For those of us who like to play on our bikes as well as get from A to B, there was promising news this week from the developers of a planned mountain-bike adventure park in the Port Hills. As reported previously, this is a $20+ million development in the hills above Worsleys Rd valley near Cashmere featuring a series of walking and biking trails together with a chairlift, ziplines, and a café. After hearings late last year, commissioners gave it resource consent in January and the hunt was on for investors to make it a reality.
So far, the developers have managed to attract $15 million from various international investors, including a $2 million NZ Tourism grant. To get the project underway, they have trimmed back (for now) planned base accommodation and a “mountain coaster” ride, but are still looking for an extra $5 million to get things going (investment details here).
I know that a lot of existing investors will have some reasonably serious money involved (and the minimum investment requested is currently $100k), but I wonder how much opportunity there might be for a bit of crowd funding too. We’ve already seen that work successfully in Christchurch to get the Spark Bikes bikeshare scheme underway, although at $50k in total that was quite a different animal. Nevertheless, I suspect that there are quite a few people out there who would be willing to put up a few hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars to see this happen (especially with the opportunity to get a useful return on their investment). An interesting suggestion on the stuff.co.nz comments was in offering life memberships or multi-year passes – many commenters seemed keen on that idea.
Subject to getting all the funding in place, the developers hope to have the park ready for opening by Dec 2016. Hopefully they will get it over the line; it will be a great facility for both locals and numerous visitors to Christchurch as well.
Are you looking forward to this development? Would you be willing to invest in it?