Ski resort mountain biking update

I reread my Sunday column and it kind of sounded like the future wasn't so bright for mountain biking at resorts. That's not the case. Offering summer mountain biking is not a slam dunk financially, but there are some success stories out there, and hopefully more on the horizon. Here's a good article on what's happening elsewhere. You can read about it HERE. We may also see some of this in Idaho.

I recently spoke with Greg Randolph, who works for Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce, and there are plans on the drawing boards for "flow" trails at the resort. If you haven't ridden a flow trail, it's one that's specifically designed for mountain biking and features berms, humps, jumps, etc., but it's designed for any rider. The gist of a flow trail is making a dirt roller coaster that you can have a blast riding at any speed. The experts can ride fast, catch air, and do the stuff they love, and the beginners can just roll down the hill and have fun without getting scared (not too bad anyway).

Ski resorts have it tough because they're faced with unpredictable weather, and a mature market (aging baby boomers and their offspring), which hasn't shown much growth in recent years and may actually be declining as the aging boomers hang up their skis for good.

But there's room for growth in mountain biking, which is less weather dependent. If things get dryer in the mountains, it may become a critical part of a successful ski resort. Sun Valley has shown it can host a huge summer event centered around mountain biking, and don't be surprised to see the resort put more emphasis mountain biking in the future.


"aging boomers hang up their skis for good"

Don't do it!