Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on April 25th, 2011 at 1:31 pm
Imagine a place about the size of a Costco warehouse where people of all ages (kids too!) and skill levels can ride indoors, hang out, surf the web, and meet up with friends. That’s the vision behind The Lumberyard, a new private business venture modeled after the successful Ray’s Indoor MTB Park in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Lumberyard will be about 60,000 square feet of jumps, berms, ramps, pump tracks and all sorts of ways to have fun on your bike — whether you need a place for your kid to learn to ride, or if you prefer a BMX bike, a 26-inch mountain bike, or anything in between.
The visionary behind the project is Will Heiberg, currently Vice President of the Northwest Trail Alliance and Art Manager at Liquid Development, a Portland-based video game company. Heiberg has been looking for a way to enjoy recreational mountain biking with his kids for years and has been a fan of Ray’s MTB Park in Cleveland since it opened in 2004. Ray’s opened about six years ago and has been a huge success; so much so that Trek Bicycle Corporation bought it in June 2010 and the concept is now expanding to other cities.
(Photo © J. Maus)
On The Lumberyard, Heiberg has partnered up with fellow NW Trail Alliance Board Members Michael Whitesel and Matthew Mangus. Whitesel is the company’s finance and business manager and Mangus’ marketing firm, Mangai Rollin, has been hired to handle branding and media relations.
At this point, Heiberg says his team has secured “substantial investors and some solid partners.” The last remaining hurdle is finding just the right location and building for the park to call home. Heiberg is remaining close-lipped about the potential location, but says they are working with the City of Portland to make sure it is in the Portland metro area.
The Lumberyard team is also staying mum on a possible opening date. Asked whether or not this was the real deal, or just another great idea that might never see the light of day, Heiberg assured me that The Lumberyard is definitely going to happen. “We were just keeping things quiet,” he said, “until we felt like we were really close to pulling it off.”
Word about the project leaked out on Thursday at a movie screening benefit for the NW Trail Alliance. The Lumberyard was also featured in a presentation at the Trail Alliance’s ‘Trail Fest’ event that took place on Friday night. Another sign that Heiberg and crew are serious is that they sent Mangus to the Sea Otter Classic bike race/festival in Monterey, California last weekend. He was there to share a promotional video and drum up sponsorship interest.
If successful, The Lumberyard will be much more than just a place to ride. “We’re looking to make sure this is not only a fun riding spot, but that it’s a social hub,” says Heiberg.
Follow The Lumberyard on Facebook and stay tuned to BikePortland for developments.