Charging for use of a pump track?

Lee, I have a 70 x 120 foot lot, fairly level, in a great location where cyclist are already coming, that I am considering building a pump track on. My intention is to fence it and charge a reasonable fee for the use of it. My question is, what is a reasonable fee to charge and how do you charge? By the hour? I would think it would need to be fenced to control liability. I want to provide a quality place to ride, but I need to cover expenses as well.
Jack


Hey Jack,

Thanks for the interesting question.

I’ll bet this comes up more and more.

Legalities vary state to state. Here in Colorado a fence is important to delineate the “danger” area. When users pass through the gate, they pass the warning sign, and they take on liability. So, yes, a fence is a good idea. Especially if you want to control access.

Check with a legal expert before you dig into this!

Whichever model you use, it should be simple.

Ray’s MTB has two successful private, pay-to-ride facilities, one in Cleveland and one in Milwaukee. They offer these options:

• Annual pass. Unlimited access for $350 per year.

• Day pass. Roughly $20 to $27 depending on the day.

• 2-day weekend pass: $46 for Saturday and Sunday.

• 3-day weekend pass: $56 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Since you probably won’t become a destination like Ray’s, it seems like you can offer an annual membership and a simple day rate. The numbers should reflect your local ridership and economy. My guess would be $100 per year to shred at will; $5-10 to ride any particular day.

You could run sessions like a skating rink, but that seems too complex.

Hey you readers, what ideas do you have?

Lee


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3 replies
  1. Dildo says:

    100 a year for some random dirt lot is insane. Unless you have expertly made features no one is going to pay you anything. 20 bucks a year maybe but even at that it seems like a small lot to build on and charge for.

    Reply
  2. Kevin says:

    I used to ride in Camp Tamarancho in Marin County, CA all the time. It’s a Boy Scout camp with about 20 miles of trail in the redwoods. Because it’s private, and because they do a hell of a lot of train lbuilding/maintenance, they charge for use. I just checked and current prices are $5/day and $25/year. They also offer a “Gold Pass” for $45 that I think that’s just a way of giving extra support (i.e. no benefits over regular pass except for that warm fuzzy feeling).

    I tend to agree with the other commenter (although, perhaps not so vociferously). I think that $5/day $20/year is about as much as you could get. I’m not sure where you are geographically (Colorado, US, Antarctica?), but I’d be pretty concerned about free options beating you out either now or in the long run. I’m in Colorado and there are several great bike parks within a short drive of my house. All are free. All are actually pretty good. If you had some cool features, you were much closer to my house (say within a mile’s bike ride), or you offered beer, I would think about paying a bit for that privilege.

    I guess it’s my MBA talking, but I’d also think about what your costs are. If it’s just a place for you and your buddies you might be able to milk a bunch of free trail work out of them in exchange for open rights to your pump track. Tell everyone else to buzz off. Your costs are therefore almost nothing and you get a badass pump track to ride with your buds. Public access = liability insurance, business licenses, etc. Also, think about your market. I know you’d pay to ride, you’re thinking of staring the biz. But, what about other folks? Would it make enough to cover your overhead? Also, consider what people would do instead of pump track riding near you. Can people mountain bike? Does that cost? How far do they have to go? Will you have lights for night riding (after work for us wage slaves)?

    I know I’ve thrown a lot of wrenches into this idea here. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do it though! I love the idea of more pump tracks and I love the idea of my folks riding! There might be a business model in this that could work for you.

    Oh, wait. Jack if this is just an attempt to justify a pump track to a significant other please disregard everything I’ve already written. You could make a fortune doing this! I’m sure you’ll be able to finance several new bikes and probably a trip for you and she/he to any number of beautiful tropical places with the profits from this bike park!!!

    Reply

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