, one uphill only, and still have 2-way trails leftover.

    Similarly, at White Ranch you could have Longhorn and Mustang be one-way, and everything else remain 2-way.

    Walker is a loop, so you could do Monday: No bikes, Tuesday: Clockwise, Wednesday: No Bikes, Thursday: Counter-Clockwise, Fri-Sat-Sun: 2-way.

    I think the no-bike days at Betasso have been hugely successful for mountain bikers by lowering the number of hikers on bike days (at least during the week, I've never ridden Betasso on a weekend), and it's something we should push for at other trails .

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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Well at Apex, there are many ways to get to the top, Chimney, Apex->Apex, Apex-> Enchanted Forest, Argos->Sluicebox. There are enough trails to make one DH only, one uphill only, and still have 2-way trails leftover.

    Similarly, at White Ranch you could have Longhorn and Mustang be one-way, and everything else remain 2-way.
    Both sections of Longhorn? Also - is this idea bike-only directional? Or everyone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    IMO, the multi-use philosophy is a disaster, at least on heavily used trails, and one of the worst possible things for our sport because it creates conflict and bad will towards mountain bikers. No matter how nice and courteous everyone is... and for the most part this is the case, at least I've never had an on-trail conflict... mixing slow moving hikers and fast-moving mt bikes isn't pleasant for either user group and leads to the design of low-speed "flow trails" that suck for every user group there is.
    Nail on the head, Dave.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    And, I hate to say it, but our "advocacy" groups have simply gone along with the land managers' wishes and provided them with free labor for building trail systems that really aren't in line with our own best interests. Now, we are YEARS or DECADES behind other areas that are more progressive and forward thinking.

    IMO, the multi-use philosophy is a disaster, at least on heavily used trails, and one of the worst possible things for our sport because it creates conflict and bad will towards mountain bikers. No matter how nice and courteous everyone is... and for the most part this is the case, at least I've never had an on-trail conflict... mixing slow moving hikers and fast-moving mt bikes isn't pleasant for either user group and leads to the design of low-speed "flow trails" that suck for every user group there is.
    Agreed. I got a bell on my mtn bike this year hoping to ease the interactions, yet I still scare the crap out of hikers.. I don't try to, I have the loudest hub possible and that doesn't work either
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    Nail on the head, Dave.
    So you would support a bike tax like the OHV tax?

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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    So you would support a bike tax like the OHV tax?
    Sure, I would pay (money and/or shovel time) to have a run down a hill close to home without worrying about being clotheslined by a leash, freaking out hikers, clueless earbud folk, or (my fav) coming upon uber-agro uphill dewsh that puts his elbows out when there is plenty of room to pass. It doesn't matter if I have to pedal up.

    But does it have to be a tax, UT?
    Hikers have hiker only trails (I enjoy Mt Galbraith), and hiker only days. We are only asking that JeffCO considers directional or single-use trails to improve everyone's experience. C Cone has single use on weekends, did that require a tax? Mt Glennon has plans for something similar (fingers crossed).
    I love your posts UT, but sometimes I think you are posting from left field.
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    ... IMO, the multi-use philosophy is a disaster, at least on heavily used trails, and one of the worst possible things for our sport because it creates conflict and bad will towards mountain bikers. No matter how nice and courteous everyone is... and for the most part this is the case, at least I've never had an on-trail conflict... mixing slow moving hikers and fast-moving mt bikes isn't pleasant for either user group and leads to the design of low-speed "flow trails" that suck for every user group there is.
    Absolutely correct. I totally agree that multi-use becomes more and more difficult as trail user density increases.

    But it's not really a philosophy, it's just a reality.

    Super hard to build from scratch a one-user-group trail on public land. It's seen as favoritism even if it's totally justified. So pretty much every public trail starts out as a multi-use trail. It's only when fist fights start breaking out that land managers see motivation to take on the kerfuffle that re-categorizing for single use will create. Only slightly easier to re-categorize a trail for single use than to create one from scratch.

    The basic problem is not that all the land managers are for multi-use. It's that you folks have a metric sh!t ton of people there who all want to use trails.

