It’s a question we face with every purchase: what am I going to get?
This is called the return on investment (ROI), and there are two types of returns: hard and soft. Hard returns are easy to calculate: if a candy bar costs a dollar, the return is one candy bar for one dollar. Soft returns are difficult to quantify, for instance, the happiness that results from enjoying a candy bar.
Many of the returns on a pumptrack fall under the soft ROI category, however when reviewing the collective, the impact is impressive.
We highlight three major benefits of pumptracks below.
1. Pumptracks are popular and will draw a crowd to your venue.
If there’s one thing that all pumptracks have in common, it’s their popularity. This is the most common feedback we receive from customers.
If you’re seeking ways to improve hospitality or offer an amenity that will drive revenue to your facility, event or campground, check out how pumptracks helped folks just like you reach these same goals:
Pumptracks make your site the one that everyone wants to visit (like it did for this park in Scotland).
Take this example, when the Sands Caravan & Camping Park in Scotland announced the installation of a new modular pumptrack. Their Facebook followers had a tremendous response, with a whopping 96 comments and 10 shares:
The enthusiasm of their customers (comments in pics) speaks for itself (see original Facebook post here.)
Pumptracks will increase bookings at your holiday park, campsite or resort.
In the same example, you can actually count the number of word-of-mouth referrals Sands received. This type of organic, viral marketing is rare and pure gold for businesses (free marketing anyone?) This singular post on social media increased the visibility of Sands park; motivating previous guests to plan return trips and encouraging new guests to visit.
Integrating a pumptrack into the design of your resort facility or event pays dividends by filling occupancy capacities, generating repeat business, and creating happy customers.
2. Pumptracks get people active and exercising.
The effect pumptracks have on community health is impressive. Parks departments, sports ministers and other public officials have a responsibility to encourage exercise and fitness to improve the health of their community.
Here’s how pumptracks help them in their mission:
Pumptracks deter obesity.
A key part of fighting obesity is by getting people active, and a key part of getting people active is providing them with different opportunities to explore fitness interests. Pumptracks are growing in popularity because they are an exciting alternative and inclusive play option.
For a full breakdown of how pumptracks are helping communities combat obesity, check out this post.
Pumptracks are for “all ages, all skill levels,” which means you’ll have more people exercising, and excited to exercise.
Pumptracks are a great motivator for people to move. If you want proof of how pumptracks inspire droves of people to get off the couch, look no further than the municipality of Bergen, Norway. After installing a PARKITECT modular pumptrack, the town experienced a surge in traffic and parking congestion resulting from patrons crossing town to get to the pumptrack. Their response? Rather than remove the track, they purchased six more for a total of seven!
We can also visit Pennsylvania for more evidence of the magnetic power of a pumptrack through the highly-successful Philly Pumptrack. A result of years-long efforts, “the grand opening of the track on May 10, 2014, brought over 550 people.” The pumptrack continues to be highly-frequented today, with an expansion and improvements planned for 2019.
This final testimonial from a customer in Olympia, Washington, USA echoes the experiences found in Norway and Philadelphia:
“l'm happy to report that the pump track has been a huge hit! lt's getting lots and lots of use by people on bicycles, skateboards, scooters, push-bikes and even little kids who just enjoy running around it. What l'm most happy about is the wide variety of ages that it appeals to - it seems equally fun for talented 20 or 30-something year-old mountain bikers as it does for five year olds on scooters. lt's really brought a lot of life to the space and on sunny weekends, some families are coming down with blankets and coolers and spending hours there while their kids play. Thanks for making a great product that I would recommend to any parks department.”
- Jonathon Turlove, Director of Park Planning and Maintenance, City of Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation.
It’s simple math: a pumptrack that attracts lots of visitors means lots of people are breaking a sweat and staying active, making your community healthier. With plenty of basketball courts, swimming pools and playgrounds around, if you’re looking for active play options, a pumptrack will make your project stand out because it is a unique, inclusive public sports facility.
3. Pumptracks build an engaged community.
Pumptracks are remarkable for engaging and building community. Often the result of grassroots efforts spearheaded by a few enthusiastic advocates, these ambassadors rally the community around their vision. These passionate groups write grants, show up to petition for public funds, and volunteer to build and maintain the pumptrack.
