Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

11 Sep 2014

Design contractor for Chapman Hill Bike Park trails to get $30K from City of Durango

Posted by Adam Howell


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This Fall, Durango residents may begin working on several trails for the new Chapman Hill Bike Park thanks to a $30,000-dollar allocation for their designs that was unanimously approved by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Chapman Hill will soon be the home to a bike park designed by Alpine Bike Park.

Chapman Hill will soon be the home to a bike park designed by Alpine Bike Parks.

Alpine Bike Parks, a full-service design/build contractor out of British Columbia, will be hired to complete a site analysis, a phased development plan for the park, and final design documentation for Phase 1 of the project, according to Assistant Community Development Director Kevin Hall.

“Alpine Bike Parks was one of five proposals, and they were the low bid, and in fact was probably one of the better proposals, not just lowest bid, but also the firm that did the Valmont Bike Park up in Boulder and has done a lot of world-class facilities around the world,” said Assistant Community Development Director Kevin Hall.

Flow trails with locations for freeride features and jump lines, as well as  a skills area will be a part of the first phase. Another aspect of Phase 1 may include a multi-use, multi-directional commuter trail with an aggregate base for people to use in getting back to the top of the hill, said Hall.

Trails will be located uphill, and north of the Champman Hill Ice Rink, aside from the existing ski hill, Hall said.

The $30,000 dollar earmark will come from a $166,974 dollar  fund balance that was already appropriated by the City Council from the 2005 Open Space, Parks and Trails fund, according to Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz.

City officials and Trails 2000 pursued two grants from Great Outdoors Colorado and one from Bell Helmets in 2013, all of which were out competed by other municipalities.

“We’ve really tried to be a part of the process and find other funding,” said Mary Monroe Brown, the Executive Director of Trails 2000. “We just want to keep this ball rolling. We’re coming to the table with a lot of skin in the game, to say we’ll help construct it.  We’ll help pay for the construction. We’ll bring volunteers to construct it. We’ll help maintain it. We feel that we are serious partners with the city and have been and have a proven track record.”

Alpine Bike Park’s founder and principal owner Judd de Vall has been to Durango several times on his own dime and knows the terrain, slope and challenges of Chapman Hill, said Monroe Brown.

This summer, Trails 2000’s Gravity Council member Chris Strouthopolous went riding at Valmont Bike Park in Boulder for the first time, he said.

“It was incredible to me to see the range of community members using it,” said Strouthopolous. “It was everybody from people on strider bikes like my only son who is 3 years old, and is in Devo, all the way up to world class professional athletes training there. It is a skills development area, and these bike parks appeal to all levels of skills.”

“There’s an amazing amount of bike riders in this town, and all age levels of bike riders will be able to benefit from it,” Strouthopolous said about the trails planned for Chapman Hill.  ” I had as much fun as the little kids.”

Gravity Council member Walker Thompson sees the popularity of new trails at Chapman Hill benefiting the economy of the entire community.

“I think that’s what’s going to happen in Durango. This thing goes live and people are like ‘Wow, Durango has got a bike park? Ok we have to go to the bike park now. We are going to post it on social.’ This little advertising of Durango I think is going to be a tourism boost because it’s something that we’ve never had before.”

“I went to Whistler this summer, to Squamish, went to Bend Oregon, all to hit the bike parks,” said Thompson.

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