for 2018 event at Angel Fire, NM
**Please note: Session and speakers are subject to change**
Monday, June 4
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Welcome Reception – El Jefe
Tuesday, June 5
7:30 a.m. ‐ 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast – Legends Grill
9:00 a.m. ‐ 10:15 a.m.
Feature Design and Construction
One of the challenges for any park is finding the right mix of challenge and fun with the features that fill out your park. From bridges to rainbows, each feature takes thought and care to design and build so that it fits perfectly into the trail. Rather than a feature becoming an afterthought or something not right for their riders, top park builders put time and effort into not only understanding the trail but the trail riders. Learn from some of the best in the business as they share their considerations and how they work to match the trail, the rider, and the right feature to create something special.
Building your Rental Business
Rentals can be a key line of business for a bike park. This session will dive into the rental business of bike parks, discussing how these operations have grown and changed over time. From the first day you open your doors for the season, you’ve got to be ready for just about everything - from new riders that don’t know a thing to experienced riders trying out new gear - your shop covers a lot of ground. From purchasing to inventory management; from hiring to turning wrenches; our panel will share what they have learned over the years putting out quality bikes, day after day.
Growing the Sport
As areas have embraced biking and invested in their bike parks, one of the goals is to create a sustainable business model. From hard core, committed riders to brand new kids, bike parks need to not only grow participation, they also need to grow participants. As our understanding of the market has grown, so must your programs evolve. Where once you could get away with cutting a trail and counting on bikers finding you, now you should think carefully about building an instruction program to help create your own participants. Our panel of different stakeholders will not only help put the market into perspective, they will share their insights into what’s working for them and why.
10:30 a.m. ‐ 11:45 a.m.
Incident Investigation (indoor)
Separating fact from fiction, speculation from knowledge, incident investigation takes discipline and a thoughtful approach. Join our risk management experts as they discuss the strategies and techniques to document and capture the essential information necessary in any bike park (or other) incident. Discussing the tools that can make your life easier and the critical information, our panel will share what they’ve learned over their years of experience during an indoor session to lay the ground work for a mock on-hill incident where you will be able to practice these new skills under their watchful eyes.
Rental Bike Maintenance – Training, Inspection and Repair
When you get into the bike rental business, especially downhill bike rentals, there’s a lot more to it than simply putting a bike together and sending it out with a guest. When you consider the wear and tear on a bike and its components, and the frequency of repairs and component replacement, any right-minded person would pause. However, managed properly, the right maintenance program can set your area, your staff, and your guests up for success, day after day. Daily inspections, routine preventative maintenance, mechanic training, and thoughtful conversation with your guests can help you put the best prepped bike forward and protect yourself in the case of an incident.
The NEPA Process - Working with the USFS
Operating a downhill bike trail system on U.S. Forest Service lands brings unique considerations. This session will highlight USFS process, including application of the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Act (SAROEA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in bike park approvals. Our panel will address recent USFS streamlining efforts and helpful advice on how to approach your planning and maximizing your chances for a reaching a successful decision.
11:45 a.m. ‐ 1:30 p.m.
Lunch & Learn - Garden Court
General Session: The Demographics of Summer Recreation and Lift Access Mountain Biking
Nate Fristoe,Director of Operations, RRC Associates
As resorts develop summer operations, it is relevant to consider the contrast between winter and summer guests and what defined opportunities exist in this space. NSAA has generated several research projects that inform the development of summer activities and provide estimates of the market size of the summer visitor base. Supplementing this research is secondary data from the U.S. Census, and other sources. Collectively this research has helped to inform the growth trajectory for various summer activities. Of particular interest is the future of lift-accessed mountain biking. Historically the participant profile for this activity has been fairly niche and this narrow focus has limited growth. Reconfiguring product offerings to broaden the sport’s appeal has the potential to broaden participation. This presentation will look at the demographics of summer visitors and how resorts can grow their lift access biking operations through leveraging their current summer guests and reaching out to new market segments.
1:45 p.m. ‐ 3:00 p.m.
Incident Investigation (on-hill)
Get practical experience with a mock incident investigation out on the trail. Using a sample incident in the Angel Fire Bike Park, our panel will walk you through first-hand the steps and techniques involved with on-hill investigations.
E-Bikes – Taking Advantage of Technology
When you talk about trends in biking, there’s nothing hotter right now than E-Bikes. You can’t open a bike-oriented magazine or website without a headline or video about e-bikes front and center grabbing your attention. From town commuters to fat tire bikes, everything is getting the e-treatment. Regardless your personal opinion about e-bikes and their users, they are here to stay and finding their way into bike parks and trail systems around the world. Our small panel of bike industry experts will share their insights into why these bikes are popular and how to take advantage of, and accommodate them in your area’s bike programs.
The Winter Side of Bike Parks
Putting your bike park to bed for winter season seems like it should be a fairly straightforward task – take down or change out signage, swap out the trail maps, rope off or fence features, sell or put your rental bikes into storage, and take the carriers off your lift. Things may not be that simple anymore. With amazing amounts of snowfall, features may require special winterization to help them survive under the load of the snow and trails may need protection from run-off. And, as areas look for, and are asked for, a wider variety of activities, bike parks are seeing use year round – sometimes as a diversion during low-snow years and other times as a way to differentiate from competitors. This panel of park managers will share their lessons learned over their many years of park operation.
