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Velodrome for sale

Old 10-25-17, 08:13 AM
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700wheel
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Velodrome for sale

The Boulder Valley Velodrome is for sale
For sale: $4.7M Boulder Valley Velodrome in Erie - Boulder Daily Camera
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Old 10-25-17, 09:29 AM
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Crowd funding this thing would be awesome --- it'll never happen, but would still be awesome! A completely member owned and member invested facility
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Old 10-25-17, 02:11 PM
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I just saw this and know nothing about the owners or community- but as someone who just got certified there I'm very much not surprised. There are two critical design flaws to the track that I feel are absolutely impeding the culture and stunting the community around it.

While visiting the track is promoted / welcomed, the wayfinding is very odd and visitors arrive in a space where they mix with riders. Riders are tired, focused on bikes, and, sometimes, are annoyed with answering the same questions over and over again between efforts. What I observed was the riders having to act as ambassadors to the track contributed to several visitors feeling unwelcome- right after they saw a massive sign inviting them in. Some sort of info desk / greeter is probably necessary to orient visitors, it would also be beneficial if they circulated to the party deck instead of the infield.

The other issue is that the way the track is used is, in my opinion, completely unsafe. The combination of entering on the backfield and the steep, wooden banking means you have to merge on to the track with a good amount of speed- but the party deck at turns 1 & 2 gives little passage. Riders are encouraged to accelerate past this at a fairly quick speed, and then return to the infield on the back stretch immediately after a finish. As the BVV director told my cert class, "People don't want to watch cool down laps." This led to one of the people in my class deciding she never wanted to ride a track again- she told me that she felt mtbing by herself in the Rockies was safer.

It's tragic- it's a great resource, and a super fun and beautiful track to ride, but I think that it's under-utilized because of several fairly critical design flaws. And I'm not even mentioning the splintered wood on turns 3 & 4 that scares the ***** out of me when I ride over it...
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Old 10-25-17, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kings run east View Post
I just saw this and know nothing about the owners or community- but as someone who just got certified there I'm very much not surprised. There are two critical design flaws to the track that I feel are absolutely impeding the culture and stunting the community around it.

While visiting the track is promoted / welcomed, the wayfinding is very odd and visitors arrive in a space where they mix with riders. Riders are tired, focused on bikes, and, sometimes, are annoyed with answering the same questions over and over again between efforts. What I observed was the riders having to act as ambassadors to the track contributed to several visitors feeling unwelcome- right after they saw a massive sign inviting them in. Some sort of info desk / greeter is probably necessary to orient visitors, it would also be beneficial if they circulated to the party deck instead of the infield.

The other issue is that the way the track is used is, in my opinion, completely unsafe. The combination of entering on the backfield and the steep, wooden banking means you have to merge on to the track with a good amount of speed- but the party deck at turns 1 & 2 gives little passage. Riders are encouraged to accelerate past this at a fairly quick speed, and then return to the infield on the back stretch immediately after a finish. As the BVV director told my cert class, "People don't want to watch cool down laps." This led to one of the people in my class deciding she never wanted to ride a track again- she told me that she felt mtbing by herself in the Rockies was safer.

It's tragic- it's a great resource, and a super fun and beautiful track to ride, but I think that it's under-utilized because of several fairly critical design flaws. And I'm not even mentioning the splintered wood on turns 3 & 4 that scares the ***** out of me when I ride over it...
For what it's worth, entering the track on the back straight (the side without the finish line) and exiting the track on the home straight (the side with the finish line) is common etiquette at tracks around the world.

It's also common to ride relief (rest) laps just above the blue stayer's line. That way faster riders can go under you in the sprinter's lane or wind up above you along the rails.

Safely entering and exiting a track, especially a short one with lots of activity, can seem treacherous. But, it's possible. Everyone will appreciate if you err on the side of safety. A good track director will appreciate that.

The "People don't want to watch cool down laps." comment may have been harsh and taken too literally. One is commonly expected to exit the track after they reasonably slow down to a safe exit speed. So, if you are a riding doing a flying 200m at 40mph/65kph, then it might take 1.5 or 2 laps to safely slow the bike down. But, if you are going much slower, then that deceleration can happen faster.

Also, there are periods on the track when "loligaging" and having a chat with your buddy as you circle above the stayer's line is totally acceptable. You simply have to feel it out.

