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BMX club kicks off fundraising for park

Whistler BMX looks to raise $80,000



Earlier this spring, the best-case scenario for the Whistler BMX Park was to be open for the BC Day long weekend.

It was optimistic at the time, and though that didn't happen, there is still some hope that tires will meet dirt before the winter sets in.

Track director Brian Finestone said the club has been in close contact with Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) representatives and have worked to address any concerns with the Bayly Park site.

"We're nearing the finish line with our drawings that have to be submitted to the muni," he said. "Once they are complete, they should have all of the boxes ticked for the landfill engineers, which will give us our final municipal approval. That will prepare us for the first stage of construction.

"We're really hoping the month of August will get us across that finish line. I hope that we give the drawings to them, we addressed any issues that they may have and they just go straight to approval. We don't have to (go) back and forth anymore."

From there, Finestone hopes crews will break ground in September. While there will almost certainly be no competitive action in Cheakamus Crossing this year, Finestone is looking to get some riders out and testing the track this fall.

"Realistically, we're not going to get a chance to race," he said. "We may be able to have a track that we can ride. That would certainly be a good goal. The timeline for ordering the start gate is a little bit longer, so that wouldn't be until next spring anyway, but we still have a fundraising goalpost to reach before we're going to be able to do any and all of that.

"We're really trying ramp up in this month of August and September."

Finestone noted RMOW officials have expressed a desire for the project, if started this fall, to be completed.

With the end in sight on the planning end, things are starting to ramp up from a fundraising perspective. The project needs $80,000, and though there have been some frustrations early on, Finestone said organizers will keep pressing.

"We've written a few grant applications that were not successful and we've got a few other initiatives that are more small-dollar initiatives," he said.

Whistler BMX will have an information booth at Crankworx, which begins Friday, Aug. 7 and runs until Aug. 16. Finestone hopes it catches the eye of a few companies that would be willing to help kickstart project finances.

"We hope that brings more of the big fish out and that we can start moving the bar in the summer," he said. "We're trying to rally some support for volunteers to come to the booth that we're going to have at Crankworx and once the dust settles on Crankworx, we can look at some potential other fundraising initiatives. We'll see what level of interest we see from bike industry people that are in town during that time as well."

Those interested in helping out can visit the Whistler BMX Club and Track page on Facebook or email

Between the skate park redevelopment and the BMX track, Finestone is bullish on future options for young athletes in the area.

"It's a great time to be a kid in Whistler and I hope local families realize that and come out and help out," he said.