How Mountain Biking Is Saving Ski Resorts

Interesting read:

Considering how short and variable our winter conditions can be around here some years, I’m kinda surprised Martock/Wentworth haven’t embraced mountain biking more.


Lets hope the local ski hill get the message.

There was an effort not too long ago to open Ski Cape Smokey in the summer months, but that never really got off the ground.

Of course Keppoch used to be a ski hill. Granted it’s a completely different business model with a non-profit group running it now.

I just want to know where I can get my hands on that sweet mini-bulldozer!

Kind of crazy, that we’re willing to drive nearly 6 hours to ride Sugarloaf, NB, and yet the NS hills can’t see their way clear to doing it. Heading up there for a weekend of DHing tomorrow.

Granted, without Sugarloaf being a provincial park, supported by tax dollars, there’s absolutely no way for it to be self sustaining. There just aren’t enough people.


I always thought the reason given for the local hills to suspend biking because of insurance to be kind of bogus. Are you telling me that insurance for skiers is not the same? Especially in light of so many ski hills in North America opening in the summer months, the insurance premiums surely can’t be the deciding factor.

Perhaps someone (BNS board, maybe?) needs to sit with the ski hill owners and show them how many Nova Scotians are driving far and wide to hit ski hills that allow summer biking. There must be a case for allowing bikes!

I agree, I think it is just fear and uncertainty.

Maybe not enough bikers would show to run the lift too. A shuttle truck/trailer would do for me though.

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When we used to host events at Martock, the insurance cost for the summer season was an additional $50k (over and above what they paid for skiing insurance), plus the costs of opening the lifts, staff, etc. So, round that up to $100k for a couple of months (which is pretty conservative), maybe 15 weekends in total and you have the potential for about 30 total days that you can be open in the year.

If you sold passes at $25/day, you would need at least 133 people per day just to break even. Not gonna happen here.

Plus, that was over a decade ago. It’s probably a lot more than that now.

Hard to justify the business case for it.

The business case for a ski hill is also hard to justify…what other type of business invests so much money (infastructure, facilities, maintenance equipment, staffing, PR, etc) to only be open for 4 or 5 months of the year?

But they do it, and then it all lays dormant for the other 7 or 8 months of the year. Insane.

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Not a business I would ever want to be part of to be sure. That said, the sheer volume of skiers and the hope for good weather makes it a safer bet than downhill mountain biking.

At least it does here.

Yeah I guess it might only bolster a ski hill in an area that already has a large existing mountain bike community. In the article they talk about Whistler and places in Colorado. So yeah, those places would have loads of existing mountain bikers to attract.


Maybe someday…

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This is a cool article that makes one think of the local potential