Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association - Eastern States Cup Event Grant
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 a weekend riding festival. We are excited to bring the Cup series back to Woodstock on Oct 1, 2023, and request the support of the EDC to help cover costs associated with our event-requirements to be eligible for hosting.
Total Project Budget
Name of Applicant / Organization / Business
Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association
PO Box 291
Name of Project Coordinator
Contact's Email Address
Organization's Website URL
Applicatant / Organizational Description
Founded in 2016, the Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association (WAMBA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing, building, and protecting mountain bike trails in Woodstock, VT, and its neighboring towns.
If you are applying on behalf of an organization, what is your total organizational budget?
Detailed Project Description
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 a weekend riding festival. Woodstock hosted the race for the first time in 2022 to great reviews and feedback from the 350+ racers and their families who descended on Woodstock. We are excited to bring the Cup series back to Woodstock on Oct 1, 2023, but request the support of the EDC to help fulfill our requirements to be eligible for hosting.
This event brings great attention to Woodstock and Pomfret at mountain biking destinations. 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, and the recruitment of new members to our organization, it is intended to serve as a fundraiser for our organization. We found in year 1, that the funds we were able to raise from the event were offset by the expenses listed above which are required by the race hosting eligibility. With support from the EDC, we can create an incredible race weekend and experience, and also make it worthwhile to our non-profit's bottom line.
This year, the race will take place on Sunday, Oct 1. Riders will descend on Woodstock beginning on Friday morning to scout the race course and other area trails. Riders from all over stay at our local lodging establishments or camp at Saskadena Six, which the Woodstock Inn generously makes available.This camping setup also helped racers take full advantage of the Mt Tom Farmers Market which they shared the parking space with. WAMBA volunteers monitor the campground all weekend and our organization is able to monetize this to support our efforts.
For the actual race on Sunday, riders begin at Saskadena Six with the first leg of the race, then taxi themselves through Woodstock and up our recently-built Village Trail for three segments of racing on Mt. Peg. Then it's back to Saskadena Six for a final race stage, awards celebration with food trucks and other local vendors.
WAMBA has committed to hosting this race on October 1, 2023. It is important enough to our organization, that we are prepared to host this event, even it it means a breakeven result. With the experience of one race under our belts, we are excited to tweak and refine our work to be more organized to help things run more smoothly, but the fixed costs are as is, and we'd be grateful for the support of the EDC to offset these and help WAMBA come out the other side on this event in a stronger financial position as a result.
For race preparation, our board will assign a committee in the spring and we'll appeal to our 400+ members to take on volunteer roles throughout the weekend.
Matt Stout is the President of WAMBA and has worked hard to grow our organization to the point where we could be organized enough to host a race with the magnitude of the Eastern States Cup. Also leading the way is our Vice President Nick Mahood who has worked in his role with the Woodstock Inn to make this race possible on its properties. And our trail building team of Gavin Vaughan and Graham Farrington are passionate racers, who have built our trails up to a caliber worthy of the top racers in New England.
Project Budget Narrative
The ESC provides a checklist of requirements for each race site to be eligible for hosting. The majority of races take place at downhill mountain biking courses, such as Killington, where many of these costs are already built into day-to-day operations. These are the primary expenses which we cover that go above and beyond trail preparations by our paid trail crew (which WAMBA considers within its normal cost of operating).
Woodstock Ambulance coverage ~$1,700
Woodstock police traffic control ~$500
Porta-potties for camping and raceday ~$2,500.
Please note, all expenses referenced in this application are only those incurred by WAMBA. The ESC covers numerous race expenses as well and pays sites $25/racer to serve as either fundraiser or to offset expenses.
Project Budget - Itemized
Porta-Potties for Camping and Race Festival
What will success look like?
WAMBA deemed our 2022 race to be a great success. ESC race organizers steeped praise on the personal touch that Woodstock delivered to its race series and asked us to renew another year. From our non-profit's perspective, we were the talk of New England Enduro riding, and it was apparent in social media for the week following the race. Woodstock's reputational jump as a mountain biking destination has been significant.
This year, we hope to find ways to turn race visitors into WAMBA members. We are working with the ESC organizers on communications ideas, and will increase our signage and visibility along the trails. Our organization has more than 400 paying annual members, many local riders, numerous second homeowners, but increasingly, we are seeing memberships from one-time visitors who are so overwhelmed with the quality of our trails and hospitality, that they are happy to support us. We have a goal to surpass 500 paid members in 2023!
Volunteer roles are also a great opportunity to engage your constituents, and encouraging our WAMBA riders to be a part of this incredible event will create even more affinity for our organization among members.
Community support for this project
The work is done primarily at the WAMBA board level - we have a seven person executive board, but dedicated "Trail Bosses" who are responsible for maintenance and projects on our three distinct networks. We know that there is an increasing number of local members who will step up with volunteer hours on race weekend, and with better communication and advance notice, we are excited to see what we can deliver. WAMBA will also utilize the town list serv, Vermont Standard and other media outlets to recruit non-riders to participate in the volunteer work.
Community support for this project
Our non-profit continues to strengthen financially. Our paid membership continues to grow, we have run a successful annual fund drive in two consecutive years, and we have built a "Local Partners" program with area businesses who are happy to support the sport of mountain biking. We have developed a steady and sustainable growth, and we expect to continue our growth into the future. One day, we hope to be in a position where we can host a special race festival without scrutinizing over what the net financial benefit will be to WAMBA, but for now, every dollar we are able to raise results in more trailwork and better trails for Woodstock area riders and visitors.