    If the convenient from town trail-miles available doubled over night, you'd still have a high level of congestion. If you built 5 bike-only trails overnight, they'd be slammed immediately. If they were directional there would probably be few conflicts between just bikers. But will that happen? Be lucky to get one or two.

    But I think you are absolutely right, you should lobby for re-categorizing some single use trails. You're definitely at the trail user congestion level where multi-use breaks down.
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    anyone who rides Betasso can see that directional trails alleviate a lot of conflict. That area gets a ton of use, yet is infinitely more pleasant to ride than similarly used trails elsewhere.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    <snip>
    If the convenient from town trail-miles available doubled over night, you'd still have a high level of congestion.
    Funny thing is... only from 5-8pm on weekdays and 10-4 on weekends.

    Much like traffic - it's only a problem some of the time. But oh, what a problem.

    My lunch rides are awesomtastic. Hardly any other peepuls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    or (my fav) coming upon uber-agro uphill dewsh that puts his elbows out when there is plenty of room to pass.
    Ha! I do that. I find it impossible to ride up hill with my elbows in...

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggs View Post
    Ha! I do that. I find it impossible to ride up hill with my elbows in...
    It must be your bar width. If you go wide enough, your elbows can't stick out further than your bars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Just give us a hand full of one-way, dh only, bike-only days a month on existing trails. I don't care if I have to ride to the top.
    Just a thought, bikers are not all at the same level, and just like how skiing/boarding great terrain can get soured by the clumps of bad and ill-mannered novices getting in the way, a bike-only day on the trail might end in sadness... or saderness than we would hope.
    Last edited by SquareWarren; 04-13-2015 at 07:26 PM. Reason: smarter, more articulate people already said my point

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by lubes17319 View Post
    PBR, Joe's Ridge, Mo'Jo', Zippity Do Da, Kessel = DH only; Prime Cut = up only
    Really? I was there last spring and didn't notice any directional signage except the new trail (PBR?) but I pretty much went up the frontside and climbed up to the new scarrllac(sp?) trail. NOt saying this isn't the case, but I didn't notice much difference in all the other times I've been there, but then again, I had a pretty specific ride in mind.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Really? I was there last spring and didn't notice any directional signage except the new trail (PBR?) but I pretty much went up the frontside and climbed up to the new scarrllac(sp?) trail. NOt saying this isn't the case, but I didn't notice much difference in all the other times I've been there, but then again, I had a pretty specific ride in mind.
    News: 18 Road Trails in Fruita, Colorado Go Directional | Singletracks Mountain Bike News

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggs View Post
    Ha! I do that. I find it impossible to ride up hill with my elbows in...
    is that why its so hard to smile?
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

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    lets see you either build a dh only bike park with lift or purchase one, my guess, day tickets would be around 120.00 and a season pass might run 1400.00 a year that would barely let the owners break even, I bet it wouldn't even cover operating and building/purchase costs

    sounds like a loser of an idea

    as far a jefco or some other goverment entity designing and building user specific trails, ain't gonna happen since most gov't employees are lazy as they come, they are looking out for themselves too busy justifying a job title and pay with as little real work as possible building more trails and seperating users would mean someone would have to do their job

    then you got all the liberal sierra club people who have the most freetime on their hands and can cry the loudest, they always get their way cause they don't have to work, and land managers bow down to them all the time

    good luck

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    Agreed. I got a bell on my mtn bike this year hoping to ease the interactions, yet I still scare the crap out of hikers.. I don't try to, I have the loudest hub possible and that doesn't work either
    Bells are a necessity imo, hikers react FAR more favorably to bells vs screaming "Strava" or whatever

    But even with bells and totally considerate riders, when a hiker has to move over for the 20th time that day I can see it getting pretty old.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    Bells are a necessity imo, hikers react FAR more favorably to bells vs screaming "Strava" or whatever

    But even with bells and totally considerate riders, when a hiker has to move over for the 20th time that day I can see it getting pretty old.
    To be honest, I don't worry any more about it. I'm as courteous as I can be and never have any bad encounters with hikers. Sometimes one or two will be grumpy, but I don't worry about them.

    Another advantage of riding at 10:30 in the morning during the week... I only have to encounter a handful of anyone.

