The email I received which prompted this response appears below, and was in answer to my email announcement of the idea for the park.
Thanks for your email regarding my mountain bike plan. Actually, I think that a number of the problems you cite can be handled. Here are some answers:
1) I don't know if I'm talented enough to put something like this together. But I do have the "vision" thing. I see the park in my mind and have put numerous pieces of the puzzle together in the past few days.
2) We expect trails designed by superstars. This will make it interesting for people to come even though they can ride good trails near home. Not this good. Good singletrack is hard to find.
3) Financially, we plan to buy used lift equipment which apparently is in a slump market, according to someone at a bike manufacturer. We plan to put the park on leased public land.
4) We don't need resorts and restaurants--power bars, salad bars, and juice bars should suffice. Remember, this will be close to the city, unlike ski resorts, because the mountain doesn't need to be so tall and you can start at the bottom.
5) Financially, only having to keep and maintain bike rental and repair equipment versus ski and bike rental equipment gives us an advantage.
6) We don't have to make snow.
As to the size of the crowds, this sport is not going to go away. It's too much fun. Bungee Jumping is a minor success. Sky diving, rock climbing, hang gliding--these all have participants. But I bet more people mountain bike than all those things combined.
Please feel free, of course, to throw more pumps at my spokes. The excercise of answering your questions is vital if this thing is going to work at all.
Please visit the web site occassionally, and if you want to report on the thing, we'ed appreciate it of course.
Here is the original email to me:
Sounds like a great idea, if you can make it fly financially, and I'm not sure if that's possible. I don't want to demean your talent at putting something like this together, but it sounds pretty risky.
My hunch is that few, if any, of the ski resort/MTB parks actually turn a profit on mountain biking. In three good skiing days, Mammoth gets more paying customers than it does in an entire summer of mountain biking. And they have the condos, restaurants and other attractions already in place. Will you be able to provide similar amenities?
Second, the cost of land anywhere near L.A. that would be convenient for locals has got to be prohibitive -- if there are any suitable parcels that aren't already public lands.
Finally, how are you going to convince people to pay for something in their own backyard that they already do there for free?
Again, I don't mean to jam a pump in your spokes, but I'm curious as to whether these obstacles can be overcome.
The Animated Software Company
First presented online May 30th, 1996.
Last modified March 27th, 1997.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman