The Santa Cruz weekly newspaper Good Times has an article about MBOSC this week. This article makes it public that the focus of our organization is the promotion of mountain bike tourism as a sustainable economic activity for Santa Cruz County. We have been developing a tourism initiative for a while now among ourselves so we may as well explain our strategy.
Mountain bike tourism is a global market and a sustainable economic activity. Communities from all over the world are recognizing the economic potential of this form of eco-tourism and have been embracing it to revitalize their local economies.
Santa Cruz has so many natural advantages for the development of mountain bike tourism including:
- A tourism based infrastructure already in place
- Nearby greenbelt areas and parks within riding distance of hotels and motels
- Spectacular redwood single track and coastal views
- Alternative activities for non-biking guests and family members
- Supportive bike industry and bike culture
- World-class destinations including San Francisco, Monterey and Silicon Valley less than 2 hours away
We believe that there are a number of benefits of mountain bike tourism which could benefit the community of Santa Cruz County including:
- City of Santa Cruz: More hotel and sales tax revenue.
- Local bike industry: increased sales and opportunities for new businesses.
- Local businesses: hotels, restaurants and tourism.
We wish to engage the local business community, visitors center and city council to recognize the economic potential of mountain bike tourism. These partnerships with civic leaders could help us cut through the red tape and get the resources to open more legitimate trails and promote Santa Cruz County as a destination. More legitimate trails and embracing mountain bike tourism could create opportunities for mountain bike events like 24 hour races, fat tire festivals and the development of new businesses to support mountain bike tourism like shuttle and guide services.
Mountain biking is a healthy, eco-friendly, and fun form of outdoor recreation and it should be encouraged for its low-cost, low impact use of public and private land. Santa Cruz is well known as a mountain biking destination to active mountain bikers in Northern California. The city and county can market Santa Cruz as a world-class mountain bike destination with very little investment and effort.