Operation of Jungle Habitat for mountain biking recreational and events services.

Bleeder

JORBA:President
The State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection, will be issuing a Request for Proposal on or about October 5, 2016, for the Operation of the former Jungle Habitat site for mountain biking recreational and events services. The former Jungle Habitat site is located in West Milford Township, Passaic County. A Mandatory Pre-Bid Meeting and Site Visit is scheduled at the former Jungle Habitat site for October 18, 2016, at 11 a.m. Bids will only be accepted from bidders who register at the Mandatory Pre-Bid Meeting and Site Visit. Bids must be received by the Office of Leases and Concessions no later than November 15, 2016, by 4:00 p.m.


To obtain bid packages, or for additional information, visit http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/business_ops/current_leases.htm or call(609) 633-7575.
 

dmkalemba

Well-Known Member
wow, that sucks.. if I'm reading correctly, looks like we'll have to pay to ride at JH sometime in the near future....
 

TonyC

Active Member
huh, looks that way -- "seeking an operator to offer recreational mountain biking and recreational event services"
 

pooriggy

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
The State is opening the door for vendors to lease the land JH sits on. It must comply with State laws and land use agreements. This is what I understand it to be. I'm not sure what they will get, how do you get people to pay to ride there Mtb on that property when West Mitford has plenty of places you can ride for free. The state wants to make money off this land but I don't think it will happen with mtbs.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Having spent time in both Vermont and Canada this year, I absolutely love the pay-to-play model. The quality of the trails is fantastic as they have money to spend on paying people to work on them. And both the trail markings and maps are absolutely top notch. I would absolutely love to see the model tried down here.

I do not think that this works right here, right now. But for those people who have ridden Kingdom Trails can you honestly say they suffer from that approach?
 

SSmtbr

Well-Known Member
Edit: Incoming mobile text wall

From skimming the RFP it's like they want something somewhat similar to Kingdom Trails (trail network suitable for a range of skill levels, pay to ride, potential for amenities such as food stands/trucks and alcohol service even)...Except given the proximity of at least a handful of places that are free to ride or at most require a NJ State Parks permit, I agree that it's going to be tough to get the kind of revenue they're anticipating.

I'm wondering who submitting bids would be both A) qualified to operate a mountain biking park to maintain and add additional trails and B) The financial resources to fund rent, maintenance, improvements, insurance, and other operating costs, and have a realistic vision of how to generate cashflow from MTBers on the JH grounds? I admit I'm just a user of the many parks and have no experience with bidding for state contracts or have any idea on the actual costs of running a MTB park.

Now if you'd say looking down the road this would be the "Kingdom Trails competitor in the mid-Atlantic" with a vast network of well-marked trails and maps, and trails from flowy to more technical to satisfy all riders and preferences, I wouldn't mind paying for a season pass and ride the hell out of the park...However given the number of AMAZING trail networks nearby in North Jersey/NY (Ringwood, Waway, Sterling Forest and its future network, Allamuchy parks, Ramapo, you get the idea), I don't see myself getting excited at this just yet and will continue to support the present-day (and hopefully future) JH that all of the volunteers have put countless hours of work into that we enjoyed experiencing at Jungle Jam and for us fortunate to live near Jungle, on a near daily basis.
 
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KenS

JORBA: Director
JORBA.ORG
The agreement is a sample. I would venture to say that those financials are negotiable, especially if one was the only party to submit a bid. The intended use includes "adventure" in addition to mountain biking. The gent who is working on this project plans to run mudders, off road tri's and the like out of JH, all of which generate large profits compared to MTB/passive use.

Kingdom works because the area is beautiful, trails are mostly flowy (beginner friendly), private lands increase the footprint dramatically, and it is day-trippable from Canada (40% of their revenue), among other things. On that list all JH has is beauty, and it's in the eye of the beholder.
I can assure you, they aren't going for "The Kingdom of NJ"
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Yes, a bike park would be awesome but the state is way out of line on the financials.

$12,000 a year is nothing in real life but for an org like JORBA or MTBNJ, we just can't swing that sort of investment. Honestly, this is something I could see myself throwing the money towards in 15 years from now. I would love love love to be a part of this but you know...3 kids...college...so yeah, in 15 years ask me and I'll gladly donate $12,000 to a cause like this.

I don't know if we can find that kind of financial donor given the time available to us. But I am fairly sure one exists. Can this be something realistic? I don't know, I would love to try and find out, help make it happen. I would not hold my breath but in this day and age of people sitting on their asses and complaining about things and not doing them, I am more than happy to be one of the few people who tries and fails as opposed to the scores of people who try nothing, fail at nothing, and succeed at nothing.

@KenS brings up some good points. Both of the pay-to-play parks I rode this year are beginner-friendly. This would be a huge roadblock in getting Joe User in there to drop $12 on a day pass.
 

Bleeder

JORBA:President
Look, If it wasn't for the $12k +3%/year +8% off the gross. We could probably get something good going. All dependent on building it out and connecting other parks. We may not have a lot of what Kingdom does, but we have what? 20 million people in the NY metro area, and we're a hour away from Manhattan not 5 hours.
 

pooriggy

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
The gent who is working on this project plans to run mudders, off road tri's and the like out of JH, all of which generate large profits compared to MTB/passive use.
I would say this is how a vendor can make quick easy money. Mudders and the like are popular right now, with little over head to put one on and a lot of folks who want to par take in the latest craze and pay a substantial fee to do it.
We need the state to grant us access to this land while they fumble around with these vendors looking to make quick money. We'll stay away while they run their Mudders but we should be granted access otherwise. The bottom line is its still tax payers land and we should not be denied access to open space.
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Agreed, MTB use is not where the money would come from. There is a ton of potential for other outdoor sports and recreational activities to happen that would bring in significantly more than the $1,000/month lease. Hell, if you held an Autocross once a month you'd make your money back 10-fold.
 

Bleeder

JORBA:President
I would say this is how a vendor can make quick easy money. Mudders and the like are popular right now, with little over head to put one on and a lot of folks who want to par take in the latest craze and pay a substantial fee to do it.
We need the state to grant us access to this land while they fumble around with these vendors looking to make quick money. We'll stay away while they run their Mudders but we should be granted access otherwise. The bottom line is its still tax payers land and we should not be denied access to open space.
The problem with going this route, is they (the winning bidder) would expect us JORBA, DVW and myself, to build, maintain and repair the trails for free.
 

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