Open Letter from Doug Emerson and Frank Banta on Boulder Valley Velodrome

This is in response I believe from some of the comments generated from the past article ran Boulder Valley Velodrome Open in Spring


Recent Construction of the Velodrome, from Facebook

Dear 303Cycling,

Thank you for posting the Denver Post article about Boulder Valley Velodrome on October 30, 2012. The main question raised by the article has been, “will the velodrome be accessible to the general public?” The short answer is, yes, everyone will have access to the track. We intend to offer classes, programs, and open track time for riders of all levels. Our initial emphasis, however, will be on taking care of the Founding Members and the original ten clubs that committed to this project early.

The expanded version of our business plan is simple: We want to run the facility as a wide open, free market system. Coaches and trainers who wish to organize classes and programs are free to do so. Groups and clubs beyond the original ten will have the opportunity to buy blocks of time. Race promoters will be able to rent the facility and hold events. We will need a beer sponsor, as well as mobile food vendors, to take advantage of this new venue. The possibilities for people to get involved are endless.

The idea behind our 50 Founding Members, and original ten clubs (300 members, 30 per club), is to open the track with a structured atmosphere. Ultimately, we want to create an old-fashioned, Belgian-style, club culture. Our goal is a scenario where one club is on the track, another club is arriving, while a third club is barbecuing after finishing their 90-minute session. We feel that this is very plausible, and best describes our vision for the velodrome.

Here are some additional ways we see riders experiencing the track:

We will be welcoming the formation of more clubs. Although the original ten clubs have the first choice of track times, there will be plenty of room for the schedule to grow. Our business plan is designed to reward groups who get themselves organized. The velodrome cannot function successfully on a business model of simply opening each day for whoever shows up. The safety and enjoyment of each rider requires more organization than that.

Regarding the club-based structure: We are assuming that most people will want to ride during premium times, like after work on weekdays and during the weekend. The original ten clubs are first in line to choose their preferred times. These clubs own their weekly 90-minute training sessions. They are free to generate funds for their club by holding classes and programs. For instance, a club might give up their weekend session for twelve weeks to host an open-track session or create a youth development program.

We have already spoken to many existing road racing clubs who have a few members (often 5-10) interested in track. We are hoping that these groups find one another (social networking?) to form more clubs. At every level of our business plan, it behooves you to be in a cohesive club.

Let's say you are not in a club, and you are anyone from a beginner to an experienced racer. With our free-market based approach, classes and programs will be offered by qualified coaches and trainers. The BVV website will post a description of the various programs, including contact information, and commerce will commence. You pay the coach directly, and the coach rents track time from BVV. Classes and programs will generally run once a week for twelve weeks and a rental bike will be included.

In summary, we want Boulder Valley Velodrome to thrive, and we feel like we have the right group of coaches and trainers to make it happen. We still hope to be operable by April, winter weather permitting, a “soft“ opening will follow, where we will observe the flow of our ten clubs and Founding Members within the schedule. Hopefully, classes and programs can begin during next summer.

Thank you to everyone for your continued encouragement.

Sincerely,

Doug & Frank
Boulder Valley Velodrome

News Item: 

11 Comments

Track Access

As someone that heavily used the indoor "mini" velodrome in Boulder the past few years, I feel that the programs described by Frank and Doug make a lot of sense. They won't please everyone, but the economic and safety realities are such that creating groups with the willingness to acquire members and manage their own affairs will greatly assist the overall velodrome success. While each of us would like to drop in at the times of our own choosing (the bowling alley model), that only works once a load factor can be properly calculated. A new venture like this, with its inherent risks, needs financial and organizational stability. We already saw the indoor velodrome close because of that issue - few riders at anything but peak hours leading to operating losses. And I also feel strongly that Frank and Doug deserve HUGE kudos for taking the leap of faith to invest in this incredible resource. Without them, there would be no track at all for anyone. Here's to success in Spring of 2013!!!!

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