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March 12, 2007 – Company providing trail access grows its riding areas

March 12, 2007
Filed under Features

INDIANAPOLIS — TrailPass, a company aimed at providing more OHV riding access, has expanded its national reach, company owner Chris Connelly said at the Dealer Expo.
The Tennessee-based company now offers close to 40 riding areas in 19 states, Connelly said in an interview with Powersports Business. The company sells passes, which are available to dealers for the first time this year via Tucker Rocky’s catalog, that enable riders to access private trails and parks.
TrailPass offers local OHV clubs a unique service — the company provides liability insurance, guidance for a trail management plan and a forester to certify the management plan, all of which private landowners demand in order for clubs to ride on their property. In return, TrailPass requires local clubs to manage the trails and ensure certain rules — like riders wearing helmets and no drinking on trails — are followed.
“Every one of the riding areas has a manager, whether that’s a club or private organization,” Connelly said. “In order for them to keep their insurance with us, they have to police that area to our rule standards. Otherwise, we dump them, and they don’t want to be dumped because we’re the only game in town. They’re very cognizant that they have to play our rules, or they don’t get to play.”
This year, dealers will be able to buy the TrailPass, which is good for one year from the time of sale. The cost of passes to consumers is $75 if they’re purchased from a dealer or $85 if they’re purchased directly from TrailPass’ Web site (www.trailpass.com). Cost to the dealer is $60 per pass, and the passes are sold in packs of 10.
The passes serve as a minimum requirement for riders to get into TrailPass areas, meaning riders might also have to pay additional parking or access fees.
Connelly said the company is focused more on increasing its riding areas than growing its dealer base, knowing the latter will only grow as more riding areas develop.
“Setting a target number for dealers is a little arbitrary,” Connelly said. “What we’re really doing is setting a number of new riding areas (as a goal). What we want to be able to do is add 15 new riding areas this year and we’re well on target to do that.”
The company does not put a minimum acreage requirement on its riding areas, noting even small areas can be popular for riders. Connelly cited a Nashville area site, which is only 35 acres, that is popular because it’s only 11 minutes away from downtown Nashville. When that site opened, riders with a TrailPass no longer had to trailer their quads hours away to enjoy the outdoors.

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