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Mountain Biking hits a Bump

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LAKE PLACID, US – Ski resorts that opened trails to riders in off-season find business is sparse: “Numbers have dropped off a cliff,” said Dick Carlson, director of skiing at one of these resorts. “I don’t know where it’s going in the industry.” When mountain biking took off in the mid- to late 1990s, many ski resorts opened their trails to the sport. It was a way to expand the season and boost revenues.

Mountain Biking hits a Bump

 LAKE PLACID, US – Ski resorts that opened trails to riders in off-season find business is sparse: "Numbers have dropped off a cliff," said Dick Carlson, director of skiing at one of these resorts. "I don’t know where it’s going in the industry." When mountain biking took off in the mid- to late 1990s, many ski resorts opened their trails to the sport. It was a way to expand the season and boost revenues. They turned winter ski trails into summer bike trails, added attachments to chairlifts to carry the bikes up the hill and bought bikes to rent.
 
Gore Mountain ski area (NY) cancelled its mountain-bike program last year after the number of biking visitors dropped from 1,330 to 245 in five years. The drops correspond to a drop seen nationally in mountain bike use in the US. According to a 2006 report of the Outdoor Industry Foundation, a trade group in Boulder, the number of mountain bike users has decreased by 17.3 million since a peak of 2001. The number of road-biking participants has also dropped, but only by 4.7 million during the same time, the foundation reported.

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