Don't be discouraged. Maybe the track director would rather come off too strict and hard than the opposite. Trust me, you don't want the opposite. I've seen:

- Water bottles jump out of people's jersey pockets and roll down a busy track during warmups.
- Road bikes on the track during warmups.
- People riding 2-wide in the sprinter's lane at just over a walking pace chatting while others are zooming around them (at Masters Nationals no less)
- People passing under the sprinter's lane and on the flat and then struggle to pass and get back on the track before entering turn 1.

So, it's probably better to instill a bit of fear and firmness into new riders who may be skilled (and bold) from riding other disciplines than it is to hope they know better.

EDIT:

Also, new tracks simply don't have local etiquette ingrained in everyone yet. They are still all figuring it out. I realized this as I was a regular at DLV (which has been active since the 1970s) and visited Rock Hill during it's inaugural season. Things were very awkward, disjointed, and not as "together" and it was a bit unnerving even to me being an experienced racer. Rock Hill got better very quickly. I imagine something like that may be happening at Boulder, too, as the locals and staff simply get more experience every week.

Last edited by carleton; 10-25-17 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 10-25-17, 02:46 PM
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I'd love to see the revenue the track is generating. I'd be surprised if they could really justify the $4.7m asking price as a velodrome. Most business valuations are done on a multiple of revenue. My guess is that they are basing that largely on the value of the land, which would imply use for other development.
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Old 10-25-17, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
For what it's worth, entering the track on the back straight (the side without the finish line) and exiting the track on the home straight (the side with the finish line) is common etiquette at tracks around the world.
Totally. But there's a very narrow passage before you enter the back straight, and in this case you exit on the back straight as well.


Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Safely entering and exiting a track, especially a short one with lots of activity, can seem treacherous. But, it's possible.
Sure- I've had no issue at other tracks that are short, but I would consider the geometry of the entry to the back straight of this one in particular to be dangerous.


Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Everyone will appreciate if you err on the side of safety. A good track director will appreciate that.
Since I was yelled at by the track director several times while erring on the side of safety, I'm not sure that he fits your criteria.


Originally Posted by carleton View Post
One is commonly expected to exit the track after they reasonably slow down to a safe exit speed. So, if you are a riding doing a flying 200m at 40mph/65kph, then it might take 1.5 or 2 laps to safely slow the bike down.
This expectation is not extended at BVV under the current management, at least not during cert classes. The director indicated that this expectation wouldn't be extended during races as well, but I don't know first hand.


Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Don't be discouraged.
I'm not, I'm just offering my insight into the design strategies of the track and I'm speculating on how they might affect its culture.


Originally Posted by carleton View Post
So, it's probably better to instill a bit of fear and firmness into new riders who may be skilled (and bold) from riding other disciplines than it is to hope they know better.
I'm not sure what you're getting at here... I'm describing how the design of the track is unsafe for riders, not that the director is too strict. If you mean to suggest that my understanding of his comment about cool down laps is serving to instill fear and firmness, creating a culture of fear and firmness that pushes riders to ride unsafely seems fairly counterproductive- and dangerous.
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Old 10-25-17, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by kings run east View Post
I'm not sure what you're getting at here... I'm describing how the design of the track is unsafe for riders, not that the director is too strict. If you mean to suggest that my understanding of his comment about cool down laps is serving to instill fear and firmness, creating a culture of fear and firmness that pushes riders to ride unsafely seems fairly counterproductive- and dangerous.
I'm not familiar with the design constraints of the track. Some pics or diagrams will help. I'm assuming that it's a standard 250m track.

I don't want to speculate too much as to what the director meant or what you understood. All I know about this is what you wrote above.

Maybe that was the director's way of saying that the riders shouldn't expect to simply hang out and lolligag on the track as a rule...until the figure out when it's a good time to make an exception to the rule.

My take on rules: Nobody likes rules. Rules exist because sometime, somewhere, somebody f'd up and it was bad. So bad that they had to make a rule about it.

Personally, I like when rules are explained. It helps tremendously with getting those to abide by them. But, if they seem arbitrary or counter-intuitive, then they won't. If the rules really are arbitrary or counter-intuitive, then the rules shouldn't exist. If they are not, then maybe there is some miscommunication happening (by the instructor or the student). Explaining the rules as you present them helps clear up all of the above.
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Old 10-25-17, 03:08 PM
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I googled it, and I can see your concern about the location of the party deck.

