Park City Brings Home the Gold!
PARK CITY – The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) announced Monday, Nov. 7, that it has designated Park City, Utah as the first Gold Ride Center®. In doing so, Park City will become the model for IMBA Ride Center Programs.
According to IMBA’s website, The Ride Center® designation represents IMBA’s Model Trail recognition for large-scale mountain bike facilities that offer something for every rider. The IMBA staff selects candidates for Ride Centers recognition on an invitation-only basis. As of October, 2011, seven Ride Centers have undergone IMBA’s evaluation process and Park City was selected as the first and only Gold-Level riding center.
“We’re awarding our highest designation to this amazing mountain bike destination. No location better exemplifies the Ride Center ideal of offering great options for any level of rider and any style of riding,” said IMBA Regional Director Ryan Schutz.
According to Rich Cook, IMBA’s Director of Development, Park City became a Gold-level Ride Center because of its commitment to master planning. “The sheer number of miles of trails is fantastic – there are more than 400! – but what’s really important is that they function as a cohesive network, with signage and trail connections that create an enormously rich mountain bike experience,” Cook said.
Mountain Trails Foundation, Park City’s local trails advocate non-profit organization, worked with IMBA to make sure Park City met all the requirements of the Ride Center Program.
“This has been in the works for a couple years, and like most things in Park City, it was a group effort,” explained Charlie Sturgis, Executive Director of Mountain Trails Foundation. “After two years of leg work, we were able to fill in the criteria sheets requested from IMBA. We’ve been told we received 96 out of a possible 100 points, and while there are other Ride Centers, we’re the first venue to be rated high enough to be Gold Level. This level of achievement couldn’t happen without tremendous contributions from Park City, Snyderville Basin Recreation District, and lots of others.”
One of the benefits of being designated as a Ride Center by IMBA is that mountain bikers looking for the best locations in the world for biking adventures will be able to see Park City’s Gold Level status right on IMBA’s website. They will also be able to book biking vacations in Park City on the site, making IMBA’s Gold Ride Center designation meaningful for local businesses.
Rhonda Sideris, president of Park City Lodging, Inc., noted the potential for increased summer visitors and increased business for lodging companies in the area. “I see no reason why we shouldn’t pursue lift and lodging packages in the summer just like we already have in the winter,” explained Sideris. “It turns out that overall mountain bikers have a much higher demographic profile than our typical summer visitor, and in fact rival the demographic of most of our winter visitors. The IMBA designation gives us bragging rights similar to our ski resorts’ winter rankings. We’re the only Gold level Ride Center in the world so far, and it seems we should get a jump on the competition as a mountain biking travel destination.”
In making the announcement on the IMBA website, Mark Eller, director of communications for IMBA commented, “At the heart of it all, the Mountain Trails Foundation pulls mountain bikers into a true mountain bike community and keeps them energized with new trail projects, and by enlisting the support of the resorts and other local businesses. It all works together at Park City, and that’s what’s pushed them to being the gold standard.”
About Park City Lodging, Inc.
Park City Lodging, Inc. manages a wide array of nightly rental condominiums and private homes throughout the area. Our guests can expect the same great value, selection and exceptional customer service they have depended on since 1984. We offer lodging options for all budgets and preferences with competitive rates and a friendly staff that will assist you with all your vacation details. Choose from locations at Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort, Canyons and Main Street near Town Lift.
Mountain Trails Foundation is a non-profit organization that is Park City’s trails advocate. We are dedicated to promoting and maintaining local trails for non-motorized, recreational use. In addition, we hold a series of yearly events including trail running, mountain biking and x-country skiing as well as volunteer trail care days. The long-term goal of the Mountain Trails Foundation is to provide the greater Park City community and its visitors with diverse recreational opportunities utilizing our seamless, year round trail system.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide. Since 1988, I MBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trailwork participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail management solutions.