3:15 p.m. ‐ 6:00 p.m.
Angel Fire Bike Park Riding with option for XC trail ride
5:30 p.m. ‐ 8:30 p.m.
Apres @ Angel Fire – El Jefe
Wednesday, June 6
7:30 a.m. ‐ 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast – Legends Grill
9:15 a.m. ‐ 10:30 a.m.
The Legal Landscape for Bike Parks
Bike parks are becoming more widespread as areas look to augment their summer operations, developing attractive options for recreation at their area year round. As usage of bike parks increase and an ever-more diverse audience tries and embraces biking, areas need to remain vigilant to the risk and safety elements of bike park operations. With greater volume comes greater opportunity for incidents. This session will explore recent bike park incidents and the litigation that has followed. Using these real-life incidents, our industry panel of risk management experts, insurance company representatives, and ASDA attorneys will discuss the lessons learned from past litigation, the small details that have made the difference in judgements, and at present cases that will have an effect on area bike parks.
Bike Patrol - A Critical Link in the Chain
As the expectations of area bike parks increases, so too are the expectations on individual departments. Bike patrol is no exception, with technology and the tools available evolving the management and daily tasks of bike patrols. Whether they are inspecting and opening trails, communicating with guests, or getting someone down the hill when they’ve had an incident, patrollers are integral to your bike parks. Sharing their best practices and recent industry updates relevant to bike patrol, our panel of patrol directors and NSP representatives will share the best practices for their world class parks.
Growing Future Riders through Kids Programs
It’s no joke that kids are the future of downhill biking. The parks that are catering to kids are helping to create the next generation of hard core riders, park builders, and coaches. Our small group of area personnel have developed strong kids programs, making it their mission to get kids involved and keep them coming back. Whether it’s a multi-day camp, or a single lesson, the opportunity is there to deliver a fun experience that even their parents will feel comfortable with. Bring your questions and ideas to this creative and interactive session.
10:45 am ‐ 12:00 pm
Inspection and Maintenance Best Practices (indoor)
Bike parks operate in dynamic environments with the trails and features seeing use and abuse from riders, wildlife, and Mother Nature on a daily basis. This constant wear and tear requires regular inspection of your features and trails to insure they are clear of obstacles, in good working order, and ready for riding. Sometimes its smaller things like braking bumps and other times it may be a board that has split and warped. Regardless, the maintenance and upkeep of your bike park will directly affect the riding experience. Our panel of park builders and managers will discuss their maintenance programs and share their strategies for keeping their parks in shape, from top to bottom.
Master Planning - Strategies for Getting it Right the First Time
A high-quality, inter-connected mountain bike system can be a valuable component of a successful multi-season resort experience. To realize all the potential benefits mountain biking can bring, the trail system must be well integrated into the resort fabric and the full slate of other multi-season activities. Even when budget realities and construction season constraints result in bike networks evolving over time, it is critical to have a master plan as a guide of how it all fits together. This session will use current case studies at Bogus Basin, ID and Copper Mountain, CO to illustrate the benefits and potential challenges of developing a balanced and thoughtful master plan for trails and mountain biking at your resort. Explore this “interconnectedness of all things,” the “Vision – Plan – Permit – Build” progression of the process, and how it may be applied to your operation.
Engaging Your Guests - Managing the Feedback
For many areas, your social media accounts provide a critical connection to your guests. Not only do these channels give you a way to push out information, they also are a vital source of feedback – sometimes good, sometimes not-so-good. Whether this feedback comes from local riders or guests, at their core every one of these interactions represent an opportunity – an opportunity to connect and engage, maybe even create a fan. Discussing the intricacies of engaging fans and critics, our panel of area personnel and media experts will share the strategies that are working (and some that haven’t) over the years as they work to protect their brand.
12:00 ‐ 1:30 pm
Lunch & Learn - Garden Court
Park Manager Roundtable
1:45 ‐ 3:00 pm
Inspection and Maintenance Best Practices (on-hill)
Using the Angel Fire Bike Park, this on-hill session will give attendees the opportunity to discuss specific features and approaches to maintenance and daily inspection. From wood features to dirt, learn from the best as they share their techniques for keeping their trails in world-class condition.
Developing Operating & Maintenance Plans
Operating a bike park is a complex task, especially when you take into account everything that is necessary to running a quality operation. From lifts and lift maintenance to trail building and trail maintenance; from bike school to bike patrol; from rentals to food & beverage; the scope of a bike park operation can rival winter very quickly. While on the surface the task may be daunting, there is help and hope. Our small panel of park operators will lay out the components of their operating plan and how they have built and evolved their parks into successful businesses.
Bike Coach & Instructor Certification Programs
Bike coaching requires a special skill set, very similar to that of ski and snowboard instructors. The best certification systems are based upon the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the job required. This means not just an ability to ride, but also to communicate and relate to guests of all ability level and ages. This session brings together managers from diverse bike schools and a certification organization to discuss what skills are needed (and desired) to not only teach biking but to inspire guest to keep coming back.