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I am curious what if anything people would pay for a membership to a smallish riding area that they had open access to ride anytime.

Members would also have permission to build whatever they wanted as long as they stayed on designated trails.

The potential riding area is 20 miles from a decent sized city, and 5 miles from a small town with everything you might need, except a bike shop.

I am thinking about yearly memberships.

Before you go all capitalist pig on me, I am looking for retirement income for my mother in law, and am completely over the stock market.

About to purchase 300 acres of wooded land with rolling hills that might be great for biking.

Before making up your mind consider also that a seperate group of trails will be open to dirt bikes, and yet another "low land" trail will be open to four wheelers.

There will be no hunting on the land, because I like animals. Except possibly duck hunting for a couple months in the winter, during which yearly trail work would be done.

I am also open to thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks
 

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My 0.02:
First I think it would be a good idea.
It would be more desirable for bikers if there was no recreational dirt bike/texas wheelchair use on the property
Second, Location of course matters if you will get the demand. On sight camping and organized events would encourage people from farther away to come.
Third, if you are going to charge then you have to offer something that public lands don't. Dirt jumps, stunts, etc and shuttle assist would be great. That would be your selling point. Building that stuff requires too much effort to just get torn down by the USFS. Also if you had minimal bike mechanic services on site that would be a bonus.

Can I ask where approximately it is?
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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In Marin we pay $40 per year, or $5 for a single day pass, to ride on a limited area of private land owned mostly by the Boy Scouts of America, with access through another private property owner or publicly owned land.

You could contact the BTC, Bicycle Trails Council of Marin, to see how insurance is covered. www.btcmarin.org/
 

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Mr Cabletwitch said:
Liability insurance will make it cost prohibitive.
Agreed. Do a search here... there are several threads discussing trail-building and modifications, and how poor planning leads to legitimate safety issues. Someone *will* sue (most likely a lawyer sporting a shiny new Niner with reflectors and dork disc still attached), and unless the owner wants to stick his or her neck out, they'll have to seek expensive liability insurance.

And with the quality and quantity of free trails around here (central NC), I wouldn't pay a membership to ride. I might pay $5 for a day-pass, but if it was a kick-ass trail, and that would probably be infrequent -- again due to the number of free trails within 30 minute drive from me.

If trails were sparse in my area, maybe... but you say it's "smallish" so how much do you think you could charge?
 

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I paid for an annual membership in Ft. Collins CO to ride in the county park. I think it was $60 but it's been a while and I can't remember.

I guess a couple of things to consider is what other riding is in the area. Is there some epic trail system that is free nearby? Things like that will determine if people are willing to pay to ride the trails.

How are you going to build the trails?

What would your insurance run? How many memberships will your break even be?

How are you going to "police" it so people don't just ride for free?
 

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if you are allowing people to build whatever they want on the mountain bike trails it will soon turn into a mess. now if you had some way that members could vote on what features are added then thats somthing entirely different. for it to turn any kind of profit you would almost need to turn it into something like the outdoor equivilant of Rays. there wont be enough interest in paying for trails when they can be had all over. now if there are pump tracks and well built features you will have a better chance at corning the so called market.

or you could let people ride for free and make paintballers pay to shoot at them. :thumbsup:
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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151 said:
I am curious what if anything people would pay for a membership to a smallish riding area that they had open access to ride anytime.

Members would also have permission to build whatever they wanted as long as they stayed on designated trails.

The potential riding area is 20 miles from a decent sized city, and 5 miles from a small town with everything you might need, except a bike shop.

I am thinking about yearly memberships.

Before you go all capitalist pig on me, I am looking for retirement income for my mother in law, and am completely over the stock market.

About to purchase 300 acres of wooded land with rolling hills that might be great for biking.

Before making up your mind consider also that a seperate group of trails will be open to dirt bikes, and yet another "low land" trail will be open to four wheelers.

There will be no hunting on the land, because I like animals. Except possibly duck hunting for a couple months in the winter, during which yearly trail work would be done.

I am also open to thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks
First, there better be a LOT of trails for me to pay, are you going to build them?. Second, I'm not at all interested in riding where I have to hear dirtbikes and ATVs doing their thing, I am sure as ***** not paying for it. 300 acres might be enough for a decent trail system, but start separating it into mtb, dirt bikes, and atv's and it is not very much.

But I am just one person, and don't know anything about running such an operation.

If I were you, I would look around to see if there is anything else like what you are talking about anywhere in the country, and see if it is working out like you envision. If there is, you will learn 1000 times more talking to them than anything you will learn here (unless they can help in this search). If you cannot find such an operation being run successfully, that should tell you something.

My gut feeling is that this will make little or no money, and be more headaches than you can possibly imagine if it actually does catch on and become popular.
 

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Mr Cabletwitch said:
Liability insurance will make it cost prohibitive.
This was the first thing that came to mind when I read the OP. Props for your creativity, but it may be a pipe dream due to the ambulance chasers. :(
 

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what if you only charge for parking and the rest is ride at your own risk? I have been to a couple of trails where I paid $5 for the day for parking and rode the trails for free. I don't know if that would change the Liability but maybe since you are only providing parking. Just a thought. And I think the price you set is going to be a big factor on how many people you get.
 

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transmitter~receiver
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There are plenty of private ranches in Texas that do the sort of thing you're proposing (e.g., Rocky Hill, Bluff Creek, Flat Rock, Camp Eagle & Solavaca). Most charge day and/or camping rates and at least one does have an annual pass. I don't know if they count on it as income or if they do it because they love biking. Most if not all of the places either run cattle or have hunting leases (closed to mtb for hunting season) or some other kind of land use going on as well.
Despite having many many miles of free trails around the Central Texas area, I still go and pay $5-$10 for a day pay because I like the particular trail, they're usually not crowded with hikers & equestrians, and the geology/topography is unique and beautiful.
Every place has a liability release/waiver that you have to sign to ride. It's no different than a skate park, ski area, climbing area, etc., or a place like Ray's.
I don't think the "insurance will be cost prohibitive argument" flies at all.
 

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brent878 said:
what if you only charge for parking and the rest is ride at your own risk? I have been to a couple of trails where I paid $5 for the day for parking and rode the trails for free. I don't know if that would change the Liability but maybe since you are only providing parking. Just a thought. And I think the price you set is going to be a big factor on how many people you get.
Then couldn't someone just park somewhere else and ride it?

I am guessing that it makes a difference if something is "for profit" or not. I know a lot of public lands charge for use, but that is not a "for profit" venture. I don't know the legal specifics, it just seems to make sense to me. I think that if someone has trails on their land, and someone comes and rides them and gets hurt you would be less liable than if you charged them to do it. I could be way off base on this, though.
 

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brent878 said:
what if you only charge for parking and the rest is ride at your own risk?
I don't even think it matters whether you charge or not. If there's a fallen tree over a blind corner at eye level, and someone gets their eye poked out, they're going to sue whomever owns that land. If the owner knowingly allows / invites people to bike on that land, some lawyer is going to make a case that it's that owner has the responsibility of basic trail safety. Wavers of liability often don't stand up in court if negligence can be proven.

The suit would probably come down to whatever particular state and local laws would say in such a matter, and the plaintiff might win or might lose. But anyone can sue anybody for anything, so even legal defense bills in a weak case would put some people into debt, and losing a major bodily injury case without insurance would bankrupt most.
 
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