Minturn bike park campaign kicks off Thursday
Proponents hope to raise $30,000 for planned Minturn facility
MINTURN — Local trail advocates have built many miles of new singletrack in the last 10 years.
Now they have a new vision: A bike park filled with trails, jumps, a pump track and a race course where riders of all abilities and families can gather — a new kind of recreational amenity for the upper valley.
They need $30,000 to seed the effort. That fundraising effort begins Thursday and runs through Oct. 21.
The Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance is working with the town of Minturn to build the 5-acre, $250,000 park on town-owned land. The $30,000 will provide the money necessary to apply for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to pay for the rest of the project. The group would apply for a grant this fall, with the hopes of building the park next summer.
“This would be just an incredible asset and amenity for the upvalley community,” said Jamie Malin, president of the board of directors of the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance. “It would provide a great facility for kids to play outside close to home.”
Both individuals and companies are encouraged to contribute — the more broad support from the community, the better. Naming rights for various components of the park, including a title sponsorship, are available.
From kids to advanced riders
The park would sit on land directly below the Mini Mile trail, to the southeast of the cement plant, near Little Beach Park.
The town of Minturn provided $1,800 to pay for a design for the park by Shea Ferrell, of FlowRide Concepts, a Denver company. The proposal includes flow trails, gravity trails and climbing trails, as well as a dirt jump zone and a pump track.
Since preliminary designs were released, more features have been added to the course. They include a dual slalom race course — for head-to-head racing — as well as an adaptive mountain biking course, which is designed for people who ride three-wheeled bikes.
The park would include beginner, intermediate and advanced trails.
“With this park, you can be anyone from an advanced rider to a 3-year-old kid on a Strider bike,” said Ernest Saeger, executive director for the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance.
Programs at the park could include kids camps, skills clinics, races and jump competitions.
Saeger said his group has already partnered with numerous Eagle County groups in support of the project, including the Cycle Effect, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, SOS Outreach, the Vail Recreation District and Mountain Recreation.
The project also includes a parking area, restrooms, trees and shade structures. Plans envision trail connections to the Mini Mile trail as well as Little Beach Park.
Success in Frisco
The initial construction cost projection is $250,000, but the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance hopes to reduce the costs with the help of donations from local supporters, including construction companies. It would also use its own mini-excavator, volunteers and trail-building expertise to lessen the cost.
Maintenance costs are expected to be 10-15% of the construction cost annually, with the work performed by the town, volunteers or local recreation districts.
The park would adhere to a wildlife closure of Dec. 15 to April 15, the same as the Mini Mile trail, he said.
Members of the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance have talked to communities that have similar parks, including Frisco and Boulder, to learn more about building a bike park.
The Frisco Adventure Park bike park, also designed by FlowRide Concepts, benefited from a $200,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant and opened in 2011.
Diane McBride, assistant town manager and director of recreation for the town of Frisco, said the park has been a tremendous success.
“It’s been absolutely wonderful,” McBride said. “We’ve got just so many different options within the park itself — dirt jumps, the pump track and the flow lines. It appeals to riders of all ages and abilities.”
Facing traffic woes and oncoming growth, officials are looking at road improvements.