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In light of a recent visitor survey indicating a decrease in bike tourism, do you feel the city should shift its focus from building more challenging mountain trails in favor of developing flatter, more accessible bike terrain?

Yes 277 votes

34.80%

No 507 votes

63.69%

Unsure 12 votes

1.51%

796 total votes

Comments

Scott Wedel 5 months ago

This is a prime example of lazy journalism and why Trump can bash journalists without facing any backlash.

This paper takes the city manager's comments about a nonscientific study and treats it as unquestioned truth. And then asks as survey question on this unquestioned truth.

This paper fails to have any skepticism on whether there factually has been a great decrease in biking. This paper fails to check with resort towns notable for their biking tourism to see if they have experienced declines in their biking tourism.

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Eric Meyer 5 months ago

The real flaw in this question, and quotes from the associated article, is the continued focus on bikes. The proposal was and still is about trails. Sustainable and Diverse Trails.

The more divided trail users are the less successful this trail project will be. Instead of suggesting the 2A trails committee change focus, ask why the projects like the core trail extension did not happen and why the other proposed more beginner friendly trails are designed and not being funded. Attend a 2A trails committee meeting and you will see that the numbers just don't work.

The cost of the lower spring creek connection (gravel surface) was almost $600/foot and sees a fraction of the use that many other trails are seeing. http://www.steamboatspringstrails.com/the-proposal/2a-project-progress/lowerspringcreektrailenhancedcrossings

Trail users need to work together to improve all aspects of the trail system. The 2A vote only funded a fraction of what was proposed.

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Scott Wedel 5 months ago

Eric,

Can you answer the simple question of whether mtn bike tourism has declined significantly in the towns with notable mtn bike trails such as Moab, Durango, etc?

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Eric Meyer 5 months ago

I don't have their data (not sure they even have it), but I do know that there are many new hotels in the process of being built in Moab (one just completed on main street, I heard two more have broke ground and at least two more are approved or fighting over details on the approval). I have been down there 99% of this late summer, fall and now into winter. There are still bikes riding the trails down here. I have been going to Moab for the past 14 years or so and I can assure you that even with their significant increase in the number of trails they have built, all of their trails are seeing significant use. Eventually I may find time to get that data, but I have to focus put more of my time into my personal stuff right now. There is no doubt in my mind that Steamboat (if it gets out of its own way), will benefit significantly from the trails project. There are many things that those involved could do to improve on what is being done, but what Gary and Tony suggested is not one of them. If anything, the chamber survey (if correct), points to other cycling being down, not the cycling on trails. I am very confident in that. Off the top of my head, MG sees about 150 counts/day and about 85% of those are cyclist. NPR was about 200 counts/day. The stables re-route (not 2A funded) is somewhere in the 100-150 counts/day. Just looking at this summer that is a cost to the city for the construction of about $0.06/count. Some users might go up and down and we don't know the exact number yet. The couple counters that were spot checked had about a 17% under count based on people being too close together or side by side when they pasted the counter. The bigger trail study that takes more than volunteer time to produce should answer all your questions and more once it happens.

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Scott Wedel 5 months ago

Eric,

Thank you. That is the argument that I suggest using to protecting your funding to continue the original trail building plan.

Sounds like the local plan to build trails is as valid as it was the day it was approved. I think that is a more convincing argument that it being less expensive because it doesn't matter how inexpensive it is to build if mtn biking has become unpopular.

I note that one of the reasons that Les Otten of ASC used to justify buying SB ski area was that snowboarding was seeing great growth. Initially, snowboarding was expected to bring in urban skateboarding youth and greatly increase skier days for ski resorts. It was soon learned that snowboarding was mostly converted skiers or instead of skiing and that ski industry was not going to experience another boom period.

It is always good in the middle of a project to verify that the part of the analysis which was a snapshot in time of the current market has not seen the market substantially shift.

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Eric Meyer 5 months ago

I am certain mountain biking has not become unpopular.

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Justin Sonnentag 5 months ago

Even if the chamber numbers are legit(which should be challenged) it is just one summer. What does the overall trend look like? How many years of this data do they have? Does the data even have statistical significance? And trails are just starting to be built, so it is unreasonable to think that these numbers could actually reflect an increase or decrease in visitors. Moab didn't create its reputation for being a destination overnight it took many years.
Be patient and stay the course...

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