1. What is the mission/objective of MBT?
The mission statement of MBT is “To build a vibrant, healthy community by enhancing our recreational and economic opportunities in the Teton region through development of our mountain biking resources. MBT intends to accomplish this mission through:
- Marketing and branding the Teton region as a world-class mountain biking destination
- Dedicated trail development and maintenance work,
- Cooperation among all trail user groups,
- Grass-roots advocacy, and
- Innovative trail management solutions
2. What is TVTAP’s position on this new organization?
- TVTAP—the predominate trails and pathways nonprofit in Teton Valley—is limited in the resources it can dedicate specifically to MTB vs. winter programs, pathways, trail work, and other goals of their organization.
- TVTAP offers many initiatives around trails and pathways that serve many diverse user groups, such as hikers, skiers, equestrians, students, road cyclists and mountain bicyclists. MBT aims to coordinate its trail efforts very closely with TVTAPs, allowing both organizations to better serve their respective memberships.
- TVTAP has no intention of changing their mission, goals, or programing as a result of this new organization.
- The organizers of this group approached TVTAP in the very early discussion stages and has received both encouragement and support for the concept from its Board of Directors.
- TVTAP will retain its popular three-per-season “Volunteer Trail Days”, continue its work with Teton Basin Ranger District, and will work cooperatively with MBTV to create a world class MTB trail system in Teton Valley.
3. Why introduce another organization in the Teton region when we already have groups that have a focus on mountain biking?
- The Teton region is one of the few areas that boasts so many riding resources (trails, trail advocates, bike shops, ski resorts) and yet until MBT was formed, didn’t have a dedicated mountain bike advocacy group.
- Many in the are feel we’re missing a tremendous opportunity to help drive economic development as well as trail system expansion and sustainability by not having an advocacy group solely focusing on off-road cycling.
- IMBA, the International Mountain Bicycling Association, has substantial resources that are only available to mountain bike-dedicated groups that are a “Chapter “ of IMBA.
4. What is meant by “economic opportunity” as it relates to mountain biking?
A quick, but by no means complete, inventory of our key resources to suggest the Teton region could be a world-class rider destination:
- bountiful trails with low-density use
- three year-round resorts that already offer hundreds of miles of trail, with more—and an additional bike park—coming this summer
- multiple full-service bike shops
- perfect conditions for riding during our season
- And throw in the value-adds of world-class rock climbing, road biking, lake/river sports, fishing, hiking and camping, two nearby National Parks.
Now think of other areas that have turned similar natural resources into destinations: Moab, Fruita, Mountain bike Oregon (Oakridge)
- Trails can be a key point of economic development, as is argued in this study: http://atfiles.org/files/pdf/Economic-Benefits-American-Trails.pdf
- Mountain biking could drive significant economic value to the area including the ability to focus more State and even Federal funding on our trail development and maintenance programs
- Access to good riding trails and shops has been demonstrated to be a key consideration for talented “creative class” workers in their decision to relocate. If we want to see more of that sort of energy come to the Teton region, we have to have a clear mountain bike value proposition to offer them.
- Part of our strategy will be to seek State and Federal funding for projects that contribute the economic development through mountain biking— funding that the Teton region deserves to receive.
5. Who is behind MBT?
- The initial discussions for this idea took the concept to several key stakeholders in Teton Valley: each local bike shop, TVTAP, rider groups and Grand Targhee Resort (GTR). From this came a Board of Directors: (alphabetical order): Tim Adams, Scott Fitzgerald, Geordie Gillett, Linsey Hayes, Mike Lien, David Treinis (chair), Dick Weinbrandt, Andy Williams, Lynne Wolfe
- The MBT was soft-announced at Fitzgerald’s Bicycles annual St. Patrick’s Day Party in 2013 and promptly signed up nearly 40 members in one evening! The overwhelming response that evening alone tells us that there’s a broad-based Teton constituency behind MBT.
6. Why become an IMBA Chapter?
- As a Chapter, MBT has instant c(3) status under IMBA’s umbrella designation. As a c(3) nonprofit, we can raise tax-deductible funds, be exempt from most taxation on operations, participate in the match fundraising of Tin Cup, etc.
- IMBA will provide all of the “back office” tasks related to membership: tracking, renewals, etc.
- Our MBT members will enjoy reciprocal membership in IMBA
- We can tap IMBA’s substantial strengths in land-planning (including any issues at Federal level), trail building/consultation, corporate supporter relationships, and a host of other benefits. See http://www.imba.com/chapter-program for a description of all services and benefits we receive as an IMBA Chapter
7. What will be MBT’s role in dealing with area land managers and other trail use groups?
- Without exception, IMBA-supported discussions and negotiations with land managers and other trail users have led to improved relationships and demonstrated progress in trail management.
- MBT will make one of its first priorities the establishment of open communication with land managers, TVTAP, and other user groups
- There are numerous land management-related initiatives underway that we want to support and help to create solutions for more diverse and well planned mountain bike network of trails
8. What’s the timeline? Several timelines and “gates” encouraged the founder group to move quickly to establish itself as an operating entity going into the spring:
- First, the deadline to apply for once-yearly IMBA chapter designation was March 13th.
- We wanted to be ready for this year’s Tin Cup fundraising cycle, which kicked off on April 3rd.
- Finally, seeing the across-the-board enthusiasm for this concept, we just didn’t want to lose even one riding/trail season in moving towards our objectives!
9. How can I join?