At Rock Hill, entrance and exit is typically on the back side, but at nationals, they moved it to the front side because the tents blocked the view of riders coming out of turn 2.
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Old 10-25-17, 03:24 PM
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So, I found
video.



So, the ramp to the track exits at the 7 o'clock position at the end of the back straight right before turn 3. Are you saying that the track director expects you, from that point, climb into turn 3 and get to the stayer's line?

The LA velodrome has that same track entry point.

It's expected that you ride on the apron around most of the track and enter when you pass the exit of turn 2 OR you walk your bike backwards and mount at the beginning of the back straight.

Last edited by carleton; 10-25-17 at 03:27 PM. Reason: 7 o'clock not 5 o'clock
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Old 10-25-17, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by kings run east View Post
Totally. But there's a very narrow passage before you enter the back straight, and in this case you exit on the back straight as well.
There is a railing there, but the apron doesn't change width. I'm confused what the problem is here. It's never been a problem during race nights, and I've only missed a couple since the facility opened. Nor have I seen, or heard of any problems with it at all.

This expectation is not extended at BVV under the current management, at least not during cert classes. The director indicated that this expectation wouldn't be extended during races as well, but I don't know first hand.
This is new to me, again, never seen it on race nights. You simply exit the track when the speed is safe, and go about your evening.


I do agree with you on the riders-as-ambassadors gripe. The first year, there was an attempt to have a dedicated staff member/volunteer to meet and greet. That said, in my experience, and the experience of those that I speak with at BVV, it's hardly an issue. Almost everyone who visits seems pretty keen on the track and at least feigns interest in watching the races.

Also, in fairness, the track director does get a bit wordy. I am a VERY big fan of him personally, so I don't criticize lightly, but I have been around some cert classes and thought "that could be said better." The reality is that he's a solid dude with his head in the right place (normally) and is quite good at what he does.

I hope you're planing to come out and experience our race night culture, because it is hardly stunted nor critically flawed. The spectator counts rise every summer, and the racing just gets better.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
So, the ramp to the track exits at the 7 o'clock position at the end of the back straight right before turn 3. Are you saying that the track director expects you, from that point, climb into turn 3 and get to the stayer's line?
You're only expected to enter on the back straight. If it's safe, go in just past 2. If not, you can wait a bit.
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Old 10-26-17, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I'd love to see the revenue the track is generating. I'd be surprised if they could really justify the $4.7m asking price as a velodrome. Most business valuations are done on a multiple of revenue. My guess is that they are basing that largely on the value of the land, which would imply use for other development.
Here's the county property report. The tax bill alone is pretty daunting.

Property Search
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Old 10-26-17, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gl98115 View Post
Here's the county property report. The tax bill alone is pretty daunting.

Property Search
If I did the math correctly, it looks like the property tax bill is about $48,600 a year.

I'm still not convinced the operation can generate sufficient revenue to cover all operating costs, let alone the purchase price.
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Old 10-29-17, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by kings run east View Post
I just saw this and know nothing about the owners or community- but as someone who just got certified there I'm very much not surprised. There are two critical design flaws to the track that I feel are absolutely impeding the culture and stunting the community around it.

While visiting the track is promoted / welcomed, the wayfinding is very odd and visitors arrive in a space where they mix with riders. Riders are tired, focused on bikes, and, sometimes, are annoyed with answering the same questions over and over again between efforts. What I observed was the riders having to act as ambassadors to the track contributed to several visitors feeling unwelcome- right after they saw a massive sign inviting them in. Some sort of info desk / greeter is probably necessary to orient visitors, it would also be beneficial if they circulated to the party deck instead of the infield.

The other issue is that the way the track is used is, in my opinion, completely unsafe. The combination of entering on the backfield and the steep, wooden banking means you have to merge on to the track with a good amount of speed- but the party deck at turns 1 & 2 gives little passage. Riders are encouraged to accelerate past this at a fairly quick speed, and then return to the infield on the back stretch immediately after a finish. As the BVV director told my cert class, "People don't want to watch cool down laps." This led to one of the people in my class deciding she never wanted to ride a track again- she told me that she felt mtbing by herself in the Rockies was safer.

It's tragic- it's a great resource, and a super fun and beautiful track to ride, but I think that it's under-utilized because of several fairly critical design flaws. And I'm not even mentioning the splintered wood on turns 3 & 4 that scares the ***** out of me when I ride over it...
BVV is my home track, I ride there several times a week during the Spring and Summer. I'm sorry you had a
bad experience but keep on coming out there's a lot of great people who ride there. 250 meter tracks are intimidating for anyone the first time (it was for me and I rode many Madisons in the 80's on 333's). I always tell anyone interested in riding the track to try the OTC 333 first, 333's are way less intimidating. Even if you have to drive past BVV on your way to the OTC, it's worth it.

