Posted by Editor on 09/28/06
Whistler's Gravity Logic Hosts Inaugural Forum on Bike Parks
Participants from all over North America and as far as Finland and Austria descended upon Whistler September 12-15, for the inaugural Gravity Logic Forum. Gravity Logic, established by Whistler Blackcomb earlier this year, was created to help fuel the development of lift-accessed bike park operations in North America and around the world.
The general consensus among the group in attendance at the Forum was that park riding is skyrocketing in popularity. The goal of the Forum was to collectively create a vision for development and sustainability and to share ideas to address that rapid growth. "It's critical to the success of the bike park concept to make sure that bike park operators build a variety of trails and create a safe environment for everyone to experience," says Kelly Steelman of Kona Bikes and Kona Groove Approved Bike Parks, one of the Forum's attendees.
According to a recent Outdoor Industry Foundation study, over 50 million mountain bikers and 900 million rider days were estimated in the US alone during 2005. This indicates that the potential for interest in lift-accessed mountain bike parks is huge. The misconception that park riding is for advanced riders only is false. In fact, the learning experience is much better in parks that offer groomed trails, lift access and Bike Park Patrol, creating a much more controlled environment.
The Gravity Logic Forum focused on the major potential that exists for bike park operations and included discussions on management, trail building and park riding instruction. "With the growth of mountain biking rising at an unbelievable pace, massive leaps in bike park technology, land use issues surrounding mountain bike trails, and even global warming, this could be the 'perfect storm' so to speak, providing a huge opportunity for winter resorts to capitalize on by developing a bike park plan," says Rob McSkimming, Gravity Logic's Managing Director.
The Gravity Logic Forum gave resort operators a chance to learn about, and experience, the tricks of the trade for operating a successful and sustainable mountain bike park. Whistler Blackcomb has a thing or two to teach on this topic as it started making money on its bike park operation in its second year, and has seen visits skyrocket to 100,000 visits this summer. "This forum gave me lots of new ideas and a huge amount of motivation to build more trails and invent new ways to improve our service for bikers," says Forum participant Jarno Lehmuslehti from the Levi Bike Park in Finland.
Whistler's Gravity Logic is the leader in bike park development and consultation. With the Whistler Mountain Bike Park under its belt, Gravity Logic offers its expertise in the design and development of mountain bike parks to other resort operators. For more information on Gravity Logic and Whistler Mountain Bike Park visit www.whistlergravitylogic.com.
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