Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel scores $168,000 grant to expand bike park

BMX riders await the start of a race at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel. The BMX track is one of the popular amenities. A COGO grant will allow expansion and diversification of the midvalley bike park
Crown Mountain Park

Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District secured a vital grant Thursday to help it build a 3.75-acre bike park in the midvalley.

Great Outdoors Colorado announced it awarded a $168,091 grant to the park in the El Jebel area. It was one of 17 Local Park and Outdoor Recreation grants awarded, according to a GOCO news release. There were 59 applications.

“We’ve gone for this one for three years. It’s really competitive,” said Becky Wagner, the park and recreation district’s executive director.

The grant and other funding will allow the park to add features for all ability levels. The park already has an extremely popular BMX track which hosts more than 100 users weekly.

“Creating this incredible bike park is a feather in the cap for our community and bike riders everywhere who love to visit here,” Wagner said. “It will be a community treasure for a long time.”

The total project is $484,000. In addition to the GOGO grant, Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District is contributing $150,000, Eagle County chipped in $30,000 and there will be sponsorships from Alpine Bank, Mid Valley Metropolitan District and 1st Bank. Wagner said about $140,000 in in-kind service has been pledged to get the work done.

The bike park will feature a beginner to expert dirt jump progression track and two lanes of mirrored asphalt pump track. In addition, there will be a 1-mile, cross-country trail where riders can practice skills on rolling hills, a variety of balance obstacles, and rock and wood features.

GOCO funding also will support navigation signage, safety fencing, landscaping and shape structures.

Construction has been delayed one week because of the COVID-19 crisis, but Wagner said she is hopeful work will start later in March.

“Our goal is to get it open June 1, but it depends on how long (the health crisis continues),” she said.

The expanded park will serve families who visit the park for its wide range of recreation opportunities. The staffs at the park and Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club will provide programming that will include free bike rentals and affordable bike camps and clinics.

The expansion of the biking facilities at Crown Mountain Park further enhances the Roaring Fork Valley’s facilities. The valley was designated a Gold Level Ride Center in January by the International Mountain Biking Association. It was the first area in Colorado to get the designation and only the seventh worldwide.

“This bike park expansion will strengthen the Ride Center’s Gold Level scoring during future evaluations, while creating a place for our youngest generation to learn, train and benefit from multiple aspects of cycling culture in a safe environment,” said Mike Pritchard, director of the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, a chapter of the international association.

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