First Underground MTB Park Planned, Bound to Fail?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum First Underground MTB Park Planned, Bound to Fail?

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    • #124914

      Today I stumbled across a news article discussing plans to build the world’s first-ever underground mountain bike park. On the surface, this sounded great, but as I journeyed deep within the article, I got pretty skeptical about the long-term viability of the idea.

      From what I could tell in the article, the reasoning is essentially, "Louisville is becoming a mountain biking mecca, and people will be coming from all over to ride here, so this will be a great attraction, and a way for us (Mega Caverns) to make some money." While even at first the idea of a mountain biking mecca so attractive located in Louisville that it’d make this a good business investment seems a little far-fetched at the present, I stumbled across this choice quotation:

      "We are being told that Louisville will be a mecca of mountain bike parks in the United States," adds Lowry, "there will be nowhere else in the country where a hundred miles of bike park trails will be located.

      Woa, hold up a just a second. How exactly are they defining "a hundred miles of bike park trails?" I know they can’t be talking about a hundred miles of jump lines… because that’s perhaps the only way this claim could have any accuracy. Even then, I’d think some place like Mammoth, Winter Park, or Snowshoe would have a much better bid than Lousiville!

      However, I doubt this guy is really familiar with the nuanced difference between "bike park trails" and "bike trails." My best guess is that he’s simply referring to having 100 miles of bike trails [i:1jod7qp6]in parks[/i:1jod7qp6] in the Lousiville area.

      If that’s the case, and if he thinks having 100 miles of singletrack in the Louisvlle Metro Area is going to be enough to turn Louisville into a world-class destination, I think he’s going to be sorely disappointed! To be frank, 100 miles of trails, even with an underground bike park, might not be enough to get Louisville onto our Top 10 Cities list, much less our Top 10 Destinations list!

      Anyhow, that’s my take. What do you think: will this underground bike park bloom or die?

      (Side note: to be fair to all involved, it seems like KYMBA has their ambitions in check and realizes that, perhaps compared to other metro MTB destinations, Louisville could feasibly compete: "’Those plans will really put Louisville on the map as an urban ride destination,’ says Harris." But it’s not clear that they share Mega Caverns’ opinion that Lousville will became a national "mecca," in competition with places like Moab and Park City.)

      Read more here: … louisville

    • #124915

      Funny, I was recently talking with a friend about mountain biking in a cave–this might just be our best shot at it! As far as novelty factor goes, this has it. But as you said, there need to be a lot more for mountain bikers to do in the area to make it a true MTB destination, let alone "mecca."

    • #124916
      "We are being told that Louisville will be a mecca of mountain bike parks in the United States,"

      said the company getting the development job!

      Now we need to come up with a name for the park. My vote is a for "Hell" make it super sketchy with lots of flames and red lighting 😈

    • #124917

      And I think the 100 miles of trails has to be metropolitan area. Not a park. Yes respectable, the best? I’ve never ridden there so can’t say for sure, but…

    • #124918

      I looked into the mega cavern. It is an old mine with 17 miles of corridor with a lot of cavern type areas along the side of it. It was hard to find any pics of any type of real terrain the floor of the cavern is almost completely smooth so I would say at least 90% of the terrain will have to be man made. My guess is they will try to make a giant underground rays mtb. Which isn’t a bad idea since the temperature will always be perfect for either the winter or super hot summer days. Will this park be a mecca? I highly doubt it. But there is a lot of money behind it and could be pretty cool if done correctly. There may be enough room to squeeze in a 100 miles of ray’s type of mtb park or at least a hybrid of rays. I would say it has some potential.

    • #124919

      Interesting concept. It would have to be really extraordinary for me to go ride in Louisville when there re so many other spectacular places that I have not been yet. I’m curious as to what the development costs will be and how they plan to recoup them.

    • #124920
    • #124921

      Having just spent a week in the Louisville area, I would be hard pressed to call it a mountain bike mecca. I saw a few roadies, but no MTBs the whole week. Granted I may have been on the wrong side of town and missed it being totally unfamiliar with the area.

      Thanks for the video Ginny Tory. I hope they can pull this off. A perfect winter get away. And the cool factor alone of riding in an old mine is pretty high. 😀 Wow their light bill alone will be enormous. I would carry my usual 2 lights and maybe a third just in case the lights go out.

    • #124922

      I wonder if they’ll offer rental bikes like Ray’s. I think that would help bring in some customers that are visiting from out of town on a business trip.

      I don’t think it will compete with Moab or Park City or even some of the "smaller" places like Sedona. Riding outside just has a larger appeal to me, both for the views and the sun/visibility.

      I’ve played paintball in a cavern in Kansas City when my friends and I were on a trip back from D-Day (a large paintball game.) It was fun to play in the cavern, but we mostly played just to say we did it. There wasn’t much appeal to go back and play there again.

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