2024 Grant Application: Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association Event Hosting Grant

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Grant Overview

Please enter a brief descriptive name for this grant*
Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association Event Hosting Grant

Briefly describe the purpose of the grant
Requesting funding to support the infrastructural needs to host the 2024 Maxxis Eastern States Cup enduro mountain biking race, a touring New England race series, which brings over 300 riders and their families to mountain communities for a weekend festival of racing and riding.

What is the total budget for the project for which you are requesting EDC support?

How much funding are you requesting from the EDC?

Applicant and Organization Information

Name of Applicant / Organization / Business
Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association

Mailing address
PO Box 291 Woodstock VT 05091

Name of Project coordinator
Mark Harris

Coordinator's email address

Coordinator's telephone number

Organization's website

Organization's EIN

If you are applying on behalf of an organization, describe the organization and its mission (if you are applying as an individual enter "None")
The Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association’s mission is to build, maintain, and preserve trails for non-motorized public recreation in the Woodstock area. As a member-driven, local non-profit, our organization works with landowners, public officials, and other stakeholders to provide the community with enduring access to sustainable trail networks and collective opportunities to experience them. Through our efforts, we hope to enhance community health, promote economic development, and foster a lifelong passion among our trail users to protect and enjoy our regions’ magnificent natural landscapes.

If you are applying on behalf of an organization, what is your annual organizational budget (if you are applying as an individual enter "None")?

Project Description

Please provide a detailed description of the project
The Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association (WAMBA) has partnered with the Maxxis Eastern States Cup to bring the top enduro bike riders in New England to Woodstock for our 3rd annual weekend riding festival in Woodstock and Pomfret. This year’s race will take place on September 7 and 8, 2024. More than 300 registered riders (including at least 75 aged 16 or younger) will descend on our area for a weekend riding festival. Arrival begins on Friday evening, with racers either camping at S6 or staying locally in our hotels and short-term rental homes. Saturday will serve as a practice day for racers to familiarize themselves with the five segments of the race across Mt. Peg and Saskadena Six, then spend the remainder of the day experiencing our Woodstock Community. On Sunday race day, riders begin competition at 8 a.m. and ride throughout the day with a culminating festival and awards ceremony held at S6. The most "Woodstock" aspect of this race is that racers will taxi themselves by bike from S6 to Mt. Peg with a trip across the Middle Covered Bridge. This is a community-forward race unlike any others on the ESC circuit (which take place mostly at large ski resorts). This event brings great attention to Woodstock and Pomfret as an elite mountain biking destination. It takes an incredible volunteer effort in the weeks leading up to the race and throughout the entire race weekend. In addition to the reputational boost to our community and trails, we receive support from race participants in the form of donations and WAMBA paid memberships.

What is the timeline for the project (e.g. when will it be ready to start, when will it be completed,
are there important milestones along the way?
This year's race has moved up in the Fall calendar to Sept 7-8. Last year's race was the second weekend in October. This change will avoid the peak foliage challenges our community faces, as well as distance itself from the Vermont Youth Cycling Race and Vermont Mountain Biking Association festivals that will each take place Sept 21-22. The most important aspect of timelines is to have our trails in their best possible condition by racing weekend. Fortunately, trail maintenance is our primary work as an organization. The race forces WAMBA to bring the trails along our five race stages to their absolute best condition for the weekend. Based on the work of the previous two years, our Trail Crew estimates roughly 175 hours of paid labor specific to race preparations. This includes smoothing, berming, addressing drainage issues, and taping and untaping the race course. In addition to hosting an elite MTB race with a first-class course, our community receives the benefit of this work after the fact.

What will success look like?
We are confident we will once again host an incredible festival of mountain biking! This year, our true success is going to come from carefully managing our expenses, particularly in our trail crew time, and creating new revenue/sponsorship opportunities for revenue for WAMBA and for our partners. For example, we will work with the Mt. Tom Farmers Market to be better prepared to share the S6 parking lot on race weekend. Their vendors will be ready to feed a parking lot filled with race campers on Saturday morning. We will also recruit new Local Partners who can feed racers on-site or off, which creates incremental value in our Local Partners program. Last year, the EPIC Food Truck from Claremont sold out of all inventory before Noon. This year, we'll have more partners lined up and ready to support this weekend. We will offer a Woodstock weekend guide to all campers at check-in, and provide the contact information for our lodging partners to the ESC for inclusion with their registration materials. We intend to fully utilize the ESC race as a marketing opportunity for all of the businesses that support WAMBA. NOTE: The ESC Race brings its own sponsors to the weekend, which prevents us from hosting a traditional event sponsorship model.

Project Budget

Please provide a link to a spreadsheet that shows the project's budget, using the format as indicated in this example

Please confirm that no in-kind expenses are included in the budget spreadsheet

If there are any explanations you would like to provide to help us better understand the project budget spreadsheet
please enter them here
While our costs are reasonably similar to last year, we are asking the EDC for a lesser grant amount than last year as we wind down our requests of the Woodstock community (EDC) to support this event and approach a self-sustaining model which can absorb the full expense of the race and still be profitable enough to justify the incredible amount of volunteer hours required to host.

Community Support

Is there a "project champion" who strongly supports the project?
This race has become a signature event for WAMBA and our Board fully supports it for the benefits it brings to our organization. These benefits include revenue, new members, social media followers, and an increase in Woodstock's reputation as a premier mountain biking destination in New England. Additionally, this race is only possible with the support of the Woodstock Inn and its staff, who allow WAMBA to host this event on their grounds.

Describe the level of community support for this project
We estimate that it takes no fewer than 300 volunteer hours to host this event successfully. Community members serve as course marshals, prepare and serve food and drink at the racer refueling station, and host camping and parking efforts at S6.

Questions and Responses

Question: Not a question- I just want to say that I'm so happy to see the new date for this event! This is an excellent way to expose families to Woodstock, who may consider moving to our area, at a time when points of interest will be accessible to them. (submitted by Greta Calabrese)
Response: Mark Harris has not yet responded

Question: If you were awarded the grant how would you plan to recognize the contribution made by the EDC (so the community can better understand the types of investments we are making in economic and commmunity development)? (submitted by Jon Spector)
Response: We'll promote it anytime we mention the ESC race in our WAMBA newsletter communications (which reach the local audience). And we will also feature the grant on the 'ESC Headquarters' page which will be created on mtbwoodstock.com. Additionally, we'll mention the EDC on the printed race guide which will be distributed to all racers who camp at S6.

Question: Do you a future where this event is self sustaining? (submitted by Larry Niles)
Response: Absolutely! Aside from the hard costs, such as EMS and portapotties, the cost to WAMBA is the trail preparations. We continue to refine the understanding of what the race needs and doesn't need. Also, aside from storm damage or other major setbacks, our trail work is lasting... meaning they require less preparation each year. Secondarily, I'm also committed to finding new monetization opportunities around the race (in the absence of traditional race sponsorship). This takes time but we're learning what racers need and how our partners can help meet those needs.