Sunday, September 11, 2011

Building a Destination

Several friends and I spent most of last week riding the incredible trail system of Park City, Utah. What strikes me about PC riding is how varied it is: buff singletrack, stunt riding, DH lift, rocky chutes, epic cross country, bike park jump lines, paved bike paths, you name it. Hundreds of miles of singletrack weave through the aspen forests above PC.

So as a trail advocate, I wonder how all this came to be. Locals tell me it is the result of collaboration between local and federal government, ski resorts, bike shops and different user groups. There is perpetual trail building in PC; I spied trail building equipment and freshly cut bench on almost all of the sections I rode, all of it high quality construction.

Park City is a wealthy resort town and has decided to partly fund trail planning and construction with a restaurant tax. It makes sense. In the non-ski season, there is a massive excess inventory of accommodations, restaurant seats, etc. A world class trail system brings many visitors to the PC and keeps the cash registers humming in the off-season.

It takes a lot of vision, determination, time and perseverance to create what Park City has. Mountain bike destinations do not happen overnight. There is a lot to learn from the success of Park City trail advocates and clearly, no one group can take all the credit.

1 comment:

Jerry Henderson said...

You're so right, John. It takes money and vision. The elected officials have to see that recreation opportunities, including trails, is key to quality economic development.