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Thread: Thoughts on another pay-to-ride place?

  1. #1
    MoJo Priest veloman777's Avatar
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    Thoughts on another pay-to-ride place?

    Long story short, I want to make this my business/job. I like volunteering around Austin with trail work. I really want to build something that can be morally/socially acceptable ridden in wet conditions, and to put it blunt - a sick place to ride with amazing design and constant maintenance. I have some crazy ideas. I haven't been to every bike ranch, but know of all the places in Central TX. They are good, but I think I can do better. And hopefully less of a drive.

    I've been following Spider mtn, and from all my research, my idea is not likely to be gravity focused. The trails would be very dense due to the high cost of land. My biggest concern is that the only location I can afford is going to be the same drive time as current private options.

    What's the community's thoughts on a new bike park charging the standard $10 fee? A yearly membership is possible. Am I insane? Do the current offerings make much of a profit at $10 a rider? Personally I am stingy and ride an old 26'r but have no problem dropping $10 for a sweet riding place.

    I am all ears on any thoughts you have.
    Last edited by veloman777; 01-27-2019 at 06:51 PM.

  2. #2
    MoJoMoRon bartman's Avatar
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    it depends on the place..for me its not about paying to ride but about paying to ride some place that is as good or better then what's in my backyard like RPR..that being said, I havent ridden RHR in years..not worth the drive or money.

  3. #3
    h8ter of all things fun. The Toninator's Avatar
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    I don't think there's a place left in the world you could buy, build trails and features and only charge $10 and make a profit. There's not enough consistent traffic available to support that initiative. All of the private places I know of are all something else like mainly a farm and they are pulling in a little extra income by have trails. I don't know that any of them make a 'profit'.
    Ya'll don't know what it's like
    being male, middle class and white.

  4. #4
    MoJo Bishop elarsen's Avatar
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    Yearly single day use mountain biker fees would cover about a month to a month and half of expenses, from what I have heard.

    I too have had this kinda dream. Always thought some sort of indoor park, outdoor trails, onsite bike shop, onsite bar/restaurant, onsite training, and it might be feasible.

  5. #5
    MoJo Mother Superior fontarin's Avatar
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    Given the number of trails around, it won't make a profit, especially with the cost of land around Austin. As Ton said, most private trails are other ventures with the trails built for supplemental income.

    The only way I could see it making a profit somewhere is -
    1. One of the only good trails in the area or offer something unique
    2. Location close to town
    3. Cheap and plentiful land

    None of those are really possible in Austin.

    There is possibility for uniqueness and charging more like Spider Mtn. I'm curious how that venture will turn out - I hope it will do well.

  6. #6
    Mojo Wanna be BluesClues's Avatar
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    Need more places close in

    It's a noble idea. But right off the bat you mention that it would likely be as far out as RR. I've never been to RR precisely because it's too far. I look for places that I can ride every couple of days and want to get a decent ride in, including driving to/from, in under 2 hours. I'm out Lakeway way so places like Slaughter, Pace, Reimers all work. More would be great. But further out would be tough.

    Now if we could only get someone to buy Lance's old place and open up Juan Pellota again.

  7. #7
    MoJo Priest veloman777's Avatar
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    All valid points. Location is the toughest part of it.

    I want to ride but also don't want to travel far, or not be able to ride due to wet public trails. I ride road 1-2x a week but it's getting old dealing with traffic. The "urban trails" which are concrete are boring. Veloway.... none of that will compare to what I have in mind.

    I may end up just building it in a smaller town in a cheaper state.
    Last edited by veloman777; 01-31-2019 at 06:40 PM.

  8. #8
    h8ter of all things fun. The Toninator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloman777 View Post
    All valid points. Location is the toughest part of it.

    I want to ride but also don't want to travel far, or not be able to ride due to wet public trails. I ride road 1-2x a week but it's getting old dealing with traffic. The "urban trails" which are concrete are boring. Veloway.... none of that will compare to what I have in mind.

    I may end up just building it in a smaller town in a cheaper state.
    Lot's of trails close to me in....Reno.
    Ya'll don't know what it's like
    being male, middle class and white.

  9. #9
    cmc
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    MoJo Mother Superior cmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloman777 View Post
    Long story short, I want to make this my business/job. I like volunteering around Austin with trail work. I really want to build something that can be morally/socially acceptable ridden in wet conditions, and to put it blunt - a sick place to ride with amazing design and constant maintenance. I have some crazy ideas. I haven't been to every bike ranch, but know of all the places in Central TX. They are good, but I think I can do better. And hopefully less of a drive.

    I've been following Spider mtn, and from all my research, my idea is not likely to be gravity focused. The trails would be very dense due to the high cost of land. My biggest concern is that the only location I can afford is going to be the same drive time as current private options.

    What's the community's thoughts on a new bike park charging the standard $10 fee? A yearly membership is possible. Am I insane? Do the current offerings make much of a profit at $10 a rider? Personally I am stingy and ride an old 26'r but have no problem dropping $10 for a sweet riding place.

    I am all ears on any thoughts you have.
    What are your crazy ideas? Are you talking about jumping and slopestyle stuff, or "North Shore" skinnies type stuff . . . .? Have you been to Freeride512 @ Rocky Hill Ranch?

  10. #10
    MoJoMoRon bartman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloman777 View Post

    I may end up just building it in a smaller town in a cheaper state.
    Arkansas is full of exceptional cheap terrain..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartman View Post
    Arkansas is full of exceptional cheap terrain..
    And it's pretty damn awesome too.

  12. #12
    MoJo Priest veloman777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartman View Post
    Arkansas is full of exceptional cheap terrain..
    In NW Arkansas, I'd be competing with Walton family funded trails. I've been reading that AR is becoming quite the off road biking state.

    I've read up on Freeride512. Personally, I don't ride the extreme stuff. I'm more of an XC rider. My ideas are more about just being creative. I would consider having some higher skilled riders collaborate on those features.


    I've also thought of other styles of riding like a dirt track for holding races. (Dirt Derby looks cool). Or a low end velodrome. Is there a bmx race track around here? I wouldn't do much with bmx as there at least 3 free locations already.

    I want a venue where riders can go to ride full out and not be concerned with cars, pedestrians, dogs, oncoming riders and have very clear signage/routes.

  13. #13
    MoJo Mother Superior crazyt's Avatar
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    I would be open to more xc trails at cat. No charge though.

    I think trying to make a living with a bike park would be extremely difficult. Keep it a hobby


    Just run some numbers. 1000 riders a month, so 10k/month.

    You can't even hire any employees. If your land is worth 500k, and you have a 400k note @ 5% (likely higher for commercial), then you are paying 20k just for the note.

    Factor in heavy equipment, utilities, facilities, insurance, labor, property taxes and there won't be anything left for you.

    Also 1000 riders a month could be wildly optimistic


    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Last edited by crazyt; 02-18-2019 at 02:05 PM.

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