There have been so many changes to our day to day lives since Covid-19 hit North America. From the changing group numbers, countless recreational facilities being closed and even our borders between Canada and the USA being shut down, it’s hard to keep up. All of our businesses are hurting and as we attempt to flatten the curve while moving into more mild weather, it’s important to remember that in our community, our indoor bike parks are taking a huge beating right now. Even once we’re fine to come out from hiding, the parks that we turn to during the winter months, typically struggle into the summer even without an outbreak.
In support of the parks that give us sanity during the cold winter months, I reached out to several park owners and asked how they were doing during these unexpected closures. I don’t believe people realize how much this is hurting our indoor parks, considering this is the time they’re looking to bank as much as possible before numbers dip in the summer. I also wanted to outline ways you can help your local park, may that be buying a pass online to use in the future, or maybe buying products that they have in stock.
Today I’m introducing to you Part 6: Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park, but follow this link for when all the interviews come out. #SupportYourPark
9801 Walford Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102, United States
Represented by Park Manager Keith Miller and Media Manager Brooke Trine
Support: Shop from their online store!
How did Ray’s MTB come to be, its history, significance, etc?
Ray’s MTB: Ray Petro brought his vision of creating an indoor mountain bike paradise to life in 2004 after having the dream for almost 10 years. Ray discovered mountain biking in the mid-’90s during a troubling time of drug addiction and utilized his new passion to change his life and create the world’s first indoor bike park. The park has developed significantly since inception, but we are constantly building new and exciting features for every level of rider. In Ray’s words, “If you keep coming, we will keep building!”.
With the changing landscape, you eventually had to shut down the park due to the new guidelines. What’s going through your mind right now and how is your team?
Ray’s MTB: We did our best to keep the park open as long as we could. We limited some of our services for the safety of the riders and our staff but ultimately made the tough decision to close. We are trying to see the silver lining; being closed earlier than expected may allow for more time to plan and execute park improvements for riders to enjoy next season. Even though we are regularly closed for about 5 months during the summer, it always feels like we come down to the wire with improvements and park changes. Having additional time will allow us to build a few enhancements that may not have made the cut otherwise.
Financially, this must be a huge hit for you. In a normal year when there isn’t a pandemic, I assume this is like, crunch time right? You’re probably looking to bank as much as possible before closing in what was supposed to be May. If you can share any facts or figures, please paint us a picture to illustrate the severity of the situation – or maybe you’re doing ok?
Ray’s MTB: Even though our business is structured around a 7 month season, every week that we are open (or closed) makes a huge impact on our bottom line. Around March, as the spring weather emerges, attendance usually begins to decline, but certainly not anywhere near being closed altogether. Fortunately, we were able to make it through our busy months. If this would have hit 8 weeks earlier, we would have been in BIG trouble. To give the readers perspective, we had thousands of riders in February. We would expect March to be slightly lower as the weather gets nicer and people start riding outside, but if we remain closed through March and April, there will certainly be a financial impact.
How can we support you right now?
Ray’s MTB: With the situation constantly changing, one of the best ways to support the park is to stay up to date on our social media posts. Throughout all of this, we’ve been doing our best to keep riders updated via Facebook and Instagram.
Anyone looking to support the park can call and purchase gift cards. You can choose the gift card value, but if you’d like to purchase amounts that align to admissions and/or rentals, you can find our prices at the link below. Gift cards don’t expire and make a great gift for those who enjoy the park as much as we do!
We are also creating an online store to allow customers to purchase Ray’s-branded goodies as well as some of the hard parts that we stock at the park (i.e. grips, cranks, hubs). Once this site is live, ordering a fresh Ray’s t-shirt or a Profile Racing hat that you can wear around town is another great way to support the park.
Ultimately, we are devastated that this is affecting our ability to provide the experience and atmosphere that our riders have come to know and love. We are working diligently to identify ways for people to come ride safely, responsibly, and in compliance with health regulations and government mandates. We appreciate everyone’s support and understanding during this time.
Please support your park by sharing this article, and buy a gift card if you can and show from their online store!