    I think I'll try LoTB tomorrow and see what the daytime crowds are like there.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripper roo View Post
    lets see you either build a dh only bike park with lift or purchase one, my guess, day tickets would be around 120.00 and a season pass might run 1400.00 a year that would barely let the owners break even, I bet it wouldn't even cover operating and building/purchase costs

    sounds like a loser of an idea
    You're being much too conservative. I estimate $1,200 a day, or $140,000 for a season pass, and even then they'll need a 100 jillion dollar loan to put tp in the restroom.

    You're not a big enough loser to think this big.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser View Post
    You're being much too conservative. I estimate $1,200 a day, or $140,000 for a season pass, and even then they'll need a 100 jillion dollar loan to put tp in the restroom.

    You're not a big enough loser to think this big.
    Rip is being a troll but I do see making a fee based lift served bike only trail system work financially as being not the least of the obstacles. Maybe the question to ask those who want that kind of experience is "how much are you willing to pay?" Then you could at least start out with a revenue figure then determine what's feasible.

  88. #88
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    Well there you go. Like I said, I knew about the newer trail (PBR) being directional and I'm not sure if I've ridden MoJo (last spring was my first time at 18rd in a few years) but didn't know about Kessel. According to the link, the others are more DH by default due to the grade than by designation.

    Anyway, while I think in some areas directional trails are a good idea, especially if the trails are designed and managed from the beginning as MTB trails, changing trails that have been multi use, multi directional from their beginning might be a tougher sell to the land manager and to the people who have been using the trail for a long time.

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    Love the financial analysis

    So if I heard that news story right, only the Alpine Slide and shops are "going out of business". Heritage Square will still remain open?

    If so, how much would they charge a non-profit group (of mountain bikers) to use their lift and land? Some money is better than no money, right?
    Biker? I don't even know her.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by SylentK View Post
    Love the financial analysis

    So if I heard that news story right, only the Alpine Slide and shops are "going out of business". Heritage Square will still remain open?

    If so, how much would they charge a non-profit group (of mountain bikers) to use their lift and land? Some money is better than no money, right?
    No liability is better than some liability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Anyway, while I think in some areas directional trails are a good idea, especially if the trails are designed and managed from the beginning as MTB trails, changing trails that have been multi use, multi directional from their beginning might be a tougher sell to the land manager and to the people who have been using the trail for a long time.
    Well, in many places going directional doesn't have to be as tough a sell, because many trails could go to an alternating system like Betasso. IOW, directional doesn't have to mean the same direction all the time. For trails that ride well both ways, alternating works well.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Rip is being a troll but I do see making a fee based lift served bike only trail system work financially as being not the least of the obstacles. Maybe the question to ask those who want that kind of experience is "how much are you willing to pay?" Then you could at least start out with a revenue figure then determine what's feasible.
    Getting an answer to that question (as a part of a real market study) would be the first step in pulling together a real financial analysis of the private lift served bike park idea. I think that it would be economically feasible, but I bet it would be a low ROI type of investment. Anyone know a super rich mountain biker that would build/run it as a near break even hobby? The only super rich guys I know aren't interested in mountain biking or hobby projects, but every time I drive up Hwy 6 west of Golden I think that bike park on the north side of the road would be killer.
    "Less yappin' more braapin" - IFHT

  93. #93
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    Downhill is so 2012.
    The older I get, the faster I was.





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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Trucker View Post
    Downhill is so 2012.
    This.

    DH is a losing proposition.

    Now if someone opened an ENDURO Park...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    This.

    DH is a losing proposition.

    Now if someone opened an ENDURO Park...
    ...so says a guy who's never ridden at Trestle.

    When are you going to step outside that comfort zone and come play at WP? We'll keep it to the greens and blues till you get...comfortable.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    ...so says a guy who's never ridden at Trestle.

    When are you going to step outside that comfort zone and come play at WP? We'll keep it to the greens and blues till you get...comfortable.
    Bah. DH is dead.

    I'm gonna go back and Enduro the San Juans.

  97. #97
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    DH is a tough sell because of such limited use at the ski resorts and/or the hassle of shuttling.

