Probably a dumb idea, but...

crash_in_nj

New Member
Has anyone ever considered putting together a group of people to buy land for a private mtb area? Not open to the public, so unless someone was going to sue himself or herself, you shouldn't have a problem there. For instance, I saw 309 acres in Maine listed for $450k. With enough of a group (say, enough to actually build trails) the price wouldn't be too bad. $450k divided by 20 people comes out to $22,500. So maybe $30k by the time you factor in all of the work you'd need to do or get done. Of course, there may be better/cheaper places than Maine for something like this. Just a thought.
 

tonyride

Don't piss off the red guy
Or how about 200 people at $2250 each? That figure is a lot more attractive. Besides, I think you'll get 200 people to come up with $2250 and change before you'll get 20 people who are willing to come up with $22,500. Besides, 200 pairs of helping hands and skill/talent level is better than 20. Just my opinion.:hmmm:
 

crash_in_nj

New Member
Yes, in some ways more would be better. I was just thinking that it might be hard to schedule when 200 people can be there, or to buy a place big enough for 200 people to be at all at once. The wouldn't be a reason why you couldn't put a group together to buy 1/20th of the LLC or whatever you set up. It would all depend on how you want to give access. Would it be a time share or a everyone show up whenever?
 

olegbabich

Well-Known Member
I would love to see a pump track in one of our parks. I do not know if you have to buy private land for that?
 

tonyride

Don't piss off the red guy
I don't know how big 309 acres is or what that piece of property looks like but it sounds big enough for 200+ riders.
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
most of the major parks we ride are at least 1,000+ acres. 309 acres would require a very environmentally insensitive trail plan to keep 200 riders happy, unless it was just a freeride park or a sort of demo park to show other trail users how it's done/experiment with trailbuilding techniques.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Well if it's in Maine, we probably won't be there at the same time. The further north we go the cheaper it probably gets.
 

TommyCrash

Member
Great idea! I personally don't have the money. You try and get it out of the Mrs. :p Anyway, The initial cost of $2250 (whatever it was) and you could also have a plan to charge extra to those that either don't have the time to do trail maintenance or don't want to. A lot of clubs and organizations have that little escape route. Good Luck!
 

tonyride

Don't piss off the red guy
I wouldn't mind getting a piece of that property (1/200 of 309 acres) for $2250. Depending on what part of Maine the property is, if it's close enough to a ski resort where they have mountain biking or a place like Kingdom Trails in north east Vermont where it has biking trails, the property can be split into a private campground on one part and maybe a pump track or something somewhere else on the property. Just throwing ideas out there.
 

Bob W

JORBA: Allamuchy
JORBA.ORG
Other Costs

Besides the initial investment dont for get taxes (really low in Maine) and insurace costs. Also you wil have upkeep and the time investment t creat the trail network. A good point was raised, 300 acres is really small, considering the drive time from NJ. The north section of Allamuchy is appox 3,000 acres in comparision. Also, pleanty of trials in Maine already. I would think you would look someplace with less snowfall in winter.

Just some thoughts.
 

NJ-XC-Justin

KY-DH-Freddy
Sweet idea! Thousand of dollars for a small stake in land 8 hours' drive away. Thousands of man hours needed to make trails and tracks worth visiting (with fights and backouts ensuing because of the huge discrepancies in TM invested). Huge liability risks when locals go offroading and crash or a hiker walks through and gets eaten by a bear. Only land within financial reach is well far from good bars, restaurants, ski resorts, etc. All the while great NJ parks are neaby -- and free. Sign me up!
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
technically, there would be no taxes, as i'm fairly certain it would be held by a registered non-profit, like jorba.
 

don

Well-Known Member
- NJ has a lot of great XC trails for free which has been pointed out. There is even Diablo Freeride park for the FR/DH riders. And Lars Tribus was working on a MTB "Country Club" called The Proving Grounds. Not sure where he is on it tho.

- Maine is a freaking haul from NJ - I think just to the southern border is at least 5 hours. You can get probably similiar prices in upstate NY with drives a bit closer. Maine is a great place - it's just really far away.

I've thought about the private land method but in a different capacity. Much less acerage and have set up as camp/skills place vs. having just some XC and maybe freeride trails. A good DJ spot can be built on about 2 acres. Have some skinnies, drops and freeride features on a pedalable trail on the outside of that. Have a pump track/fitness area that women and men who go to spin classes would enjoy but get a full body workout and can do outside. Classes for kids and adults - have a place where there are scheduled events going on consistently.

It would pretty much a Ray's but just outside with part of it under a pavilion for lights at night and the ability to ride when the weather isn't great. Doing a park like Ray's all under a roof would, IMO, be cost pohibitive in NJ. You would have to have a LOT of people riding the place just to pay rent.

Anyway, just something I've thought about for a while now. I see how some sports and activities like hockey, skiing/snowboarding, skateboarding, & gymanastic do well in NJ. I think their models are pretty similiar and a bike skills place could follow it in some way.
 

crash_in_nj

New Member
I am aware that Maine is not close. I only pointed that particular one out because I was looking around up there for another reason and stumbled upon it. There are a lot of ways you could do something like it. I am sure there are a lot of things I haven't thought about that might make it less possible. Yes, there would be ongoing costs (taxes, insurance and maitenance), and the upfront costs (land and construction) would be high, but with the right piece of property you could have some of the best aspects of XC/DH/FR all in one spot. Something to consider, no?

This is just an idea right now. As several of you have pointed out, it would be expensive and take a lot of work. Two things I don't have much of right now are time and money. But I think with the right group of people it could work. Maybe somewhere down the road. Thanks for the constructive comments:)
 

jbogner

NYCMTB: President
JORBA.ORG
For motos and atv's it makes sense, since they don't have legal places to ride within a couple hours. But for Northern Jersey? You've got a choice of 10+ great trail systems within 1.5 hours, plus some of the best lift-served dh on the east coast right here (for $34/day or $280/season it's a lot cheaper than buying land!). It's hard to articulate a unique value to an ownership-based trail system with all these great trails around.

If I were a developer, however, I'd buy a large chunk of land in NJ and develop higher-density eco-friendly housing on a portion of the land while devoting the rest to trails. I'd definitely think about buying a condo in a development that would allow me to ride trails right out my front door (while also having quick access to public transportation)...
 

CycleBoy

Sussex Bike and Sport
Shop Keep
I think 300 to 400 acres is feasible for a good trail network. To put it into perspective, Jungle Habitat is 90 acres. I would say that finding land with a closer proximity to New Jersey may be better than Maine.
 
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