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Mountain Biking No Longer an "Off-Season" Activity at Ski Resorts

Mountain biking dominated the National Ski Areas Association's Journal as the feature article in their recent Spring 2013 issue. The article stated that more and more ski resorts across the country are realizing the value that lift-assisted MTB facilities can bring to their operations, as well as the local economy, and families looking for easy access to outdoor adventures.

IMBA Destinations Partner, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, was featured in the article as one of the leaders in this new evolution in ski resorts. Christian Robertson, who manages their Evolution Bike Park recently added several intermediate flow trails, which, he says, "probably draw the most traffic because they are enjoyable for a wide variety of skill levels and can be ridden on a wide variety of bikes. Good riders can ride a blue trail on their downhill race bike and have fun. A long-time cross-country rider my pedal to the top of the bike, park and then descend the same trail and have a blast riding berms, rollers, and low-consequence jumps. Biginner riders will progress to these trails quickly and be able to spend a lot of time here improving their skills."

The article also notes some resorts that have invested in MTB instruction programs, which seem to be a huge factor in summer visitor growth. And just as with ski lessons, the resort is a perfect place to learn both basic and advanced riding skills. IMBA recently launched a nation-wide Instructor Certification Program, which is a perfect fit for summer ski areas looking to enhance their MTB services. Ski areas can even arrange to host a course for staff to develop opportunities both for MTB instruction programs and guided rides.

In the article, the general manager of one small resort out east describes "mountain biking as a game changer for the resort." He says, "Biking has not only helped the resort grow, but the influx of riders has also helped the surrounding community."

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