    A front range DH park would be awesome, but who knows if it could make money. I doubt there's enough volume of riders to justify a ski lift.

    Dirt bikes make a lot of sense. They cost about the same as a DH bike, but are obviously WAY more time, effort and money to keep running.

    But you can use them year round and there is no down time shuttling back to the top. Up is more fun than down. Flat ground is awesome. They are also an intense workout.

    Electric dirt bikes that you can use in your back yard are coming. They will kill off the DH bike and "resorts" won't have to have 1,000ft+ of vertical drop and a ski lift to be viable. They can be built on cheap land at low elevation that can be used year round. Liability is the only issue. Maybe captain bacon will be right and one day Limon will be a riding destination

    Give me a 100lb, 25hp, torque monster electric dirt bike and a few acres of land and who needs a ski resort? Endless fun and no noise or visible pollution to piss off the neighbors.

    That's my 2c anyway
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  98. #98
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    While we are dreaming, let's get an indoor mtb park (e.g. Rays Ray'sMTB - HOME ) at the base of our lift-served dh.

    All season, demo and setup your bike inside and then shred the gnar outside. Practice your jumps into a foam pit and then into a nice pile of boulders outside.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by cartographer View Post
    While we are dreaming, let's get an indoor mtb park (e.g. Rays Ray'sMTB - HOME ) at the base of our lift-served dh.

    All season, demo and setup your bike inside and then shred the gnar outside. Practice your jumps into a foam pit and then into a nice pile of boulders outside.
    Would be nice but the weather is too good here. And, the Boulder Velodrome was an interesting experiment but failed and if that can't make it in Boulder then...? Plus you'd be competing with valmont. Would be cool though.
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  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by GL1 View Post
    Would be nice but the weather is too good here. And, the Boulder Velodrome was an interesting experiment but failed and if that can't make it in Boulder then...? Plus you'd be competing with valmont. Would be cool though.
    This indoor things was tried a number of years ago down by Denver... anyone remember what the name of that joint was? I don't think it lasted very long...

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    This indoor things was tried a number of years ago down by Denver... anyone remember what the name of that joint was? I don't think it lasted very long...
    Woodward?

  102. #102
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    Woodward (formerly EXPN) was at CO Mills for a quite a few years. Nothing like Rays, but it was the best indoor park in this area. There's a new indoor skatepark south of Denver, but it's tiny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GL1 View Post
    Would be nice but the weather is too good here. And, the Boulder Velodrome was an interesting experiment but failed and if that can't make it in Boulder then...? Plus you'd be competing with valmont. Would be cool though.
    Rays MKE clears out when it gets nice out, unless it is raining. I think an indoor place would have trouble with all the sunshine and excellent weather you have over there.

  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser View Post
    Woodward (formerly EXPN) was at CO Mills for a quite a few years. Nothing like Rays, but it was the best indoor park in this area. There's a new indoor skatepark south of Denver, but it's tiny.
    I thought he was talking about Woodward at Copper Mtn. They have a big indoor facility there that's devoted to "action sports" but I didn't think they did anything with bicycles.

  105. #105
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    They have MTB programs and you can ride in "The Barn".

    Woodward Copper - Mountain Bike

  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by liqwid View Post
    They have MTB programs and you can ride in "The Barn".

    Woodward Copper - Mountain Bike
    Cool. Didn't know that. I knew they did skateboard stuff inside and summer huck and jib training on the jumps into foam pits, but not bike stuff.

    I assume they don't spend a lot of time road riding up Vail Pass.

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    It looks like someone is trying to open a year round bike park near Asheville, NC. Its going to start with shuttle service, with plans to add a lift in the future. It will be interesting to see if it is profitable. If it works in Asheville, why not on the Front Range?

    First Year-Round, Dedicated DH Bike Park in North America Slated to Open in Western North Carolina | Singletracks Mountain Bike News
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  108. #108
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    Not saying it's a reason for it not to work, but...

    Population of Asheville, NC: 87k

    Population of Denver, CO: 650k (and third fastest growing city in the country).
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead View Post
    Not saying it's a reason for it not to work, but...