BVV has a very high minimum speed and it gets pretty dicey if you're a big sprinter trying to go slow in the turns but I've never had any issues entering and exiting the track. I always ride the apron for a couple of laps to get an idea of what kind of efforts everyone is doing and time my entry appropriately. Even though the sight lines are blocked by the party deck you should be aware of where everyone is on the track. Sometimes I'll take an extra lap to get a better gap.

There are some riders there that come off as not very friendly but they're that way to everyone not just visitors. I imagine that their temperament was probably exasperated because they were preping for Worlds. The vast majority of the riders are very welcoming and you'll find yourself talking to Olympians, world record holders and Rainbow Jersey owners.

The track director is focused on three things: safety, safety and safety. Sometimes that comes out as harsh but I welcome his focus. He's lectured our group of sprinters more than once for a lapse but we're all the better for it. He's a top shelf rider. If your head isn't 100% in the game you don't belong on the track. I've made the two hour drive there, suited up and then decided not to ride because I couldn't focus.

All outdoor tracks have imperfections. Learn to use them to your advantage. I use that section of the track to jump underneath people all the time. The root growing under turn 4 at Hellyer (hell yeah) was a great place to pass. The expansion joints at Rock Hill were described to me as horrific, sure you felt them with your tires pumped up to 210psi but they don't move you off your line.

Kevin
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Old 10-29-17, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Fast4 50 View Post
There are some riders there that come off as not very friendly but they're that way to everyone not just visitors. I imagine that their temperament was probably exasperated because they were preping for Worlds. The vast majority of the riders are very welcoming and you'll find yourself talking to Olympians, world record holders and Rainbow Jersey owners.
I experienced a bit of this when I first started going to the track, and it wasn't necessarily people getting ready for Worlds. Rather, it seemed to me that there was a group of local who went out every Saturday and did their thing. They were regulars and saw the track as theirs. They weren't too excited to suddenly have to share with someone new. Most of these folks weren't racers, rather people who just like to ride the track.

Now that I have been there enough, I'm now kind of a regular, so I am a bit more welcomed by those individuals.

Others, mostly the racers, have been more than welcoming to me.
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Old 10-30-17, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
So, I found...
Great shot, I stand corrected. However I point out in my defense that the constriction of the area around the apron gave me the impression that the apron was narrower. Also, while the geometry and entry the same, the mesh nets of LAVRA aren't as daunting as sharp, solid architectural features.

Originally Posted by Fast4 50 View Post
The track director is focused on three things: safety, safety and safety.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but I will say I have a very different impression. Having worked with three track directors prior, my impression that he was the first who wasn't making a safety a priority. Telling cert class riders that "people don't come to watch cool down laps" and yelling at them to exit on to a flat apron with obstacles 100m after an all-out effort creates, in my opinion, an unsafe culture. If that culture hasn't manifested to your experience as well, I'm glad to hear that, but the attitude I observed did turn other participants off to the sport entirely.

The wayfinding and lack of a greeter / someone to orient visitors is a massive issue and one that could easily be solved... but I agree with several posts here, I don't see the financial numbers panning out- even with a better circulation design.
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Old 10-30-17, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kings run east View Post
...Riders are tired, focused on bikes, and, sometimes, are annoyed with answering the same questions over and over again between efforts. What I observed was the riders having to act as ambassadors to the track contributed to several visitors feeling unwelcome- right after they saw a massive sign inviting them in....

The other issue is that the way the track is used is, in my opinion, completely unsafe. The combination of entering on the backfield and the steep, wooden banking means you have to merge on to the track with a good amount of speed- but the party deck at turns 1 & 2 gives little passage. Riders are encouraged to accelerate past this at a fairly quick speed, and then return to the infield on the back stretch immediately after a finish. As the BVV director told my cert class, "People don't want to watch cool down laps." This led to one of the people in my class deciding she never wanted to ride a track again- she told me that she felt mtbing by herself in the Rockies was safer.