Here are some reasons pumptracks are unique in their ability to connect communities:
Pumptracks are inclusive play.
Pumptracks support “all ages, all skill levels,” but you could also add “all socioeconomic backgrounds.” Their inclusivity is an important element of their success. Take the Bijou Bike park in South Lake Tahoe that features two pumptracks and is managed by the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association (TAMBA). In an interview, TAMBA board member Ben Fish describes the park’s impact on the community:
“It’s helped reach a demographic that isn’t as easily reached on the mountain bike trails. You can have a really inexpensive bike and still be a superstar at the bike park. There are also a lot more families and younger kids that ride at bike parks. Most parents start their kids here before they are even two years old.”
Besides being a space for kids two-years-old and up, pumptracks are often included in the designs of urban bike parks that serve underserved communities, thus expanding recreational access, with some parks even renting bikes and helmets for free.
Pumptracks unite and rally your community around a shared interest.
Public pumptracks consistently demonstrate a power to mobilize a collective that is highly motivated by shared goals. This situation occurred in 2014 in Santa Cruz. In the face of furloughs and budget cuts that delayed other municipal projects, the area experienced a pumptrack boom, installing no less than five pumptracks because they were “almost exclusively funded, organized, built and maintained by private volunteers and fundraising efforts.”
We clearly see this neighborhood buy-in at the aforementioned Philly pumptrack. Completely staffed and managed by volunteers, they rely on public participation for maintenance every Wednesday night during “dig night,” and the project leaders shared how the community has embraced the pumptrack:
“There isn’t a day that goes by where someone doesn’t stop by and say ‘hey, we love what you are doing here for the kids. Is there anyway we can help’ and there are more and more parents getting involved and that is fantastic.”
Pumptracks are an economic multiplier for your local region.
Something that may come as a surprise is the economic benefits of a pumptrack. Locales that invest in pumptracks and bike parks consistently report ensuing revenue that improves the bottom line for the region.
Some of the reasons pumptracks increase spending are intuitive. More money is spent at nearby restaurants, stores and in bike shops. In the case of the Scotland park cited above, a pumptrack is a unique amenity that differentiates their facility and incentives customers to book, or even rebook before leaving the resort for their next trip. Further, pumptracks require no supervision, so the resort is liberated from paying someone to staff it.
A compelling case of the relationship between pumptracks and the local economy can be found in the personal experience of Parkitect founder Erik Burgon. After completing phase two of the Finale Ligure bike play park, the commissioner asked Erik to be its guide, to capitalize on and advance a bike tourism trend in the area. Today, bike tourism is an important economic driver to the region, with multiple tour companies, bike hotels and trails, as underscored in this interview with Erik and the Finale Outdoor Resort.
Pumptracks make use of your underused or vacant space, and make you safer.
Pumptracks are a great way to repurpose underutilized or vacant space, and have the added benefit of improving the safety of your community.
Capped trash dumps and vacant government-owned lots that can’t be used for any other purpose are popular sites for bike parks and pumptracks. Pumptracks are also put in place as a temporary solution while other plans are being developed and approved. The relatively-low cost of a pumptrack results in a win-win for the pumptrack owners and it’s patrons.
Besides being a land-use solution, another advantage of pumptracks is their effect on community safety. Public officials value the space created by pumptracks for kids to practice riding their wheeled sports equipment, keeping them off busy roads. (For further information on how pumptracks can make people safer read here.) Pumptracks have also been credited for crime prevention, after a pumptrack that was installed in South Wales, UK, and studied by the local police was found to reduce antisocial behavior by 70%. The case was later included in a list of promising practices for community policing in the EU.
In times dominated by digital devices that disconnect us from face-to-face socialization, pumptracks provide a unique opportunity to build: build a physical structure, build a passionate interest group, build friendships and community relationships.
Pumptracks are a worthwhile investment with abundant benefits.
The positive rewards of pumptracks aren’t accessible using traditional calculations, but they exist in spades. If you're interested in learning more about whether a pumptrack is the right choice for you, start by downloading our catalog below.