Email with someone with ideas about Sponsors, Demographics, more

A Mountain Bike Park--correspondence

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My response is first, then the original letter.


I really enjoyed reading your email... You provide some interesting facts and make a lot of good points. I'm not sure I can answer them all, so I'm going to just post it at the web site (without your name or email address, of course, to protect your privacy) and see if someone else will give us some answers to your comments.

I can tell you this: I'm in a pretty similar demographic group as you, but I am lucky to have an mtb'ing wife and several 30-whatever mtb neighbors (I'm also the old man in the crowd at 40). And of course in Southern California there is riding all year 'round (that is, when one is not injured) It's a charmed life. I mean, it would be if I hadn't made that unscheduled dismount three weeks ago!

Russell Hoffman
The Animated Software Company

At 11:02 PM 11/10/96 -0600, DG wrote:
Hi Russell! Great idea. I hope you're successful.
I just have a few thoughts to pass on.

If your park was within a 45 minute drive from my home, I'd ride it every week. A per visit cost of $5 to $10 would be reasonable to me, however, I'm not like most of the guys I ride with. Me: 37, own 4 bikes, a house in the 'burbs, 2500+ miles a year (in MN), and a decent income. The rest of the guys I ride with: twentysomething, one bike (cost more than their car), an apartment (shared), a job, but only to support their MTB addiction. These guys live to ride, and could be the hard-core repeat business that you would need, but I doubt they would or could pay to ride at a park more than occasionally.

I just read in Bicycling that the average serious cyclist is a 41 year old male with a $50,000+ income. I see a lot of these on the road, but few on singletrack. I think that you might need a fairly detailed demographic study to identify a target market that would be interested in riding an MTB park (many) and willing to pay enough to make it a success (fewer).

Do you have any plans to have paying sponsors help with the initial costs? How about celebrity "partners" for the exposure?

Maybe a unique event could provide significant revenues to keep the rider fees attractive? In Wisconsin, the Chequemegon Fat Tire Festival in September attracts, and is limited to 2500 riders for a 40-mile point-to-point race. The 1997 race will sellout in November '96. The festival, and the revenues it generates ($100,000 in fees plus significant sponsor contributions) provides a nice living for the individual that runs it. There's always room for another well-run unique festival!

Take care & keep pedaling.


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