...And I'm not even mentioning the splintered wood on turns 3 & 4 that scares the ***** out of me when I ride over it...
I don't check in on this forum frequently and just saw this - I'm really bummed about the experience you had at BVV. It's my home track and if you ever want to ride with someone or be introduced to more folks there, let me know, I'd be happy to find time.

In my experience over the past three seasons, it has been a safe track that's well run by great folks. I think there's very little elitist or exclusionary attitude at BVV, though there are some who are a bit more aloof or introverted - just like there would be in any crowd. I hope you'll give it another chance.
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Old 10-31-17, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
So, I found this video.

So, the ramp to the track exits at the 7 o'clock position at the end of the back straight right before turn 3. Are you saying that the track director expects you, from that point, climb into turn 3 and get to the stayer's line?

The LA velodrome has that same track entry point.
The next video that comes up is even better - an HD rider's-eye view from a team sprint, so you can see the gap as a rider would coming around the turn. I don't see a problem, but I learned to ride on Blaine where you have about 12" of duckboards to warn you that you're about to be on the grass, and then grass. I only hit the grass at speed once there (and not only didn't go down, but made it back onto the track safely). The gap at BVV doesn't look all the different from the apron width at VSC, maybe a little narrow in the one spot, but there are effectively narrow spots at various points due to things on the apron, and particularly the top of the ramp where people are coming up.

At VSC you get onto the apron at the top of the ramp, but you really can enter the track at any point where it's clear, and on a busy track it can help to do a few apron laps to adjust your timing.

Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
If I did the math correctly, it looks like the property tax bill is about $48,600 a year.
That's a pretty good chunk of change for a track to have to make before it gets to the actual operating costs. I suspect many of the tracks in the US still run on annual budgets smaller than that.

Originally Posted by Fast4 50 View Post
There are some riders there that come off as not very friendly but they're that way to everyone not just visitors.
Nearly every track I've been to has been like that with the exception of Forest City, but I was only there for a few hours and everybody was super nice. Blaine was also very good when I started riding, but that was partly because some people I already knew organized an AYH track day, plus Bob Williams was teaching the intro class (long before he was track director). He was super-encouraging. Even within LA, there are people who ride VSC who think Encino has attitude and vice versa. My first experience at Encino was when the olympic velodrome was all but closed and the VSC may not even have been a gleam in anyone's eye, and the track director there came across with some attitude. I started at VSC very shortly after it opened and found Roger to also be very welcoming. It was me and one other guy when I took the accelerated class. After we did our laps to get used to it/show we were safe, he put on some Nirvana, got out one of the little electric scooters and motorpaced us for a while. He was always very strict about safety and was very consistent about it. Being in the "in" group made you more likely to get called out for doing something stupid, not less.

Originally Posted by kings run east View Post
Great shot, I stand corrected. However I point out in my defense that the constriction of the area around the apron gave me the impression that the apron was narrower. Also, while the geometry and entry the same, the mesh nets of LAVRA aren't as daunting as sharp, solid architectural features.
The team sprint video gives a view of those sharp features and I tend to agree. They're pretty far back from the track, but I've seen people hit the inside rail at VSC in a lot of ways and would be inclined to put some padding on the corners facing oncoming riders.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:04 AM
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When I see new people at VSC, I try to be friendly. Amazingly enough, though, the friendliness is not always returned. If you are new to VSC, it's good to understand that most of the regulars will shy away from you for a while until you demonstrate that you know to ride fast enough and if you respect the track etiquette. I have seen more than one experienced rider slip off the turns by going too slow because they fail to appreciate the difference between wood and concrete. It is also annoying when (I saw this a lot in the run up to Master's Worlds) they cruise in the pole lane when they should be above the blue line; suggesting they make the change was not always met with a positive reaction from the cruising riders. I am sure this happens at all tracks. When I visit a foreign track (which includes Encino and San Diego), I always talk to a local to get an etiquette refresher.
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Old 11-01-17, 11:40 AM
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CliffordK
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
If I did the math correctly, it looks like the property tax bill is about $48,600 a year.

I'm still not convinced the operation can generate sufficient revenue to cover all operating costs, let alone the purchase price.
If it was setup as a non-profit, or government owned, then the property taxes would be zero.

Of course, for $4.7 Million, at 1% return on investment, one gets $47,000 in annual interest. At a 5% return on investment, one gets over $200,000 annual interest.

It is a fairly high elevation course, so it should be pretty fast.

It sounds like someone needs to do some serious crowd funding. Perhaps try to get some government grants to convert it to publicly owned.
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