    Population of Asheville, NC: 87k

    Population of Denver, CO: 650k (and third fastest growing city in the country).
    I have no idea what land costs in Asheville, maybe it is so cheap that they don't need a large number of riders to make money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead View Post
    Not saying it's a reason for it not to work, but...

    Population of Asheville, NC: 87k

    Population of Denver, CO: 650k (and third fastest growing city in the country).
    Here's a link to a story about what is going down in NC:
    BAILEY MOUNTAIN | YEAR-ROUND BIKE PARK BEING BUILT IN NORTH CAROLINA | Teton Gravity Research

    Great minds think alike?

    Denver city is very small and the population is 650k. Denver, Aurora, Lakewood is almost 3 Million, add the rest of the front range and you are getting closer to 5 million.

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    I'd come down from Ft Collins if it was in the Denver area. Definitely closer than the big dh parks.

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    Last edited by Tin_Cup; 04-24-2015 at 07:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin_Cup View Post
    anyone with COMBA connections have any rough numbers on mountain bikers in the FR? I'm talking the ~4-5M folks from Thornton to Highlands Ranch... If there were trails underneath these lifts at the park 'formerly' known as Heritage Square, I'd bet a tab at Cannonball Creek you could make a profitable enduro park on them there hills.

    anyone know the ownership status of the land at heritage? public lease? private?

    all the infrastructure is there, shit, there's even a bar at the base of the lift for the alpine slide. and...little known fact... the alpine slide tracks are rideable, so you wouldnt even need to remove them.
    Try this.
    http://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Tra...lineReport.pdf

  114. #114
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    I believe the property at Heritage Square is owned by the gravel plant.



    ****

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    I have always thought the hogback feature to the north of Dakota Ridge on the other side of I-70 (Tin Cup Hogback Park) would make a great little DH trail. Even would be a great shuttle ride as it could end at bar and would be just a short drive up the hill to be dropped off for another run. Totally separated from other riders/trails. And if you wanted to do some climbing, then you just go across the street to Apex. Heck there is even refreshments at the bottom of the trail at Wrigleys



    ****

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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    I believe the property at Heritage Square is owned by the gravel plant.



    ****
    Base
    Property appraisal system
    HSMM LLC subsidiary of Martin Marietta

    Main Slide
    Property appraisal system
    HSMM LLC subsidiary of Martin Marietta

    Very Top?
    Property appraisal system
    Martin Marietta

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  118. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin_Cup View Post
    and...little known fact... the alpine slide tracks are rideable, so you wouldnt even need to remove them.
    pics or it didn't happen.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

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    Last edited by Tin_Cup; 04-24-2015 at 07:33 AM.

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    Last edited by Tin_Cup; 04-24-2015 at 07:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead View Post
    pics or it didn't happen.
    Need to shut my mouth
    Last edited by Tin_Cup; 04-24-2015 at 07:32 AM.

  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin_Cup View Post
    It must've been 20 yrs ago now, before everyone had a camera phone and gopro, but I can say it was fast, at night, and the little wire "slow down" signs hanging across the tracks are hard to see right up until they almost take your head off.
    Can't rep you again, so I will just give you a round of applause.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin_Cup View Post
    I trust jeffco assessor over wikipedia, but WP says lafarge. friggin wikipedia:

    Heritage Square (Golden, Colorado) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I think LaFarge and MM had an asset swap in 2011 in which the Heritage Square property became Martin Marietta's.
    Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. to Acquire Denver Operations in Asset Exchange with Lafarge North America Inc. (NYSE:MLM)

    That would explain the Dec 2011 sale date in the parcel info.

  124. #124
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to UncleTrail again.
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    Sounds like the kinda guys who might have the liability thing covered. Gravity biking (cough enduro cough) is probably nothing to their underwriter.

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    awesome you guys finding all this info.. They could make shit-tons off this place, and even put a Valmont style park at the base. The runs are a bit short ,but they could be link to apex...

  127. #127
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    well the heritage concept is officially dead, this from a source close to the negotiations. no closeby lift-served terrain in the near future for FRer's. bummer.

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    it's almost "as though" no one wants to make MONEY from mountain bikers in Colorado... idiots..

  129. #129
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesm925 View Post
    it's almost "as though" no one wants to make MONEY from mountain bikers in Colorado... idiots..
    Well, maybe you should show all those idiots just what an opportunity they are missing. Jump on it man, don't waste any time!

  130. #130
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Well, maybe you should show all those idiots just what an opportunity they are missing. Jump on it man, don't waste any time!


    You know how to make a small fortune in mountain biking, right?

  131. #131
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    start with a large one?

  132. #132
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwhan View Post
    start with a large one?
    FTMFW.

  133. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtg7aa View Post
    Echo Mountain was purchased and turned into a private ski race training facility.
    I had seen at some point these guys advertising summer mountain biking in very general terms on their website: Echo Mountain Resort | Denver's Closest Year Round Resort I checked it out today to respond to this post, and see that they are apparently re-opening the terrain park as Echo Mountain again next year in some form! I can't find any other news on it, but certainly this is good news for skiers and boarders who like to hit the park. I moved to Evergreen a couple years ago and was looking forward to weeknight terrain park fun, before it was turned into a private ski racing facility.

    We'll see what happens there, but the combo. of them advertising bike trails for the summer at some point in the last 6 months on the site, and the indication that they are shifting gears at least shows the possibility of some summer lift served terrain. Although I'm pretty certain the site above had biking as a specific link or featured content, and now has obviously removed it deliberately, so maybe it was an idea they had and they realized it wouldn't work. One also has to ask why the owners from 2005-2012 didn't run lift served mtn. biking... probably because they realized it was a losing proposition. I believe even as a ski resort they never made a profit, even though their sales improved every year ( John Meyer: Echo Mountain sale could be great for racing, but freeskiers lose out - The Denver Post - comments dispute this) . Either way, if anyone knows what the scoop is with this place for public skiing next year, chime in.

  134. #134
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    Just heard the ECKO is going to reopen ! They did not make any money making it private , Website is back up and they are going to sell season Pass Echo Mountain Resort | Denver's Closest Year Round Resort
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

  135. #135
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    ELDORA.... we can only pray will get on the band wagon.
    2019 Knolly Fugitive LT
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  136. #136
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    I just sent Echo a message through their "Contact us" link on the page- recommending they open for mountain biking in the summer- they would make a killing.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  137. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by skelonas View Post
    ...One also has to ask why the owners from 2005-2012 didn't run lift served mtn. biking... probably because they realized it was a losing proposition...
    There was a group of mountain bike folks that met with the owners / management of Echo Mountain before it opened as a ski area to discuss the possibility of a lift-served mountain bike park in the summer. We got a tour and talked about all kinds of possibilities, as their land actually goes down the hill much further than the base of the chairlift. Folks representing the Mountain States Cup, Colorado Downhill Cycling Collective (anyone remember that group?), and I think maybe even COMBA (which would have been in it's beginnings at the time) were there. The story from the Echo Mountain folks? They could make as much money from one weekend of weddings as they could from an entire summer of DH mountain biking. This was pre-2005 of course, and the landscape of mountain biking has changed pretty dramatically since then.
    The older I get, the faster I was.





    Punch it, Chewie.

  138. #138
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    This from the folks at ECHO:

    Alex,

    Thank you for the email. We are looking forward to next season and opening to the public. We would love to eventually have mountain biking but with limited resources it may be a few years.

    Hope to see you on the mountain in December!

    Warm Regards,

    Nora

    Maybe it's time to revisit that conversation again. It would be easy to drum up numbers from resorts to show the profitability (?). Seems like a great opportunity for the 2016 Bell grant.


    There are two types of mountain bikers. Those who are faster than me, and me.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  139. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Trucker View Post
    The story from the Echo Mountain folks? They could make as much money from one weekend of weddings as they could from an entire summer of DH mountain biking. This was pre-2005 of course, and the landscape of mountain biking has changed pretty dramatically since then.

    now what do you guys not understand here?

    nothing has changed.............. mountain bikers don't seem to get the the costs of running a lift and maintaining trails, they don't understand bringing your own beer hanging out in the parking lot doesn't make anyone else money

    drunk people at weddings shelling out big bucks though............

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