While the majority of trails, features and stunts that make up Ray’s MTB Milwaukee indoor mountain bike park are finished, the city of Milwaukee has yet to sign off on all of the required permits causing a delay of the park’s grand opening.
“There were some permit issues that we didn’t see coming,” said Eric Schutt, Ray’s MTB marketing director and Milwaukee location general manager. “The city’s requests are fair and until we solve those issues we just can’t occupy the space. As far as the park is concerned, we’re going to use this time to continue to make it awesome-er.”
Schutt is adamant that the latest issues are because of an oversight on the park’s part and that the delay is not because of any new or unreasonable requests by the city.
“We’ve got a kick-ass place here,” said Schutt. “We just had to postpone our party a little bit.”
Ray’s MTB Milwaukee now estimates they will be open sometime before the winter holidays.
“We don’t have a date yet, because we’ve got some stuff that we need to do, so we didn’t want to set a new date because we don’t want to create a new expectation that isn’t accurate,” he said. “We’re doing our best and we feel like before Christmas it totally attainable, obviously we hope sooner than that and as soon as we have a date we’ll re-launch the ships.”
Schutt says they plan to offer the same type of grand opening party that was in the works for this weekend, which will start with a Friday night walkthrough where the public can tour the facility and see a handful of top pros riding its many features.
The walkthrough will serve as the first opportunity for people to buy season passes, so they’re ready to ride on the grand opening weekend, which will start with a barbeque on Saturday. There will also be a raffle for a Mirraco bike, Trek Ticket frame and GoPro cameras.
“On Saturday, we’ll do a celebrity barbeque where we’ll prepare a bunch of food and have a whole long line of athletes serving,” said Schutt. “You’ll go down the line and get your plate from Cam McCaul; Taj Mihelich may give you a bun and Jeff Lenosky gives you a brat. ”
Sunday’s festivities will start with public ride, led by the cross-country pros on hand for the opening, while the evening will be reserved for the BMXers and led by Dave Mirra.
The facility’s street park: the facility’s street park Ray's MTB
Mirra will surely tear up Ray’s new street park
Ray’s MTB Milwaukee is located in an old Menard’s home improvement building, which makes it considerably different that the original Cleveland, OH location.
The new building is basically a 100,000 square foot box, according to Schutt, where as the original Ray’s park started out with a building measuring just over 60,000sqft then added adjacent buildings build to their current 130,000sqft.
“We built all summer long with an entire big crew and an actual budget,” said Schutt. “That’s something that didn’t exist in Cleveland. Trek’s involvement allowed us to put some resources into it and built what we hope a lot of people will find it to be a kick-ass park.”
Schutt likened the original location as a planted seed that grew over the years through the hard work of volunteers, where as the Milwaukee location was planned and built by professionals in one shot over the course of the last 8 months.
He also said that the new local is much more cross-country friendly.
The cross-country trails are complete with technical climbs: the cross-country trails are complete with technical climbs Ray's MTB
The cross-country trails are complete with technical climbs
“This is going to be a fun place for a lot of people,” he said. “You’re not going to need to have a full faced helmet and be [all-about] jumping in the foam pit. If you like to ride a bike on trails, there’s going to be something here for you to ride.”